Documentary genre of media

For my practical project, as part of a four piece group we have decided to focus upon a documentary genre of media. After much discussion, debate and consideration we collectively came up with the idea of ‘popularity’ to be the key idea behind our project and thus the starting point of our ideas, issues and indeed trains of thought. We chose popularity, and all that it entails, as the subject of our documentary for many varied reasons.

Most importantly, as adolescents ourselves, we thought it to be a hugely critical issue within today’s society, and additionally holding consequences which are often negative. Aside all the clichi?? views such as ‘being yourself is the best way to be’, ‘people will love you for being you’ and ‘popularity shouldn’t be an issue as long as your happy’ etc, the truth of the matter is that popularity to most teenagers especially is of great importance, and defines their social status indubitably.

Popularity has been portrayed in many different lights and in many different areas of the media, film especially. Film in the past has portrayed popular youth to be usually pretentious, self-obsessed, vain and cruel, and contrastingly un-popular youth to be ‘geeky’, studious, weak and often friendless. Such denotations of younger generations though stereotypical are often true to the case and we wanted to portray popularity in real situations, and show real adolescent and also older peoples view point upon it.

With this idea in our minds, we wanted a setting for our documentary, so we came up with the idea of using our college, St Robert of Newminster sixth form, to be the area in which our documentary would be based. We brainstormed many different ideas about how the documentary would deal with popularity, whether it would be portrayed in a negative or positive way, who it would involve, how it would involve them and just generally how we would go about creating a media product.

Knowing that we are using a college as our setting, we then could focus upon the main feature of our documentary, which will be the view points of sixth form students. We decided that we will interview many different students, ideally from all different walks of life, and with different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures such as; people who are thought to be popular, people who are not thought to be popular, homosexual people, foreign people, younger schooling years, school presidents and average, everyday college pupils. As well as interviews, we hope to conduct secret experiments etc, i. e. utting unsuspecting students in environments in which we could gain important findings and show the ways people behave in situations such as those which could make them more or less popular depending on their already defined status and thus analysing their natural reactions and instincts. We also hope to interview teachers of the sixth form in order to gain information from their views and to see if they know just exactly how the growing issue of popularity is affecting their sixth form and indeed the students within it, or if they are in the dark and oblivious to worrying trends becoming part of everyday school life within this college.

We have decided to make our documentary particularly serious as this is not a matter in our eyes to be taken light heartedly and as previously stated can hold dire consequences if people are immune to seeing just exactly how they are treating people in order to become more popular etc. We have decided to pick slightly emotional background music, ideally in order to appeal to the senses and we have decided to keep the documentary short yet effective, in order not to bore our audience (thus being younger generations and people within the education business).

We hope to ask people questions such as ‘how would you define popularity’ etc and in addition to this we are hoping to elaborate upon means of being popular, in particular fashion, sexuality and the ways in which people behave around school in general. When we have the finished product we hope that it will be powerful and reflective of a true situation, hence its reality format, and that it will show just exactly how big of issue popularity has become amongst the youth of today.