FMP Proposal Link: https://vimeo.com/151849366
Online Production Folder Link: http://modernmobiledating.wix.com/documentary
What specific skills or knowledge have you developed to produce CW2? How did you challenge yourself? What would you like to do better? How can you develop your interests/skills further?
This was my initial pitch:
When reading this blog on 10 ways to make a successful film pitch, I feel I have done certain aspects correct with my pitch. (Make Film Teach Film, 2012) For instance, I feel that I have made the genre very clearly defined in the ways in which I describe my documentary throughout. I also feel that I have effectively kept it short and sweet, cramming as much information into a short time as possible whilst still initiating aspects which would want the audience to hear more of the content. However, my pitch is vastly lacking in visual aids. The lack of these are a detriment to the pitch in terms of fully engaging the audience. This is something I will be rectifying in my final pitch. Furthermore, I do not believe I have made the pitch personal enough to myself. I should show my personal connection to the subject matter more obviously to show authenticity. Finally, I should have said “who was the story about” and given further information about my contributors to allow the audience to forge a connection with them.
When watching a video about pitching techniques, it speaks in vast quantities about engaging your audience, something I feel I did poorly. (Make Film Teach Film, 2012) I could improve this through her suggested techniques of creating a killer logline that is one line and has a hook and by perhaps making the presentation more interactive to entertain the audience. Furthermore, I listened to a BBC podcast on giving the killer pitch. Within this podcast they say when they are pitching a “factual thing” that they will have some “territory thoughts but it’s much more of an embryonic conversation“ (Bbc.co.uk, 2012) So, as I am pitching a documentary, perhaps I should be remembering some key information but try to have the interlinking conversation come naturally. This could definitely help in the pitch seem more genuine.
Since I was doing a documentary, I had to deal with the fact that “representing reality deals with meaning meanings and values, interpretations and purposes, not simply with signs and systems“. (Nichols, 1991) So, I have to be careful in what I put forward and think of the implications of what I create. I will had to take this into account when planning the content I wish to use.
Furthermore, I had to start thinking of ways in which I can fund my project. After reading an article about the most successful kickstarter campaigns, I decided that would be my main course of action for funding. (Filmmakeriq.com, 2011) As I can see that a documentary about a current trend (Minecraft) is up there at number 2, it makes me believe that this course of action I am taking is viable. However, I believe I need to have a much more thorough and professional proof of concept artefact to attract more donations, this is a constant throughout all of these projects. This means that marketing has to be an even larger part of my plan of action. “Marketing means promoting what is best about your work, giving buyers a reason to want to own it or rent it.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) As well as giving the audience a reason to donate, I have to continue to challenge myself to ensure the end product is successful so the donators can see their money went to something worthwhile. This means I have to create a marketing technique to ensure the film’s success. This has been done through the plan of entering certain film festivals that I have researched and I will continue to research into marketing techniques, as I have learnt that it is a very important aspect of production from this module.
As I am using a crowdfunding system, I had to create an accurate budget to give credible goals for funding. I found this challenging but I feel I did this successfully. When looking at the Media Production Rate card, I gained a idea of how much everything would cost. (Cumoodle.com, 2012) I then had to think very critically in what I could realistically supply myself and what I need essential funding for. It was challenging but this module has helped me in creating a realistic budget for film. However, I could perhaps develop this skill even further by researching into the specifics of catering costs and travel expenses and get an exact figure rather than just allowing myself a half researched, estimated budget.
Bbc.co.uk, (2012). The killer pitch. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20130702112135669 [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].
Cumoodle.com, (2012). Coventry University Media Production Rate Card. [online] Available at: https://cumoodle.coventry.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/1147655/mod_resource/content/1/Media_Production_Rate_Card_201213.pdf [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
Filmmakeriq.com, (2011). Top 25 Most Successful Kickstarter Film Pitches | FilmmakerIQ.com. [online] Available at: http://filmmakeriq.com/2011/06/top-25-most-successful-kickstarter-film-pitches/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].
Make Film Teach Film, (2012). Pitching your project -tips, hints and killer strategies. [online] Available at: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2012/09/pitching-your-project-tips-hints-and-killer-strategies-to-make-it-count-when-it-matters-most.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].
