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  • 4 months ago
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  • 4 months ago

How efficient have my methods been throughout the proses?

•I feel that the use of comments from the survey relevant to each question, help to structure the layout of the conclusive reports.
•Being able to gather and structure points which support each other but also some which contrast these arguments, I felt gave the report more depth, as you were able to look at different perspectives of the same question, however still with understanding and confidence in the reliability of each argument. I think this was particularly helpful as you are able to make a better informed decision on each point.
•Many of my questions are answered clearly, at least with an ethical perspective from my interview. I think that to make this more reliable, next time I would use a focus group as they would be able to give me an equally deep, but wider answer to each of the questions.
•I also feel that my methods of surveying were not as varied as they could have been, even though I distributed them on multi-platforms. The demographics were rather condensed, and this may mean that some of my assumptions about the population’s beliefs on matters are not as accurate as they could have been. Next time, therefore, I will be very careful to ask an equal number of men and women from more spread age ranges.
•I think that the arrangement of my sources was not as well planned as I could have done. For example in question two, there is much change in opinion on the conclusion of the matter, which resulted in no clear answer to this question. Next time I will skim all of my research and sort it into, positives for the question, negatives and alternative views.
•Another amendment I would like to make from question 2, is that the ethical opinions seem to conflict with the legalities. Next time I would like to conduct further research into why this is and see what the larger variety in options of the subject could be.
•There is also an issue I feel with the large disagreements between the answers given in questions 2 and 3. These are asking around a similar theme and yet receive opposite answers. Next time I would like to investigate why this is.
•At the beginning of question 3, there is some confusion around the lean of the argument, particularly due to the results of the survey. I think this may be because of poor phrasing of the question. Next time I will work harder to make the questions more easily understandable, especially for those with no knowledge on the subjects.
•In question 4 there was a lot of feeling of justification, if the subject was presented with a bias. However this is illegal. As many were not aware of this, it made the results rather misleading. Next time I feel I should make the answering the survey aware of this matter, though this type of error I do not think could have been foreseen.
•For question 5, I think it was interesting having an answer which was largely based around the ethics, as I was really able to get into this issue, and look at people’s opinions. Next time I think it would be interesting to have a question which is largely a legal matter to counterbalance this.
•I do feel however in question 5, I used too many comments from the survey perhaps.
•Finally, I feel that perhaps question 6, being the final section of the report could have been more conclusive, however I think that as this is such an extensive analysis, it was appropriate to have mini conclusions at the end of each slide.
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  • 4 months ago


