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Documentary title: Is it better to be mixed race

Presented by: Aarathi Prasad


Produced by: Channel 4
Purpose of documentary: To Inform, Educate and Explore
Documentary Duration: 30 minutes

The second film I viewed as part of my analysis was on a documentary titled “Is it better
to be mixed raced”. I chose to analyse this particular clip as it did not have the same
codes and conventions as the first documentary (Panorama Migrants go home) therefore
making it an ideal comparative. The documentary is presented by Aarathi Prasad a
geneticist and mother of a mixed race child, who sets out to challenge the ideas of racial
purity and examines provocative claims that there are in fact biological advantages to
being mixed.
The documentary does not have a conventional opening which would in a conventional
documentary include speaker titles and credits, however instead it opens with a young
male whom the audience fail to relate to him because there is nothing that dennotes his
role, except maybe through the non verbal communication they are able to recognise him
as a young mixed race male.
The documentary does not continuously use score music throughout the documentary
except in the opening and at the end of the documentary.

The editor’s choice not to include speaker titles may


connote to the audience that the young male is of no
importance to the documentary.

The documentary does follow some codes and conventions such as the use of cutaways to
vary how they convey the documentary to the audience.

Cutaway clip on
YouTube about a
debate on racial
integration
which was being
viewed by the
presenter on her
laptop.
The framing used in the image below from the interview below is tight and is shot up
close this another example of the documentary following traditional codes and
conventions of the rule of thirds. The reason the framing is tight in this sequence is
because this was an important speaker (Q&A Jim Wilson population geneticist) so to
illustrate his importance visually it was shot tight.

I have added lines to


illustrate the rule of
thirds.

The use of a medium long shot of the presenter and speaker is used to create a variation of shots and also
to try and engage the viewer to what’s going on as they are not engaged to the
conversation as a result of the long shot.

There is also the use of insert shots and eye level shots which I think were also used by the director for
variation.

The editor uses a fading effect on the text, it firstly appears faded but then it becomes more visible and
then fades aways.

The text Starts of faded but slowly becomes visible.


The text then fades out again once it is no longer relevant to the
sequence.

From the 5 minutes I have analaysed I have come to the conclusion that inorder to maintain a balance a
formal mode of address is used to keep the audience