Narration/The Poetic Mode
Frozen Planet is a BBC 7 part Docu-Series that focuses on life and the environment in both the Arctic and Antarctic. The Docu-Series is narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Narration is a voice over that is used to deliver a commentary to accompany the scenes that are taking place. For example, in Frozen Planet, David Attenborough will speak the entire show but you will never see his face. He will speak about what is taking place on screen as you watch, also, when he talks about the animal that is being focused on in Frozen Planet, he will give you detailed descriptions about them as a species and their place on the food chain. Narration is essential in Frozen Planet and works very well, the audience become much more interested in watching these animals in their natural habitat when their is somebody narrating and will talk in a way that will grip their attention, without this narration the audience will have no interest as all they are watching is animals doing their own thing, adding a narrator makes things much more interesting. Another example of how narration effects this show in a great way is when we are watching a fight/a hunt between animals, David Attenborough will talk in an excited manner and will make the scene much more fast-pace and interesting, atmospheric music also helps create a tense scene.
This Documentary is in poetic mode. The Poetic Mode is a mode of documentary where there isn’t a typical narrative structure, the focus is more on creating an artistic piece of film rather than telling a story. In poetic documentary filmmaking, particular moods/tone are created usually by the use of music (in this case, narration and music go perfectly together to create tense moods during fight scenes) Frozen Planet is a very aesthetically pleasing documentary, there are constant shots of animals swimming past the camera very peacefully and beautifully, to create a calm atmosphere the filmmakers will put peaceful music over the top of these shots and this will make the scenes seem very beautiful. Just like poetic documentaries, Frozen Planet doesn’t have a typical narrative structure, there isn’t a point they are trying to make, there isn’t a storyline they are following, instead they just observe and talk about what is happening and create it to look very artistic which is why this is a poetic docu-series.