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Transcript
Documentary Unit
AP Language
Mrs. Whetstone
December 2012
Pre-Writing



If you were to write, direct, or star in a
documentary, what would the topic be and
why would you choose it?
What role would you play?
Who/what/how would you provide evidence
or sources to support your claim?
Group Discussions
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What are your general thoughts/feelings about
documentary films?
What, if any, documentaries have you previously
watched?
What is the purpose of a documentary film?
How might studying and analyzing a documentary
film connect to AP Language class?
What are your general feelings toward Global
Warming?
Purpose of Doc.


Documentaries " build on the visual world of our
students while at the same time these nonfiction films
focus on substantive, often controversial, issues that
affect students' lives.
Goal: Deepen appreciation of documentary film,
stimulates further conversation about documentaries
and nonfiction, and leads to more effective an
innovative classroom practices.
Source: Renee Shea " Using Documentary Film as an Introduction to Rhetoric"
Connection to AP Lang.

Three main components:
Nonfiction, visual culture, argument
For the director to achieve his purpose, he must
understand the audience and appropriate appeals -ie: the rhetorical situation
We are focused on " becoming conscious of how
rhetoric works [to] transform speaking, reading, and
writing, making us more successful and able
communicators and more discerning audiences."
(Hepzibah Roskelly, "What Do Students Need To Know About Rhetoric?" AP Central).
SSR
“The more that you read, the more things you
will know. The more that you learn, the more
places you'll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
AGENDA



Note taking on Audio, video, textual evidence
in documentary films
Born into Brothels audio reflection
SSR
Pre-Writing Focus

Make a list of all of the visual, audio and
textual components you can think of that it
takes to make a film…
Audio

Sound heard during film:





Voices
Dialogue of people in film
Narration
Music
Sound effects
Text Track (or Graphic Text)


The written information that appears on
screen added by the filmmaker in
postproduction.
Examples:




Subtitles
Identifications
Charts
Graphs
Visual Techniques


Images seen on-screen
Could be:



Primary footage shot by the filmmaker (A roll)
Cutaways that support or counter other visuals
perhaps shot by the filmmaker (B roll)
Found (archival) footage from some other source
used to meet the new film’s purposes
Other Important Terms

Editing


Framing/Shots


How the visual, audio and text tracks are
assembled. Consider how music or images work
to support or juxtapose each other.
Are we seeing the image in a close-up, medium
shot, or long shot? Why?
Camera Angles

Is the camera filming the image from above (high
angle), below (low angle), or eye-level? Why?
Other terms cont.

Lighting


Is the scene filled primarily with lots of light or with
darkness and shadows? Why?
Camera Movement

Does the camera move or is it stationary? Is it
tilting, panning, or dollying? Why?
Al Gore





Served as 45th Vice President
under President Bill Clinton
The Democratic Party’s
nominee for President in 2000
Currently an author and
environmental activist.
Non-profit organizations
including Alliance for Climate
Protection
Received the Nobel Peace
Prize for his work in climate
change.
AGENDA




Ted Talk: Al Gore on Global Warming
Guidelines for Analysis Essay
Handouts on video
SSR
Al Gore meets Ted Talk

Introductory preview on Al Gore’s stance on
Global Warming
Guidelines for Analysis

Your assignment will be to do a rhetorical
analysis of An Inconvenient Truth. That is,
analyze the purpose of the film, the audience
to who it is geared, and the strategies that
are used to reach that audience.
Film Analysis

Claim/Thesis: In An Inconvenient Truth, Al
Gore wants to reach a large audience,
particularly non-scientists, to stress the
urgency of responding to global warming.

Conclusion: An Inconvenient Truth effectively
sounds the alarm for global warming by
offering an accessible explanation that blends
scientific information and human interest.
Film Analysis


Claim/Thesis: Although Al Gore claims that only
moral and ethical concerns about global warming
prompted him to make the documentary An
Inconvenient Truth, the film is a thinly disguised
promotion for another bid at presidency.
Conclusion: Al Gore may have a sincere concern
about the environment, but An Inconvenient Truth is
only a means to further his ambitions for the
presidency by reaching a large number of potential
voters.
Handouts/Notes on Film


Appendix 1
Appendix 2
AGENDA



Review Prompt
Begin viewing An Inconvenient Truth with
note taking and analysis
SSR
Guidelines for Analysis

Your assignment will be to do a rhetorical
analysis of An Inconvenient Truth. That is,
analyze the purpose of the film, the audience
to who it is geared, and the strategies that
are used to reach that audience.
Purpose

That it is time to make significant changes in
response to the reality that global warming
(or climate change) is not a political issue but
an ethical or moral one.
AGENDA



Considerations
Continue viewing An Inconvenient Truth with
note taking and analysis
SSR
Consider:

Is that image of Gore with the American flag
waving in the background an example of
effective juxtaposition that reminds us of his
public service and commitment? Or is it a
fallacy that manipulates us to associate Gore
with patriotic fervor?
Consider:

When Gore narrates the near-death
experience of his young son and how that
affected him, is he shamelessly appealing to
our emotions, or is he emphasizing that we
often fail to value what is precious until we
are in danger of losing it?
Consider:

Is that analogy between his son’s life and our
environment effective, simply inaccurate, or
downright sentimental?