Animating Documentary Modes

Navigating a theoretical model for animated documentary practice

  • Alex Widdowson Royal College of Art


Music & Clowns is an animated documentary that intimately portrays the subjectivity and relationships between my brother, our parents, and myself. This film will function as a case study to facilitate a reflective exploration and practice-informed analysis of some of the theoretical frameworks relevant to animated documentary discourse. Placing emphasis on Bill Nichols’ modes of documentary, I trace the influences, interactions, and specific application that this theoretical topology has had on Music & Clowns. Expanding upon Nichols’ framework by way of visual metaphors, I develop increasingly sophisticated models of the interactions between practice and theory, maintaining Nichols’ topology to integrate live-action and animated documentary traditions.


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Jan 9, 2019
How to Cite
WIDDOWSON, Alex. Animating Documentary Modes. International Journal of Film and Media Arts, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, jan. 2019. ISSN 2183-9271. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 aug. 2019.