•[1] - Survey, quote [taken from the survey titled “Filming Illegal Activities for Documentaries Questionnaire” and documented below, these are quotes from written comments
•(i) “they [filmmakers] are simply documenting it”
•(ii) “its like the news in a film”
•(iii) “it would be unfair, no one would agree to be in documentaries”
•(iv) “it is a breach of one’s human rights”
•(v) “it would support the allegations put against them”
•(vi) “it is a core source of evidence”
•(vii) “usually filmed to be shown in a bad light”
•(viii) “can be shown to look negative”
•(ix) “documentaries are there to show us what happens behind the picture”
•(x) “they are there to show real life, a lot of which is illegal”
•(xi) “It’s all gross”
•(xii) “no, because sensitive topics still need awareness to try and stop them”
•(xiii) “No, it is important to understand the good and the bad”
•(xiv) it’s a documentary, not instructions”
•(xv) “some who are easily influenced may find illegal practises on film to “inspire” them”
•(xvi) “the more crime people see, the more they think they can get away with”
• (xvii) “won’t be portrayed in a positive light”
•(xviii) “there are cases, such as James Bulger”
•[2] – Survey, statistic [taken from the survey titled “Filming Illegal Activities for Documentaries Questionnaire” and documented below, these statistics have been interpreted and presented using Excel.
•(i) “if many illegal activities were not allowed to be shown in documentaries, would there be a lot of crime the nation is unaware of?”
•(ii) “Are documentaries important in discovering and investigating new crime?”
•(iii) “can documentaries be used as evidence for illegal activities against individuals in court?”
•(iv) “What illegal activities have you seen in documentaries?”
•(v) “Do you think any are inappropriate for documentaries?”
• (vi) “Do you think this “new knowledge” can be advocating future crime?”
•(vii) Do you feel that illegal practises on film can be damaging for impressionable viewers?
•(viii) Can the filming of illegal activity be seen to be condoning it?
• [3] Interview [listed below, with experienced documentary maker Ken McGill”
•(i) client lawyer confidentiality
•(ii) it depends on filmmaker…  If they are very ambitious they will overlook more criminality
•(iii) Issues of police raids- on filmmakers for evidence
•(iv) Informed consent, if you miss represent subjects they can take you to Ofcom and ban the footage. This is not always helpful for filmmakers.
•(v) Ofcom do have guide lines concerning this… you must apply to Ofcom for permission for secret filming and justify why you are doing this
•(vi) Are protecting sources more important than saving lives, in some cases, but this is always a case to case basis
•(vii) There would be an issue in court with solicitors gaining access to the film. However if there are no privacy issues around the film, then the channel may well offer up their rushes to the police. This is where the filmmaker must question, if your subject has done something wicked, are you going to be condoning it by remaining silent?
•(viii) This is a legal issue, however it is also still down to the ethics of the doc maker. Sometimes the court will force the filmmakers to let them use their rushes for the proceeding of law and the defence of the nation
•(ix) You cannot condone any illegal activity, however it still depends on the context, example, Nelson Mandela.
•(ix) The power of film
•The Ransom Note., before the 25.03.14, accessed 2.04.14
•[5] Case study [Documentary analysis of the film From Addiction to Recover, by Russell Brand, documented below]
•[6] Source 12
•“The Admiral”, 14.12.13, accessed 2.04.14
•Belinda Baldwin, late 2010, accessed 1.04.14
•[8] Source 7
•Mrs Curran (SIS), 26.03.14, accessed 27.03.14
•Desktop-documentaries, 2008, exact author not stated, accessed on 26.03.14
•Netpol, an internet police monitoring body, 27.07.12, accessed 23.03.14
•Melanie Mahony, 6.03.13, accessed 27.03.14
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  • 4 months ago
  • 1

Can the filming of illegal activity be seen to be condoning it?

•Looking back on the past questions, there may be some reason to argue that the filming of illegal activities could be felt to be condoning it. I asked this in my survey also, and felt that the comments were unusually mixed. [1(xiv)] “it’s a documentary, not instructions”, this supports the idea that the filmmaker does not condone themselves committing the crime or promotes it to others. However whilst this might not be the direct ethical feelings of the filmmaker, there may be unintentional indirect messages of advocating criminality put across in a film. This view is seen particularly through comments such as [1(xv)] “some who are easily influenced may find illegal practises on film to “inspire” them” and [1(xvi)] “the more crime people see, the more they think they can get away with” this would support the idea that impressionable viewers may copy the activities they watch. This could be interpreted to imply that the filming of criminal behaviour not only condones it in some lights, but also increases the chances of people following in the footsteps of those they watch on the screen, as show characters can easily become unintended roll models. There are also however comments to counter this, such as [1(xvii)] “[bad behaviour] won’t be portrayed in a positive light”, suggesting that those seen to be criminals will also be viewed as the bad, mislead characters in the program. Interestingly however this point was made by one volunteer [1(xviii)] “there are cases, such as James Bulger”. This reminds us that there have been damaging stories of young children copying the acts they have watched on TV or in films, though this is not necessarily direct from documentaries. This as a general idea is also supported by the wider question of, “Do you feel that illegal practices on film can be damaging for impressionable viewers?” the results from which can be seen on the black chart [2(vii)].  However, this alone does not suggest that filming illegal activities is condoning it.
•Looking to the Orange Chart [2(viii)], which asks this direct question, we can see that the majority of those I asked felt the same, that filming crime is not promoting crime. This is supported by my case study [5], in which there is the use of the sad backing music to help to create a feeling of sympathy for those affected by the disease of addiction, however the constant negative language used by the presenter to describe and disassociate addicts shows that there is certainly no positivity or glamour around the subject. Another example from my case study [5] is the justification for the slightest promotion of criminal behaviour, for example whilst there is some excited language around the issue such as “excited” and “fast heart beat”, this is contrasted by enough negative descriptions of “the pointless addiction” to sway every audience away from the issues. Further the stereotype the show portrays repeatedly of the subjects they are displaying leads the audience to feel discus towards the crimes and I do not see how this particular documentary, in anyway condones the illegal activities it does display. There is a clear idea from the descriptions of “obsession”, “addiction”, “depression” and “low self-esteem” surrounding the abuse of illegal substances that it is bad, and is further described, as “There is no point to it, other than being an idiot”
•To counter this however, as it really must depend on context, there are examples of documentaries condoning their contained crimes. Source 11[4], whilst not directly promoting crimes, it does introduce the humanitarian element of charity and pity, which would suggest to views to perhaps over look some of the aspects of the crimes committed in the film, as they are made to better more peoples lives than they effect negatively. A more direct idea of this is seen in source 12 [6], in which there is the clear promotion of illegal substances being used in medical cases. This is a hugely debatable subject, as there is research, which on the whole is believed to be inconclusive. I think that this type of advocating in a film is justified, as it is asking to commit what is currently seen as a crime, to save people’s lives. However, the general discussion around the matter of illegal substances in this film seems to be put, on the whole in a good light, which could therefore, particularly for impressionable viewers, promote the use of such substances.
•Looking at this from a different perspective, I asked this question to Ken in the interview. He remarked [3(ix)] “You cannot condone any illegal activity, however it still depends on the context, example, Nelson Mandela.” As a film made about the activist in a positive light at the time, would have been viewed as partaking in terrorist plans. Therefore I feel the bounders of film’s ethics and legalities are entirely down to context and the interpretations of many of these are the responsibility of the filmmaker. Therefore I hope that the documentary makers of tomorrow have good morals, as there are vast grey areas surrounding what is right and wrong in documentary.