Make Film Teach Film, (2012). Ten simple ways to make your film pitch more effective. [online] Available at: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/2012/05/ten-simple-ways-to-make-your-film-pitch-more-effective.html [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].
Nichols, B. (1991). Representing reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p.13.
Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p106,
Teenage Gangs of South London is a documentary about crime and the gangs involved in the south of London. It is presented by Ross Kemp and produced by Sky. Whilst this documentary does not explore the same themes I wish to, it does have some stylistic approaches when it comes to the content it produces. After analysing the documentary, I wish to take the following techniques into my own documentary:
Establishing shots when entering new locations
Lots of close ups during interviews to show emotion.
Shallow focus on subjects
Many different locations when conducting interviews, often unconventional (e.g. in a car)
Expert guests involved often
Very controversial questioning to create drama
The Age of Loneliness is a documentary produced by the BBC about dating in the modern era. It follows quite a few different participants throughout it and tells their stories about their dating life and their thoughts throughout. As I will be exploring similar themes within my documentary, I have gained an insight in how to present this theme. I have taken the following from the documentary and I aim to use these techniques myself:
Cut away shots during interviews to other relevant shots.
Shallow focus/close ups during interviews.
Establishing shots in new locations
Introduction about new documentary participants.
Lots of emotional scenes due to subject matter
Ends on an ending thought to leave a memory with the viewer.
Filler music used often
I looked at a few festivals so I could market my film well. One festival that I plan to submit my documentary to is the London International Documentary Film Festival. I chose this film as it is a very popular festival and is search optimised, allowing my film to get even better coverage. It is £24 to enter a film that is under 40 minutes and £34 for a standard film. So, despite whether my documentary goes above or below this limit, it is very feasible for me to enter. Furthermore, the winner of each category will then be entered into consideration for the Annual Academy Awards, which would be fantastic.
I also looked at the Open City Documentary Festival, which is also held in London and has been running for 6 years so far. They run the festival over 6 days and vary the locations in London. They also have 44 different partners, which all would be very good and relevant contacts to be made. The entry price varies between £10-£30 for a student, depending on when you apply, making it very affordable.
Another documentary I looked at was Sheffield Doc Fest. This festival would be very beneficial for me to enter as their main sponsors include ITV, BBC and Sky. Making contacts in any of these companies, or for them to at least be aware of my work would be massive for my personal professional development. To enter this festival, it costs £25.50+VAT for a short and £35+VAT for a feature. The entry fee will definitely be worth the potential contacts I could make.
lidf.co.uk, (2016). London International Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: http://www.lidf.co.uk/ [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
Opencitylondon.com, (2016). Open City Documentary Festival | Open City Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: http://opencitylondon.com/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2016].
Sheffdocfest.com, (2016). Sheffield Doc/Fest: Sheffield International Documentary Festival. [online] Available at: https://sheffdocfest.com/ [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].
As I want to develop a branding for my documentary, I thought it was of my best interest to create a poster to give people a feel for it. I studied a couple of other posters and borrowed ideas from them to ensure mine was of a high standard.
I borrowed aspects from each of these two posters to help in making mine as professional as possible. From spOILed, I mainly looked to replicate a similar theme when it came to the credits as I feel this information is important to show well as often eyes aren’t drawn to it. Whereas, from Oceans, I looked to replicate the simplicity of the main image, as the subject matter is shown very clearly and doesn’t hold any unnecessary information.
Prior to decided which crew members I would require, I looked further into which individual roles exist and what these roles entail. I decided I want a very hands on approach throughout the production of my documentary, thus limiting the size of my documentary team to a quite small one. I would only require small help in each location in order to ensure the shoot goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, therefore not having excess baggage on shoot days.
