Home » Arts and Entertainment » Movies

Mockumentaries: Comedy for the Not-So-Serious Thinker

Jun 19, 2008
In the late 1990s the documentary hit it big with the huge successes of A&E's Biography, and the History Channel. Now the not-so-serious offspring of the documentary is all the rage as mockumentary rules the comedy scene.

Mockumentary is a film genre of fiction calculated to parody the non-fiction documentary. The crux of mockumentary humor is usually centered in taking trivial matters very seriously, and mocking those who feel strongly about inconsequential issues.

Mockumentaries are presented as if they were documentaries recording real life using stereotypical documentary techniques such as narrated footage, interviews, talking heads, etc.

The roots of mockumentary go back to the 1950s when radio programs would stage fictitious explorations of foreign planets, but the term mockumentary was not widely used until coined by Rob Reiner, who used it in interviews to describe his 1980s film This Is Spinal Tap.

To give a mockumentary the authentic, true to life feel like that of the documentary, mockumentaries are often unscripted and improvised. The organic structure of the film production is unpredictable, but is part of what gives it charm. Usually there is no laugh tract in a mockumentary, as they tend to lend a canned, prepackaged feel that mockumentaries, like documentaries, avoid.

The new mockumentary genre has become so popular in recent years it has spawned its own film festivals, like it's proud but serious parent the documentary. Three day long festivals are held throughout North America and the UK showcasing the latest indie mockumentaries attracting cult followings.

Some of the most famous and ground breaking early mockumentaries to come out are "The Blair Witch Project" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous," one being humorous and the other scary.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is an irreverent parody of a Minnesota beauty pageant and follows the traditional over the top people-are-stupid mockumentary line.

The Blair Witch Project capitalizes on the current obsession with reality TV. It combines elements of show everything documentary with the urban legend horror stories traditionally told around the campfire to produce a truly frightening effect. These movies helped to define the mockumentary genre as it is today.

Some other notable mockumentaries include All You Need Is Cash (aka The Rutles), parody telling of the Beatles' story, while also parodying documentary makers themselves, 1979. Believe, story of multi-level marketing and a failed pyramid scheme US, 2007. The Big Tease, a Scottish hairdresser's journey to the US for a hairdressing competition. And God Spoke, about a director-producer partnership trying to create the definite cinematic version of The Bible on a shoestring budget US, 1999.
About the Author
Mockumentary (http://believethemovie.com/) is a popular new genre of comedy parodying the documentary. The author Art Gib is a freelance writer.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 207
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources