Documentary Storytelling: Methods and Styles


This article explores the significance of storytelling and seeks to choose modes of filmmaking to transmit “reality” or to tell a “true” story. However, the storyteller’s intention, perspective, values, and aesthetic style are integral parts of the story. Therefore, documentary storytelling does not refer only, or even primarily, to films that are narrated. Methods and styles are also story-driven. In some cases storytelling can reflect who you really are. The article shows the storytelling methods that storytellers can choose in expressing them to the viewers. The essential key of the component is the aspect of the story, which approach a story in a different way. The definition of the term “storytelling methods” will be discussed in the first part of the chapter emphasizing the fact and the method of storytelling. In this study, it will be analyzed how storytelling can be used as a tool to expand the storytellers’s point of view and how they choose the storytelling methods. The samples of case studies are The Look of Silence (2014), Citizenfour (2014), Tsukiji Wonderland (2016), By the river (2013) and The Songs of Rice (2014). The paper concludes that storytelling is a powerful tool to represents the reality which choices about subject matter, the forms of expression, the point of view, and so on. The future trend of storytelling in documentary film may alter because storytellers have wider opportunities to select "the story" to tell. It causes the variety of forms and styles to choose. In meantime, hybrid documentaries and transmedia will take a big role in documentary storytelling.

Author Information
Areerut Jaipadub, Bangkok University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon