ERIC Number: ED144122
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Documentary Elements in Early Films.
Sanderson, Richard A.
Focusing on documentary elements, this study examines the film content and film techniques of 681 motion pictures produced in the United States prior to 1904. Analysis of films by type, subject matter, and trends in subject matter shows that one-third of the early films are documentary in type and three-fourths of the films use subject matter of a documentary nature. In 1898 and 1899, when there was a decline in film production, the films that were produced concentrated on military subjects; it is suggested that, as the novelty of viewing film decreased, film producers turned to the depiction of remote but newsworthy current events, such as the Spanish-American War, as a way to attract larger audiences. After analyzing overall film structure, choice of shots, and arrangement of shots, the study found that early documentaries of news and sport events show the greatest use and development of film techniques. Seven films judged outstanding in their use of film composition techniques are briefly described at the end of the study. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Film Association (31st, College Park, Maryland, August 1-5, 1977)