What is a Mockumentary?
The word “Mockumentary” is a portmanteau of the words “mock” and “documentary”. Not only is is fun and convenient , but the term is in fact, a very concise and accurate way to describe Mockumentaries. Mockumentaries are a genre of film that takes a style of film-making that is generally reserved for the most factual and literal of topics and completely flips it on its head. Mockumentaries generally consist of a fictitious story-line told through a documentary style of film-making. Most mockumentaries are comedies.
Style: Mockumentaries are made to look and feel like a real documentary. This often features interviews and hidden-camera style shots. However, there is one enormous difference between the two. Instead of real-life coverage of real-life events, mockumentaries generally consist of a fictitious story-line portrayed by trained actors. (However some mockumentaries blur the lines between reality and fiction by putting their fictional characters into real life situations with real life people with whom to interact). Mockumentaries are often loosely scripted and rely on the improvisation of their actors for comedic value.
Why? What’s the purpose?: Besides being simply a very entertaining form of comedy mockumentaries often have a very intentional message to share with their audiences. Mockumentaries are commonly used as a medium through which to critique modern culture. By portraying their work through a genre typically reserved for factual information mockumentarians give the viewer a false sense of reality. The characters and events of the film become more believable and relatable to the viewer. Mockumentaries often use exaggerated stereotypes to mock the way some people view and interact with the world. Mockumentaries can be used to mock and critique almost any major part of modern culture; politics, religion, lifestyles, and pop culture trends are all fair game