Jackie Chan

Documentary making

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 February, 2007, 12:00am


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They form the most interesting part of a documentary (pronounce: dok-yoo-men-tuh-ree, -tree) People share their experiences with the viewer, reader or listener.

Prepare two questions for each of the following people exploring the nature of their work.

Sports journalist




Older person







Match captions with photographs

a. Tributes flooded in from across the globe a day after Steve Irwin, the legendary Australian 'Crocodile Hunter', was killed in a freak stingray attack during filming for a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef.

b. A scene from a documentary, Next: A Primer on Urban Painting, about graffiti art, directed by Pablo Aravena.

c. Hip hop artist Soandry stars in the Charlize Theron-produced documentary, East of Havana.

d. A scene from the documentary, Ground One: Voices.

e. Stephen Spielberg, who co-produced a documentary film on the Holocaust in Ukraine.

f. The documentary Hundred Years of Overseas Studies, a joint effort by RTHK and Guangdong Television, stars Shouson Chow, one of the first Chinese people to be sent to the US to study.

g. Wang Zhenzi, a PhD student from the School of Creative Media at City University of Hong Kong, won an award for her documentary about her Cantonese teacher last year.


Crew - Who am I?

Film or video documentaries have different crews or teams depending on the project.

producer, continuity, sound recordist, director, gaffer, costume designer

1. I design and arrange costumes for the documentary to be made, hired or purchased. I am a _____________________

2. I am responsible for administrative and financial aspects of a documentary. I am a ___________________________

3. I am responsible for the sound quality and ensuring that director's requirements are met. I am a ________________

4. I record the dialogue as it is spoken in each shot and describe actions of artists, position of furniture and props which is later used by editor. I am in charge of __________________________________

5. I manage the interpretative aspects of production, and supervise acting and photography. I am a ______________

6. I am a senior electrician responsible for power and lamps. I am a __________________________

There are many exciting jobs or departments you can work in. Invite a professional to your school to explain what they do.

Explain how important teamwork is in making a documentary.


Documentaries use a variety of shots. Match the shot terminology with the frames. Which shots are suitable to use when interviewing someone?_______________________________________

1. long shot (ls) 2. medium long shot (mls) 3. mid-shot (ms) 4. medium close-up (mcu) 5. close-up (cu) 6. big close-up (bcu) 7. very long shot (vls)

An extreme close-up shot of a person's face signals 'this person's reaction is very important'. The study of these systems of signs is called semiology.



Is a French term meaning 'what is put into the scene' or frame. It is the director's job to decide this and what is put in or left out can make a big difference to the signals we receive and the way we decode them. Like the words chosen to make up a story, each item in a frame may be carefully chosen and positioned. The director can draw our attention to an object by placing it in the foreground, near the camera lens. We then decode that this object will be important in the scene. The mise-en-scene encourages audiences to become more involved by looking actively and interpreting what is included.

What sort of signals would you receive if the following objects or items were included in a scene?

Scene 1 - cot, toys, rocking horse ____________________________________________

Scene 2 - gun, overcoat, wine glass __________________________________________

Scene 3 - tree, box, chip packet ______________________________________________

Scene 4 - cat, cage, car _____________________________________________________


Chop Socky (2003)

Directed by Ian Taylor

Jackie Chan

Birth Name: Chan Kong-sang

Date of birth: April 7, 1954

Born: Hong Kong

Nickname: Yuen Lo, Sing Lung, Pao Pao

Height: 5'8.5' or 1.74 metres

He was apprenticed to the China Drama Academy (or opera school) by his parents at the age of six.

He trained in music, dance and traditional martial arts.

He is sometimes credited as: Jacky Chan / Lung Chen / Long Cheng / Lung Cheng / Wellson Chin Chen Yuen Lung / Chen Lung / Sing Lung / Chan Kong-sang / Chen Gang Shen

Visit: for interesting reviews



B. a. 6, b. 7, c. 5, d. 4, e. 3, f. 1, g. 2

C. 1. costume designer, 2. producer, 3. sound recordist, 4. continuity, 5. director, 6. gaffer

D. 5, 7, 6, 1, 3, 4, 2