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  • 4 months ago

Is there a limit to what is right to show in a documentary?

•I feel that whilst there may be some important legal issues behind this question, essentially it is an ethical debate. Looking again to the responses from my survey, I found comments such as [1(ix)] “documentaries are there to show us what happens behind the picture” suggesting that the film should show a behind the scenes style of truth, therefore leaving nothing important out. Also, [1(x)] “they are there to show real life, a lot of which is illegal” this would suggest that the element of criminality in itself is perhaps not “too much” to show in a film, however other themes may be. Other comments gave a more blunt feel, such as [1(xi)] “It’s all gross” which would give an impression some people do not agree with any of the explicit content of documentaries. To contrast this however others felt that [1(xii)] “no, [there is no limit] because sensitive topics still need awareness to try and stop them” this is a well considered point, and sways the argument I feel to the more practical and humanitarian interpretation of this question, that, as we have seen in previous questions, film can be used as a very powerful tool in society, therefore perhaps by limiting them, you not only limit their power, but also their ability to make an impression on people. This is supported by the comment [1(xiii)] “No, it is important to understand the good and the bad”.
•However to juxtapose this, I also asked people what they had seen, as specific crimes, in documentaries and what they felt was not appropriate. As you can see, the beige chart [2(iv)] shows the crimes people have seen aired, and the black chart [2(v)] shows what they do not feel to be suitable. This conflicts the previous comments, which imply that anything should be shown, if justified, in documentaries. This might connote that though there is a general consensus that anything should have the potential to be shown in a film, perhaps there are undefined guide lines which are judged by the moral of the filmmaker, that allow the audience to feel a little more comfortable. These two charts also reflect this, as they explain nearly opposites in results, meaning that what people don’t feel ethically right to be seen, generally are not.
•With more of a legal perspective on this question, one of the vital guidelines regarding harmful subjects in films, set out by the BBFC, is the idea of “knew knowledge” this is the concept of showing impressionable individuals content which could provoke negative behaviour. If this is believed to be in a film, the rating will be higher, or perhaps some scenes may have to be cut. The orange bar chart [2(vi)] reflects the answers from the direct question, of my survey “Do you think this “new knowledge” can be advocating future crime?” Interestingly about double the questioned group felt that filming crime did. This may therefore suggest that there is a limit, all be it, perhaps an extreme line, legally of what you can show in a film. This would therefore imply that there is only a limit to which the filmmaker can film with a secret or applied licence from Ofcom. Therefore if the filmmaker remains to observe the crimes in which the documentary has involved it’s self, there may be grounds for suggesting that the filmmaker was complicit in the illegal activities. This is a worrying conclusion. However, returning to this question, this resolve would also imply that there is a limit to what is legally and by extent ethically correct to show in a documentary.
•Source 9 [7] also suggests, by interpretation that perhaps there should be a limit to what should be shown in films. This is an article that discuses partly the impacts films have in the modern day, “[there is] social significance [made], and the repercussions go on and on”. If films really do have this much power, then whilst this has the potential to be brilliant for society, there are is also the possibility of many bad outcomes from films, though these may be indirect and unintended by the filmmakers, especially in the theme of criminality in documentaries. Therefore this source would support the ideas in the previous paragraph.
•An example of explicit content in documentaries can be seen in the film I chose for my case study. This film shows at time the use of extreme intravenous class A substances, with some rather disturbing imagery. The scenes depicted here are largely as explicit as drug addictions stretch and so do lead one to question if there is a limit of showing images which offend, compared to showing films which trigger ideas.
•To consider this all however, I think it is important to reflect on a comment from the interview, in which Ken said there is almost nothing greater than [3(ix)] “The power of film!” therefore filmmakers really do have a responsibility, perhaps if not so much legally but ethically.