I used this guide to further understand the roles in depth and to move along my decisions:
For my production, I decided that these roles will be required:
Many of these roles I will undertake myself. I will be the producer and director of my documentary for starters, so I have maximum creative/logistical control over the production. I also feel my editing skills are up to scratch so I will be undertaking the editing in the post production stage. I would probably be able to undertake the stills photography myself also. However, I will have to find camera operators in order to free myself to undertake this role on set. Also, I feel others will have more advanced skills in operating cameras than myself. As long as I impart on them what I need them to capture, I feel it can still match my artistic vision. I also need to find a sound operator. As I am going to be in many interview sessions, having the sound right is absolutely imperative in order to tell each story properly. Finally, a lighting technician I feel is also very important to the production in order to light up the subjects properly, as this is not a field in which I am well versed in.
At the moment, I have two confirmed participants to star in my documentary. These include two males, one 20 and the other 21. These individuals have agreed to take part in the film at some capacity. Whether that will be the ‘a week in the life’ type segment or whether it will be general interviewing about their mobile dating experiences.
Guy Shalev – University of Lincoln – 20.
Sam Nelson – University of Leeds – 21
However, I am looking to get some more females participating to show both sides of mobile dating. I am looking to aim this documentary for the younger male audience, so I feel knowing the female perspective would be something that would intrigue them and so it’s something I will be looking into. Furthermore, I am actively searching for some older participants who are in their early thirties to give another interesting angle in the documentary.
My locations will be mainly in households. As I will be doing a lot of interviewing, it will be done at the comfort of their own homes mainly. As two of my participants go to university, I have done scouting of their homes to ensure that they are viable locations and have attached these pictures below to show that they will be aesthetically pleasing on camera:
However, as I will be doing an ‘a week in the life’ type of filming style for segments of the documentary, there will be a lot of on the fly filming in different locations depending on the person’s schedule. So, I will make sure I attain the correct distribution rights from the locations my subject(s) film in, in order to avoid any legal issues. Finally, I will be scouting studio locations for if i decide to have more formal segments.
Initially, I had the idea to create a piece that would have been a narrative surrounding online dating that created strong emotion in the audience. However, I realised that this might not properly reflect the subject matter properly and I wanted to inform viewers best I could, so changing to a documentary would help this greatly.
When creating one of the artefacts in the first half of the module, about power and control, I got to thinking about modern relationships. This lead me to speaking to a few of my friends and asking how they got into the relationships they are/have been in recently. Interestingly, the majority of people I spoke to said they had had relations with a person from a mobile dating app recently. The fact that this is such a high percentage was intriguing to me and it sparked the idea of investigating this trend. I then decided to take this further after conducting research and finding that Tinder is 84% occupied by 16-34 year olds. I wanted to find out what makes it a viable option to the younger generation by asking questions to individuals and doing an “a week in the life” type thing with a couple of individuals to further explore this topic. Having had experiences myself in this topic, it gives me a good starting ground to know what to ask and show in my documentary.
When I realised that this was my demographic, I started seeing dozens upon dozens of people in this age group always on there phone, perhaps using dating apps or speaking to people they met on dating apps. There would be millions of stories to tell, some good and some bad. For what purpose were they on the apps? How many people have they spoke to? Have they ever dated somebody they met on there? What were their worst memories? This made me set on the idea of telling just a few of these stories and exploring people’s dating lives and this theme to the utmost. I aim to tell both negative and positive sides of these apps and explore the themes as naturally and as intriguing as possible.
Globalwebindex.net, (2015). What to Know About Tinder in 5 Charts. [online] Available at: http://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/what-to-know-about-tinder-in-5-charts [Accessed 15 Jan. 2016].
This is an article about how dating apps like Tinder are destroying romance. They claim that long term romance is being replaced by one night stands and these applications are to blaim. She compares the long grinding romances in Jane Austen novels to bored 21st century singletons who are looking for instant gratification through a few clicks. (Jamieson, 2015) In my documentary, I should look to answer whether this statement is true through asking and observing my contributors.
