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Comparison of Documentaries: Blackfish, Hoop Dreams, Super Size Me

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Blackfish, Hoop Dreams and Super Size Me are three very informative documentaries. They are all different types of documentaries such as nature documentary, participatory documentary, etc. These documentaries vary in different ways, such as how Blackfish is about a killer whale “trained” to do stunts in SeaLife/SeaWorld, however the whale unexpectedl kills one of the trainers. The hoop dreams is about two boys wanting to become a star NBA player, and Super Size Me was about someone being on a McDonald’s only diet and seeing what the side effects were.

Blackfish is a nature documentary of a performing killer whale named Tilikum, killing a SeaLife/SeaWorld trainer, unexpectedly. This documentary stated that the orca was trapped in the same cage for 30 years, as they captured/kidnapped him when he was about 2 years old. This orca became the star of SeaLife. He was trained to do stunts with humans, and he was known to be a peaceful orca. Until one day, a trainer slipped into the pool, and the 3 killer whales started to pull her down. The witnesses then realised it was Tilikum, as Tilikum had a bent tail. Everyone was shocked, as Tilikum had been the star and everyone never would have expected this to happen. The documentary utilised a range of different techniques such as voiceovers, statistics, footage of the situation, eye witnesses and some sound effects added through the editing. All these techniques helped create and change the mood of the documentary

Hoop Dreams is an American documentary film directed by Steve James in 1994 and produced with Kartemquin Films by James, Frederick Marx and Peter Gilbert. This follows the storey of two high school students from Africa-America in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players. Originally intended for the Public Broadcasting Service to be a 30-minute short film, this eventually resulted in five years of recording and 250 hours of footage. She debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994, where she won the Best Documentary Audience Award. Hoop Dreams is the only documentary film nominated for Best Film Editing at the Academy Award. It received high critical and popular acclaim, despite its length and unlikely commercial genre, and grossed over $11 million worldwide. The film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, two African-American teenagers recruited by a Westchester, Illinois, St. Joseph High School scout, a predominantly white high school with an excellent basketball program, featuring NBA’s great Isiah Thomas. Agee and Gates come from poor communities in Chicago, Illinois, African-American. Gates lived in Cabrini–Green while he lived in West Garfield Park with his parents. There were many physical and social obstacles in their journey. This documentary was shot over the course of five years. This documentary used many different film techniques such as footage of the progression, voiceovers, and they added music and transitions to different scenes using editing. These film techniques helped change the mood of this at any time.

Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed and starred by an independent American filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock’s film follows a period of 30 days from February 1 to March 2, 2003, during which he only consumed McDonald’s meat. Spurlock ate three times a day at McDonald’s restaurants, eating each item on the menu of the chain at least once. During the test, Spurlock ate an average of 20.9 megajoules or 5,000 kcal a day. In a healthy balanced diet, an intake of about 2,500 kcal is more generally recommended for a man to keep his weight. As a result, Spurlock, then 32, achieved a 13% increase in body weight, increased his cholesterol to 230 mg / dL, and endured mood swings, sexual dysfunction, and fat accumulation in his liver. It took fourteen months for Spurlock to lose all the weight gained from his experiment using a vegan diet controlled by his wife, a chef specialising in vegan gourmet dishes. This documentary was intended for people who love junk food, and it is to show them how dangerous it could be if people rely on junk food too much. There were many film techniques in this documentary such as transitions, music, sound effects, and many other computer generated effects. These different techniques helped create and change the mood of the documentary at any given time.

The recommendations for these documentaries are all different. Blackfish is recommended for more mature audiences who want to see and be informed of the mistreatment of animals, especially killer whales/orcas. Hoop Dreams is recommended for people who enjoy basketball, and enjoy watching this type of documentary, and Super Size Me is recommended for people who love junk food a lot, so they can see all the effects that junk food releases into their body.    

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Comparison Of Documentaries: Blackfish, Hoop Dreams, Super Size Me. (2021, November 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from
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