It is my joy and privilege to be invited to open this very important Workshop on ‘Documentary Making and Graphic Art Design'. I also joint hand with the Welcoming Speech in acknowledging your presence here this morning, having to put aside times from your busy schedule at your own workplace to join us and for the course of the next two weeks. It is also my special pleasure to acknowledge the presence of our trainer Mr. Aren Baoa, the TV/Video Production Officer from the Regional Media Centre of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) headquartered in Noumea, and his colleagues. I would also like to attribute special thanks to all those who have lent a hand to make this worthy and timely workshop possible, the development partners, the organizers and also to you participants.
I am not here to tell you how to make a good and an enterprising documentary with all its artwork and designs, footages, editing, post production, etc. Rather, perhaps to walk with you on main policy issues conducive to creating an enabling environment to achieve your goals. I am sure that Mr. Baoa will provide you with all that is required to become a good documentary maker, fully equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to be more productive, efficient and of course, responsible either individually or in your own organization. And indeed, making your Boss adores you.
The national information sector policy objectives include:
i) ensuring the existence of a robust, socially and economically viable, sustainable and accountable information services sector;
ii) to promote freedom of expression;
iii) to ensure compliance with the legal limits to freedom of expression;
iv) to encourage media operators and practitioners to comply with professional and ethical journalistic reporting standards.
What these objectives imply, and in terms of documentary making, we need a robust environment in promoting freedom of expression, and at the same time be fully responsible and accountable for the final output or the product of our documentary.
In this regard, documentary making is a complex process of creating documentary projects, which it often refers to what people do with media devices, content, form, and production strategies in order to address the creative, ethical, and conceptual problems and choices that arise as they make documentaries.
There are also clear connections in terms of documentary practice with magazine and newspaper feature articles, even for just the observational piece.
And like filmmaking or short-film activity, documentary making requires great thought process and planning. This planning process helps to streamline things, which ultimately forms the base while making a documentary. A documentary is generally based on non-fictional subjects. Others further state that a documentary stands out from the other types of non-fiction films for providing an opinion, and a specific message, along with the facts it presents. It need not necessarily be done on film; it can even be done through photography. A documentary basically gives facts or attempts to give an accurate representation of the issues. Documentaries are also used as a medium to educate people and help the audience understand the subject from a larger perspective. The documentary can then be presented in different styles. This style can be in form of simple narration, presentation of photographs and interspersing it with interviews of concerned people. So, the basic aim of a documentary film is to document the reality. The style of presentation differs from person to person.
Let me also give you the most important vehicle for your documentary product, is what they call ICT or Broadband. Yesterday, and for so long, we have been relying on the labour of our hands in the land and at sea, in agriculture and fishing, which both have contributed in a subsistence manner, in maintaining and sustaining our livelihood over the past. Now, and I believe, we have a new boat, a new vehicle. Our documentary making can easily ride in these technological advancements, by working together with partners and members around the world at anytime, anywhere, and our work will not be just confined to our limited shores and distances far apart from the market, it will be truly global. The world and the markets are just in your fingertips and in front of your screens.
Indeed, broadband is the next tipping point, the next truly transformational technology. It can generate jobs, drive growth and productivity, and underpin long-term economic competitiveness. It is also the most powerful tool we have at our disposal in our race to meet the Millennium Development Goals, which are now just five years away.
I am outlining these guidelines before you so that you are aware of the environment around your work and how they will assist your work to contribute building our country and our economy.
I wish you all an enjoyable and fruitful Workshop.
Tu'a ‘Ofa Atu
Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2010