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  • 4 months ago

Do documentaries ever help those involved in illegal activities?

•Looking again to my survey for the direct answers of the ethical opinions of this subject, I have found that people largely feel that documentaries do not help those involved in illegal activities featured in the film. This response is suggested by comments such as [1(vii)] “[illegal activities are] usually filmed to be shown in a bad light” suggesting that the filmmaker will not want to promote the unlawful content of the film and therefore by placing a perhaps necessary bias on the film there would be no positive interpretations of the criminal behaviour. This is further supported by other comments, such as [1(viii)] “[these activities] can be shown to look negative” therefore further discouraging this type of conduct and not going to assist those committing the filmed crimes.
•However, there is also evidence, which suggests that this may not always be the case legally. As I mentioned in source 7 [8] earlier, there is a great amount of protection around presenting subjects, especially those who have consented to the show and may hold privacy contracts, being presented in a fair and specifically “non-bias” light. This means that if a filmmaker purposefully tried to portray an individual in a bad light to by extent make the crime appear bad, there are potential grounds for those involved in the film to sue the directors or producers. Therefore the ethical opinions of those I surveyed and the guidelines of the law do conflict a little.
•On the other hand, there have been examples of film being used as a basis for finding the human element in crimes, such as the case discussed about half way through the article of source 9 [7], which speaks about how a film was used in a court of law to sway the jury away from giving the death penalty in one example, however in another, and incidentally by a caused effect from this previous case, it meant another individual was sentenced. This is dose not only make one realises the power and the potential of film, but also the responsibility the filmmaker has in presenting their subjects, hence reinforcing the importance of the guidelines set by Ofcom and discussed above. Further though there is the moral of the filmmakers to regards, as in a sense they have on their conscious the death of the accused.  
•Another more optimistic example of documentaries helping those involved in crimes is in source 11 [4], which follows the story of a group of illegal immigrants on their attempt to cross international boarders to save their families. This is a very moving and moral based themed film, which draws on aspects of human sympathy and wider humanity. This means that whilst the families in the film are identified and potentially jeopardise their positions in another country by releasing the film, it is also a brilliant way of telling such unique and dramatic stories as illegal immigration, which is a huge current topic of today. Further though, one could interpret this as having negative effects on illegal immigration as a whole, as certain methods of avoiding officials and detection will be exposed. Perhaps in this case then there are positive and negative outcomes of this film. However, to argue directly, the illegal activities carried out during the filming of this documentary were not aided by the filming of them, so perhaps this source would support the initial comments of this slide also.
•Source 12 [6] can also be interpreted to be perhaps helping those involved in illegal activities. Here there is a clear positive opinion on illegal substances and hence the theme of the documentaries not only condones this behaviour under certain circumstances, but advocates the activities. One could interpret this, as though the promoters of the issue are not criminals, far from it they are mainly doctors and research professionals, however there is an illegal element behind this, which these substances are prohibited, and so perhaps this film is really attempting to promote the substances by extension for recreational use also. This is quite controversial and is potentially radical for impersonal viewers. Though this may be an issue behind this film, it was still released and for an independent film, has done very well at the box office. This is an example however I feel, if interpreted correctly, of documentaries helping those involved in the unlawful activities.
•A more abstract reflection of this question was made clear by my case study [5], which explains the point that those who have committed crimes often need help, and perhaps that the law has interpreted their “disorders” in the wrong way. The documentary I analysed for my case study questions whether addiction is really a crime, and if it is actually a disability, that should be treated in the same way as other disabilities. Therefore, by following their own ethos, the presenter of the show attempts to help those in difficult situations towards recovery. In the long run this could save hundreds of lives if addicts were given the right support to recovery they need. Through the funding and persistence of the production crew and the presenter on the documentary, they were able to persuade an addict to commit to a recovery cause in rehab. This shows how documentaries can really help criminals in the most unexpected and positive ways. In this sense, documentaries can help those involved in criminal activities in them, but in a more humanitarian nature, by trying to guide them back to a constructive life. This was a very interesting interpretation of the question I feel, and makes the genre feel somewhat more effective as a positive instrument in society.
•However we decide the interpret the conclusion of this question however, it is considered a general consensus that, as it states in source 9 [7], the effects and impressions made by films of today will go “on and on”, whether this is for better or worse.
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  • 4 months ago

