Goffman’s ideas can easily be applied to documentary. One application has become a truism: of course, we say, people play versions of themselves appropriate to the documentary circumstances. This is often used to reject the insights offered by specific documentaries because the people are ‘only performing’. But it follows from Goffman’s theories that all that we ever encounter of people is ‘only performance’; that it is impossible to engage the ‘full self’ in any particular encounter. There is always something more, something private, something which cannot be expressed in a particular moment, in a particular frame and keying of that frame. So people often surprise us: when we see an intimate friend in a public role, just as much as when we become intimate with someone whom we first met in a formal situation. Strategic self-presentation leads to an iterative ‘information game’, that is, ‘a potentially infinite cycle of concealment, discovery, false revelation, and rediscovery’ (Goffman 1959: 8).