Documentary analysis

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Documentary Analysis Supersize me

Documentary Analysis Supersize me

Type of documentary Mixed this is as it is made up of many types of documentaries rather than just one. It is a mix of interviews, achieve footage, and observation. It can also be classed as a self-reflexive as Morgan acknowledges the camera and provides a narrative to the documentary.Themes The documentary explores many themes such as..

Healthy VS fast food

Dieting and Health


Impacts of fast food with manipulation from others


Narrative structureThe documentary has elements of a open and closed documentary as at the end of the documentary some questions are still unanswered, for example, the audience does not get to find out whether Morgan Spurlock had an interview with the McDonalds worker. The documentary is however also closed as Morgan completes the challenge he set out to do and the audience see the end result.

The Narrative structure is Linear as the documentary is in chronological order.

CameraworkHandheld shot - This is used throughout the documentary to make the audience feel that they are following Morgan Spurlock in his journey and it also engages the audience. A handheld shot is also used when Morgan is walking through the streets and when he is interviewing people outside, this makes the audience feel like they know him on a personal level. A handheld shot is used to show the footage is original and organic rather than planned out and specific.

Handheld shot

CameraworkTwo shot - A two shot is used in most of the interviews taken so the audience can see Morgan asking the questions rather than just hearing his voice. The audience can also see his expression when he hears the answers which makes them establish a connection with Morgan.

Two shot

CameraworkEstablishing shot Establishing shots are used within this documentary to set each scene. It is used to show a McDonald's before he walks into it which shows the audience that he will be going into there.

Establishing shot

Camera movement Zoom Zooms are used various times within the documentary. For example it is used to show foods on shelves. This is done to give emphasis to the food being unhealthy, while the camera zooms there is usually a voiceover which is related to the image shown.

Mise-en-sceneHospitals Hospitals have been used within the mise-en-scene of the documentary mainly to show the audience the effects of fast food.

Schools Schools are used in the Mise-en-scene to make the documentary seem more realistic as the audience are shown food which is provided in schools and what children eat in schools.


Business places/ offices When Morgan Spurlock interviews doctors or professors of nutrition etc who are helping him in challenge, the background shows who they are. For example, if Morgan is talking with a doctor then the background will usually be in a business place to show who they are.

His home We see Morgan in his home when doing his diet, this puts the audience on a personal level with Morgan as they are going into his home and getting an insight into how the challenge is causing problems for both himself and his wife.

Mise-en-sceneProps Props are used to show the effects of fast food or what the fast food companies sell. The audience see the sizes of the McDonald's food and drink portions and see how they have grown overtime. At the end of the documentary buckets of salt are shown in which Morgan has consumed, this shows the audience the damaging effects of fast food.

SoundDiegetic and Non Diegetic Diegetic - his voice and characters voices within the sceneNon-Diegetic - Music, Archive Material, Voiceovers

Sound effects with animations

McDonalds song

Voiceover The audience hear a phonecall taking place when Morgan is walking down the street however he is not on the phone. The clip then goes into him being on the phone.


Montage editing Montage editing is used to show different McDonald's around the world in a quick order. This is used to remind the audience of the themes of the documentary.

Cut Cuts are used between interviews so the audience does not have to see a blank screen between each interview. The interviews also link in with each other as the same questions are being asked, a cut is used to show they are related.

Archive materialNews report of snow storm in Texas

McDonalds adverts/cartoons

Letters from McDonald's

Government press interviews

Cartoons of how McDonald's food is made

GraphicsName of person being interviewed at the bottom of the screen sometimes with occupation - This is done to show the audience who is being interviewed and therefore letting the audience feel like they know them more by knowing there name.

Cartoons Cartoon pictures of McDonald's are shown in between clips to give each scene a small break. They are also used to remind the audience of the theme of the documentary. Many of the cartoons are scary to show the bad effects of fast food.


Black lines across eyes to hide identity - Black lines are used in clips with the public as some people do not want there identity shown publicly, therefore by doing this they are still in the clip, however there identity is hidden.

GraphicsDay number the number of each day is shown at the bottom left hand side of the page to show the audience what day of the challenge Morgan is on.