Can documentaries be used as evidence for illegal activities against individuals in court?

•Again regarding my survey, I have found that whilst moral opinions suggest if this should be a matter or not, it has more been presumed that it is and simply commented on, for example people stated arguments such as [1(v)] “it would support the allegations put against them” and [1(vi)] “it is a core source of evidence”, this would suggest that largely people feel that this is a useful source of evidence and that those who need to be prosecuted in court are guilty anyway, and if the footage only aides in their conviction, it has been useful in the legal process. However these remarks are in large contrast to those suggested on the previous slide, explaining that film should not be used in this manor. Therefore I have found this area to have conflicting points. This is also expressed by the above direct question being asked in the survey [2(iii)]. As you can see by the results, they support this contrasting argument also.
•Controversially, this question can be used in an unexpected manor, as highlighted by source 5 [10]. Here is explained how violent stop and search’s should be filmed by passers by to help those being miss-treated at a later stage. I think that this demonstrates how film can be used in original and unexpected cases. However this source and evidence does not directly apply to documentary, though it proves how film can be used effectively in court. I think that this is a very strong source of evidence in a court case like this, however there was no broadcast element involved and there were hence no need for release forms or contracts concerning privacy. Another example of a similar case is clear in source 6 [11], where there is a passionate article about the attached, supportive and powerful video, which shows a homophobic police officer in Australia tackling an innocent partygoer. Without this video evidence there would have been much room for the police officer to deny and fight his case, however with this video there are little grounds for him to escape charges. On the other hand this is still not documentary footage and so whilst this was used to convict the guilty, it does not answer this question directly, either morally or ethically.
•With more of a legal perspective on this case, we are able to gather from source 9 [7] that whilst, as we discussed in the previous question, it is illegal for solicitors to pressure filmmakers into allowing them access to their materials, particularly around contracts of privacy, release forms and children, that this is still an act which is accrued out and so much so that there is a big grey area of debate surrounding it on the internet. However, as so many lawyers to pursue this process it would suggest that it is not illegal, once the footage has been acquired, to use it as evidence for or against and individual or organisation in court. This I feel is quite controversial in it’s self, as whilst the legality of it dis-encourages lawyers from using this method, it can in theory be the most effective way of proving the truth and so would hence encourage them to use loopholes perhaps to gain such precious evidence. This point was also raised in the interview [3(vii)] “There would be an issue in court with solicitors gaining access to the film. However if there are no privacy issues around the film, then the channel may well offer up their rushes to the police. This is where the filmmaker must question, if your subject has done something wicked, are you going to be condoning it by remaining silent?” which largely supports the conclusions I have made throughout this slide from the evidence above. Therefore I feel this helps to make this point stronger. This point is then continued, “This is a legal issue, however it is also still down to the ethics of the doc maker. Sometimes the court will force the filmmakers to let them use their rushes for the proceeding of law and the defence of the nation” this rather summaries the general consensus above and also gives a clearer outline on the legal element of this case. I think it is interesting however how the closing point explains that the law, if need be can force a filmmaker to give them access to their footage. This in a sense shows their power, and how despite all of the ethical fights, the legal aspect is always the most important. I think it is also relevant to consider however the different scales to which this may apply, as I gave an example of earlier, and Ken does in the above quote, if people’s lives are at risk for the sake of a documentary maker’s rushes, it is probably good that the law have the power to demand them.
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  • 4 months ago