Catholic News Agency
Like the last article, this one claims a similar message of apps causing the death of romance. However, it should be considered that the article comes from a catholic website and their views will be based on their religious beliefs. The author makes claims that Tinder is a “seriously shallow app that turns people into quickly-judged commodities on a screen”. They then go on to speak to users about their experiences with Tinder. Responses included:
“How is me swiping right on a guy that I find attractive, and swiping left (on those) that I’m not that into any different than someone approaching a guy that I find attractive in a bar? We make snap judgements all the time. Why is it suddenly so much worse if I’m doing it online?” (Catholic News Agency, 2016)
“I think to immediately classify Tinder or any other dating app as a ‘hook-up’ app or as a very bad thing goes against the idea that things are morally neutral,” (Catholic News Agency, 2016)
Again, I should look to confirm or deny these claims through what I present of my contributors.
Business Insider Article
In this article, a man analyses the pros and cons for a range of dating apps from a male’s perspective. These offer a wide range of analysis through a number of apps that can be useful as brief information. (McAlone, 2016) I can use this information when interviewing my male contributors as it will give me the right idea what kind of questioning I should use in terms of what to focus on.
University of Washington Article
In this article it discusses student’s perceptions of dating apps. As I will be targeting my documentary to a younger audience, these documented perceptions are very useful in the creation of my media piece. Inputs include:
“It’s weird where I met him [on Tinder] and I do not tell people where I met him,” (Salgado, 2015)
Showing that perhaps these dating apps are seen as a taboo. I should definitely try and work this into my line of questioning as I feel that this question is very much worth answering and should be interesting for the audience to hear.
This article speaks about how 5,000 users had their information leaked from a HIV positive dating app. These incidents seem prevalent online, with this incident coming within months of the infamous Ashley Maddison leak. (BuzzFeed, 2016) So, I must consider how security of personal information affects how users interact with their applications by perhaps asking it as part of the questioning.
BuzzFeed, (2016). A HIV-Positive Dating App Leaked 5,000 Users’ Data. [online] Available at: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemlee/a-dating-app-for-hiv-positive-people-leaked-sensitive-data [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
Catholic News Agency, (2016). Dating apps and the death of romance. [online] Available at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/dating-apps-and-the-death-of-romance-71932 [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
Jamieson, S. (2015). Dr Lucy Worsley: dating apps like Tinder are destroying the art of romance. [online] Telegraph.co.uk. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11915040/Dr-Lucy-Worsley-dating-apps-like-Tinder-are-destroying-the-art-of-romance.html [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
McAlone, N. (2016). I reviewed every major dating app from a guy’s perspective — here’s what they were like. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/best-dating-app-for-guys-2015-12?r=US&IR=T [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
Salgado, R. (2015). Swiping right: Student perceptions of dating apps. [online] thedailyuw.com. Available at: http://www.dailyuw.com/features/article_b447fbea-b36e-11e5-bb8a-7f7cb7f566e2.html [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
My PDF file for submission.
In my artefact, POWER & CONTROL, I undertook a piece on the lines between power and control and tried to convey a type of power relation and the reasoning of how that power relation was in place. I wanted the piece to be a take on abuse in relationships and how believing somebody’s excuses for their inexcusable behaviour is giving them power over you and allowing them to control you.
One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute and on average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. (Womensaid.org.uk, 2015) This is a disgustingly high statistic about disgusting actions by disgusting people. I was inspired to create this artefact through the desired outcome of creating an emotional piece that raised awareness and got a discussion going about domestic abuse.
I developed this idea through research of the topic and developing it, then placing that research into practice. “If you do your research well, you will reduce the risk of making a serious mistake.” (Rea and Irving, 1995). I tried my best to reduce the risk of making a serious mistake by doing diligent research. For example, I got ideas for the female character’s speech through first hand research of speaking to someone who had been abused and through researching domestic abuse websites. So, then when I developed this idea by personifying these words into actions in front of the camera, I had very low risk of creating bad dialogue. However, I could have perhaps improved it by using actual victims/perpetrators of abuse rather than actors. “the cv/direct technology/technique seems to offer an ultimate possibility of show-and-tell– of telling a real story…. rather than sitting back and creating it from remembered experience and imagination… cv/direct is closer to life than art. That it can seem unselected, formless, dull – a mere record” (Ellis and McLane, 2005). From this, we can see that it would have improved the piece if we told the real story from the real people rather than just recalling it through vessels in the form of actos for our research and imagination.
