About the Genre
Experts agree that the term “mockumentary” is derived from the combination of the words “mock” and “documentary.” * Author stares at the camera. *
This filmmaking genre uses documentary conventions to tell a fictional story, using both improvisation and scripted characters and storylines. Its essential style staples include interviews with characters facing the camera (aka “talking heads”), moments of breaking the fourth wall, and strong voiceovers on top of key footage.
Check out the example of mockumentary in this article from Vanity Fair.
History of Mockumentaries
Silent films began parodying real-world events and figures in fictional documentaries—like the 1924 film “The Last Laugh,” directed by F.W. Murnau. While not a traditional mockumentary by today’s definitions, some consider it an important early example for its impactful authenticity.
In a (more recent) defining cultural moment, “Borat” (2006) satirized and explored complex social and political issues through the eyes of a Kazakhstani journalist. Since then, the genre has become more popular than ever, with streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu allowing filmmakers to experiment and produce award-winning work, like American Vandal (winner of a Peabody)! List five of your favorite shows—see? There’s likely a mockie there.
- Modern Family
- The Office
- What We Do In The Shadows
- Best in Show
- Insert your next binge here
Pond5 In Action: What does Pond5 mean?
If “Pond5” means, well, something, then you can bet “Pond5 in Action” means: Inspiration. We produce these monthly shorts to inspire creativity, featuring trending industry topics or techniques. This time, a mockumentary seemed an excellent fit to document the hypothesized origin of our company name.
About Our Mockumentary
Ah, the ancient riddle, the myth—what does Pond5 actually mean? The truth is out there. But, it’s also right here. We embarked on a quest of inquiry, guided by the conviction that there is no better way to complement our community’s creativity than with a mockumentary. Plus, with the sheer breadth and depth of possibilities available in our library, it didn’t matter how crazy the answers got: we had the media to illustrate them. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it!
Mock Loves Stock
What makes stock media and this genre such a winning team?
- Credibility: Since mockumentaries appear as documentaries, stock footage helps create the illusion of a documentary compiled from various sources.
- Versatility: Our library contains a wide variety of footage and audio! (See if you can spot the SFX). There’s plenty to choose from to match any tone and style.
- Context: By incorporating footage from archival or real-world events and locations, filmmakers can create a film that feels grounded in reality, even if the story is entirely fictional. Plus, access to the world’s largest archival library (almost) guarantees you’ll find what you want.
So, how about it? Will you tell a tall tale for the giggles, or will you turn the world upside down with satirical commentary? Either way, we can’t wait to see it.
Explore all the Pond5 content used in our video in our hand-picked collection.