If a documentary maker promises to keep their subject’s identity privATE, to what extent can this interfere with the law?

•From my research I feel again that it is important to look at the survey, as this is where I was able to get the direct ethical opinions from a wide demographic on this exact question. Some of the quoted response included answers such as [1(iii)] “it would be unfair, no one would agree to be in documentaries” and [1(iv)] “it is a breach of one’s human rights”. Both of these answers were given by individuals in the lower age brackets, 17-21, suggesting that if not this age in particular, but most of those who completed the questionnaire, felt that it was morally wrong to release a one’s filmmakers to the police. This is an argument, which has been a grey area in the court for years, and alike to many of the issues surrounding documentaries, they are judged on a case by case basis. For example, on a matter of small time drug dealing, it would be unlikely that a court would pressure a production company for their rushes and sources on a documentary displaying crime, especially if it is justified and the team applied for a licence for this type of filming, for example secret filming from Ofcom. However, if it were a case of national terrorist threat, then there would be little a team would be able to do concerning privacy of their subject’s identities and rushes.

Though we can see that people feel it is not right for courts, to, generally speaking, demand access to information which is supposed to be exclusive to the filmmaker, there have been cases where this moral has been ignored and unsurprisingly this is usually when matters are over large sums of money than human moral. This is explained in brief in the Interview [3(iii)] “[there have been] Issues of police raids- on filmmakers for evidence” suggesting that can be an important matter of law. However many of my sources have suggested that if a raid is to take place, it is usually the lawyers who carry it out. Source 9 [7] shows this through the references made by a professional with a masters in documentary making, she states that solicitors will fish and follow filmmakers for evidence of their subjects committing illegal activities in uncut rushes, and that this is wrong. This means that solicitors will pester and follow filmmakers for their original rolls of film, to use as evidence for, but most likely against individuals and organisations in court. If those involved in the film have signed privacy and release forms, then this is an illegal actively in its self that the law enforcers are trying to carry out. Not only does this source back the moral answers found from the survey but it also states that pursuing information of this nature is morally incorrect.
•This is further expressed by source 7 [8], which explains the legalities of a subject’s privacy rights and not presenting your them with bias. We are able to cross reference this with information from the interview[3(iv)] which goes to making this a very strong point when considering this question, “Informed consent, if you miss represent subjects they [your subjects] can take you to Ofcom and ban the footage. This is not always helpful for filmmakers.” I feel however that this is very fair, and whilst it is in place to protect individuals in the films, I also feel this effectively protects the integral respect of the documentary genre, as filmmakers have the freedom to create documentaries about controversial subjects and know that their sources should be kept safe, but further they are not allowed to miss-represent those who appear in them.
•There are many general privacy laws however, particularly regarding the issue of children. This can extend to individuals protection when dealing with the issue of illegal activities on film. For example, from source 3[9] this matter was emphasised and further, it was explained that there is a great importance of release forms. If these are not provided then those concerned can sue you at a later date, regardless of the illegal activities, and more frustratingly, can have your footage banned. These details are also outlined in the interview [3(v)], in which Ken says that “Ofcom do have guide lines concerning this… you must apply to Ofcom for permission for secret filming and justify why you are doing this” This, I feel, is all fair and means that whilst filmmakers have freedom, they should not and for the majority cannot exploit members of the public without valid justified reasons, or those in their films. This is almost like moral in law.
•Finally, reflecting on this question I think it is appropriate to ask another question to it, which was raised in the interview (3[vi)] “Are protecting sources more important than saving lives, in some cases, but this is always a case to case basis”. Therefore in short there is no direct answer to this grey area of the law or our ethics.
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  • 4 months ago

Should documentary makers report the activities they uncover and record?

