Amber Films

The Amber Film workshop combined drama and documentary forms and conventions of representation to tell the story of a real group of people. Using one film example from one of the filmmakers whose work has been screened in this unit, undertake a close textual analysis of the film to demonstrate how the filmmaker’s choice of subject matter has influenced the formal qualities of their work.
Drama is defined within the dictionary as “A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action.” (Drama, 2003)
Documentary, within the same dictionary, is described as: “A work, such as a film or television program, presenting political, social, or historical subject matter in a factual and informative manner and often consisting of actual news films or interviews accompanied by narration.” (Documentaries, 2003)
When these two genres are combined, it creates a new type of film, known commonly as a Drama Documentary. It combines the codes and conventions of both usually by portraying a real life event in realistic ways, though everything is scripted. It is this genre for which Amber Films is most famous.
“Sometimes, the ways in which the images and sounds were produced will not distinguish sharply between a fictional film and a documentary. Documentaries may include shots of prearranged or staged events, while fiction can incorporate unstaged material.” (Bordwell and Thompson, 2006)
Amber Films was formed in 1968 from a meeting of film students who wanted to create films with a deep sense of social realism.
On the Amber Online site, they have an excerpt from the Daily Telegraph describing the Amber Collective as “a co-operative too devoted to equality to acknowledge the existence of a director or cameraman.” (Amber Films, 2006)
The above quote highlights what is most interesting about the Amber Collective. They believe that all the...