Manipulation in Documentaries - Supersize Me, the Great White.

980 words 4 pages
Every night when we sit down to watch our much loved Grey’s Anatomy or Desperate Housewives, we know for a fact they are fictional dramas which allow us to escape the reality and boredom of our lives. We also realise the scripted shows use many tactics to manipulate our thinking. The producer does this to position us towards a specific view of life. But what do we expect from a documentary? We know documentaries to be faithful recounts of events; however, these events may be subject to just as much manipulation as the intriguing plots in our addictive shows.

Many documentary makers include their individual cultural assumptions and discourses to distort the truth and position the target audience to react in a desired manner. This
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The documentary uses techniques in order to create a calm ambience and make the shark seem vulnerable. They use relaxing music and bright lighting to create a sympathetic and almost angelic view of the shark. Camera shots are taken under water allowing the audience to see the scenery and true characteristics of the shark. The documentary provides close up shots to shows the sharks facial features and emotions. It also uses long shots to show the entire body and the provide insight into the sharks natural habitat. The documentary uses the feature of exposition to expose the true qualities of the shark in order to manipulate the audience.

Both documentaries possess intertextualities that we are all familiar with. In general, when we see Ronald McDonald we are automatically reminded of McDonalds and their food products. In the Documentary, Spurlock shows Ronald McDonald as an evil clown rather than happy. This represents his negativity towards the restaurant. When watching ‘Great White – Deep Trouble’ our intertextualities towards sharks is that they are vicious man-eating machines like the shark off the movie ‘Jaws’.

Although many facts, graphs and discourses are exposed and explained throughout these two documentaries it does not necessarily mean the producer’s opinion is correct. They simply want to manipulate and position the audience to believe what they say in