•A clear way of finding an ethical answer to this question was through the use of my survey. From this I was able to gather that many people felt that “they [filmmakers] are simply documenting it”[1(i)] this suggests that largely it is believed that they are neither obligated to report it nor to allow it to go unnoticed. However some may argue that by filming a crime with the intention of broadcast, they are reporting it in the long run. Another point also from the survey supports this, “its like the news in a film”[1(ii)] stating that by documenting the crime the filmmaker is indirectly reporting it. Further, it could be argued that this is more effective than simply telling the police, as it alerts the entire nation to the matter, instead of just the law. This is interesting as it considers who should be informed about crime as a whole.
•Looking at the orange chart[2(i)], showing the results from the question on my survey of, “if many illegal activities were not allowed to be shown in documentaries, would there be a lot of crime the nation is unaware of?”, we are able to see that there is a noticeable amount of people who further feel that documentaries are informative and therefore go towards notifying the nation of crime. The good effects of this can also be an argued however, as some may feel that it alerts people to new crime. This question has been addressed on slide 8. Regarding the black chart[2(ii)] we are able to further see the results from my survey, asking “Are documentaries important in discovering and investigating new crime?”, this chart rather conflicts the previous results, and implies that maybe it is the sheer number of crimes we are made aware of by documentary films, and not knew knowledge, which as a factor, is felt, at least by Ofcom, to be a dangerous source of information as it can lead to giving impressionable individuals new ideas.
• Considering however the legal aspect of this question, we should look to the interview I held, which discusses  “client lawyer confidentiality” [3(i)]- though this is general, as it really depends on a case by case basis. It would seem whilst there is a large issue of this client confidentiality, that films have been made in recent years containing illegal activities and yet have not been reported. This is shown clearly by source 11[4], which is an article explaining the release of a new controversial feature length documentary. It would suggest to follow a group of illegal immigrates on there mission to cross international boarders to get their families to safety, an exciting an compelling idea, however as this film was created on a very independent budget, much of the content was not passed by officials and so there where clear crimes committed here. On the other hand, one may argue that this is a human matter and as no one is being harmed and it is more a film about survival, it is a highly ethical issue of whether to prosecute those involved in the film, including it’s subjects.  This would therefore suggest that it is not essential to report filmed illegal activities, particularly in an instance like this.
•Whilst the above source has avoided the legal aspects of this question, from my case study [5] it has been suggested that it is perhaps easier when compiling a documentary containing illegal activities, to instead of filming all new material, source as much relevant archive material as possible. Source 12 [6] also suggests this, through the clear relevant use of much dated film, creating a feel of historic culture. In this instance I feel it is a more effective way of creating the theme of the film, than using newly recorded footage. This is also helpful as it is generally much cheaper and quicker than gathering all your own recordings if you can acquire copy rights.
•There is also a more controversial opinion to consider, some documentaries look at challenging the law it’s self. Therefore in this instance, it is likely that the view the film is trying to push is shared by the filmmaker or director. This means that they may be willing to go to more extreme lengths to acquire their footage and may also believe that the actions they take to do this are not in themselves against the law. This is supported by my case study[5], which carries the message of addiction not being simply a crime but more of a disorder, this is stated very clearly through the quote “Addicts understand and professionals don’t” This hence challenges whether this subject is even illegal. This theme of completing controversial methods to achieve one’s film is expressed in the Interview[3(ii)], in which Ken says “it depends on filmmaker… If they are very ambitious they will overlook more criminality” This would begin to imply that perhaps some filmmakers become complicit in the crime, and therefore would be highly unlikely to report it, even if it went against their morals.

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  • 4 months ago