What Differentiates A Feature Film From A Documentary

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It would be a huge generalization tobuy Rare movies DVD online. And group everything that plays on a screen in the homogenous category of film. Even though both feature films and documentaries are films per se, they’re vastly different from each other in terms of form, technique, and thematic focus.


It’s easy to distinguish a feature film from other kinds of films, including documentaries, based on the subject matter that’s discussed and its purpose. Documentaries are predominantly educational in nature and aim to inform audiences about a specific issue. This is why they’re made part of the curriculum at educational institutions like primary and secondary schools.

On the contrary, feature films are scripted and filmed purely for entertainment. Their subject matter is mostly fictional and is depicted through a narrative or event.

Let’s discuss a few other metrics that set them apart.

Documentary

If a film deals with facts, statistical reports, or scientific findings, it’s undoubtedly a documentary. Documentaries offer a realistic rendition of real life events, characters, social conditions, and human reactions. Since the aim is to educate and inspire, the veracity of facts and events is of the utmost concern.

They can also be influenced by historical events which were of monumental importance. Be it a socio-political movement or an ecological phenomenon, this genre is designed to offer a comprehensive illustration of both. This makes them rich memoirs that chronicle events of or archive the development of a movement.

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Since documentaries cater to a wide audience, they mostly restrict their focus to matters of public concern rather than private issues. Even though documentaries follow a script for guidance, they may include recordings and clips of real life occurrences which depict reality as is. This is what makes the genre more realistic than entirely scripted films. The faces seen in documentaries are real people, who are shot in real places instead of made-up film sets.


Feature Film

Often made for commercial entertainment, this genre of films focuses on glamour, action, stunts, cinematography, acting, and appearances. Like movies, some standard subject choices in feature films can be classified as horror, thrillers, comedy, and romance.

As much as documentaries are grounded in reality, these films offer an escape from it. Directors aim to make audiences forget about their real life problems and enjoy their screen time for the length of the feature film. The plots are scripted and may borrow themes from fiction or fantasy. Producers have the creative freedom to let their imagination go wild with special effects, scenes, and sets.

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This genre is far from spontaneity, as everything has to go according to the script. Scenes are rehearsed and re-rehearsed to the director’s satisfaction, and the end goal is to make the depiction seem as visually appealing as possible. The cast enacting the scenes appears as fictional characters and none of their identities in the film are their real ones.

Since they’re the backbone of commercial success in cinema, they have a considerably large budget to work with. This allows them to shoot their scenes at international locations and hire state-of-the-art machinery for stunts and special effects.

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