Watchy watchy catchy stormy…

As part of my research I have been trying to watch examples of documentaries as to gain knowledge on what is out there at the moment. The documentary watched was shown on channel 4 and follows a man who is obsessed with following weather storms around the world. The documentary follows him around the world and from his home in Leicestershire. He has been obsessed with the weather since he was a child. In the programme it also reveals the effect of his obsession on his wife who is extremely reluctant to let him go around the world to follow his crazy lifestyle.

When I went looking for documentary’s to view I went straight for the channel 4 website as this was the first port of call due to the amount of documentaries shown by channel 4. Looking at the array of documentaries listed I found that they all seemed a low brow and that perhaps as a major network channel it may be down to them making documentaries which were big enough to gain an audience and ultimately viewing figures. Topics which were part of the popular culture and ‘in thing’ at the time were all present because people want to see what is interesting and relevant right now. Some even go the lengths to criticise channel 4 for the type of documentaries they publish but I feel as long as they are being true and respectful their documentaries should stand none the less regardless of the content they show.

As for the documentary itself I felt that the characters were shown in a very personal way. As viewers I found it important to really get to know the characters that were being shown. I also felt that the way that the story and sense of time and space was shown correctly although as a documentary it should seem obvious that it should document what is going on play-by-play.

I have also thought about the angle of the piece in which in the programme we see the angle more leaning towards the male character as the title suggests. One way that this could have been changed or could have been interesting may have been focussing more on the wife and how she has lived with a storm obsessive husband. From the programme I found that it contained no bias towards anyone but held a natural stance this way as audiences we can almost ‘sit on the fence’ and observe what is being laid out in front of us.

If I go back to my original point about channel 4 content I think that as documentaries go this was a bit soft in the fact that the topic or indeed the audience doesn’t require any cutting edge, risqué content and that indeed this programme was suitable for all. Again then being channel 4 needs its content to be accessible and watchable for a wider audience and in this case I found it to be a little bit predictable in its genre and its overall concept.

From watching this documentary I think it is worth noting that from what we have seen when TV documentaries is that not necessarily we should follow the constructs that we see every day on TV because everything ends up looking the same and it makes it predictable to follow and accept both a viewer and a creator.

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