First hand, I spoke to a friend who had been a victim of domestic abuse. She spoke about how she tolerated his behaviour and constantly came up with excuses for his actions because of the low self esteem he had created within her by acting this way towards her. I tried to convey this as accurately as possible within the media product by giving the female character traits which showed she wasn’t very confident such as looking away and taking pauses in speech. Also, the dialogue I decided to use is all very similar to answers she gave to the questions I asked. (Aidan Reilly YEAR 3, 2015). I tried to place all the dialogue into situations in which they would be applicable. However, I perhaps should have spoke to her in more depth to understand the specific situations she faced in order to more accurately represent an abusive relationship.
I went on a few websites that specialised in domestic abuse. Specifically, I looked for what excuses and reasonings abusers, and people who were being abused, generally give and how abusers act. I visited verbalabusejournals.com (verbalabusejournals.com, 2015) and loveisrespect.org (loveisrespect.com, 2015). All the information on the websites was collated from the victims of abuse. This second hand information was very important and helpful in creating dialogue. This is because we can know that these words have legitimately been spoken in the situation I was creating. Therefore, I could develop the situations I was creating to be more accurate and powerful.
I would consider this media piece to fall under an unique avant-garde genre. “avant-garde wants to bring art down to the banal level of everyday life and popular culture.” (Graf and Scheunemann, 2007) I can see that my artefact sits in this genre as it brings the art of film and the love in relationships down to the banal level of everyday life through the grim subject matter and the use of the dark, evil, red lighting. However, I could have perhaps done this even better by deconstructing the film framework and having actual confrontation on screen midway through, breaking out of the interview structure and into “real life”.
My artefact has the form of representing reality. “Representing reality deals with meaning meanings and values, interpretations and purposes, not simply with signs and systems“. (Nichols, 1991) So, I had to think about the implications of what I was creating and how everyone would interpret what I was producing. I had to ensure that it was very black and white and have all the signs and systems pointing towards the same end goal. However, I could have perhaps represented reality better by adding in a slight bit of neorealism. “Neorealism not only provides a repertoire of techniques for giving the formal effect of representing a reality that evades the control of the filmmaker… it also lapses back toward the very conventions at an overall level that it avoids at a local one” (Nichols, 1991). By leaning towards neorealism, it could ground the film more towards the real world, thus becoming more of a believable piece that could greater elicit emotion in the audience.
I learnt a lot from the primary research of speaking to a person who had suffered domestic abuse. When talking to somebody who has experienced what you are trying to convey, it greatly helps in embodying that successfully on screen. I could speak to her in depth about her personal actions/experiences and put those directly into the character/story on screen. This helped in creating a more accurate and moving artefact, more so than I have been able to before without such hands-on research.
Aidan Reilly YEAR 3, (2015). Artefact 3 – Primary Research. [online] Available at: https://aidanreillyyr3.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/artefact-3-primary-research/ [Accessed 18 Nov. 2015].
Ellis, J. and McLane, B. (2005). A new history of documentary film. New York: Continuum. p.224.
Graf, A. and Scheunemann, D. (2007). Avant-garde film. Amsterdam: Rodopi. p.267.
Nichols, B. (1991). Representing reality. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p.13. p169.
Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p.106.
Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, (2015). Things Abusers Say And Do. [online] Available at: http://verbalabusejournals.com/about-abuse/things-abusers-say-do/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].
Womensaid.org.uk, (2015). Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic_violence_topic.asp?section=0001000100220036 [Accessed 19 Nov. 2015].
http://www.loveisrespect.org, (2015). Apologies and Excuses –http://www.loveisrespect.org. [online] Available at:http://www.loveisrespect.org/content/apologies-and-excuses/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].
Where did you find inspiration to progress yourself? –
Robert Wise once said: “My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker“. (BrainyQuote, 2015) This quote is perhaps the most helpful piece of advice you could give to aspiring filmmakers as everything else comes second. As long as you have passion for your subject, patience to wait for success and perseverance for when success isn’t thrust upon you and you have to thrust yourself into success, you can make it. I have tried my utmost to apply this drive and work ethic in my life ever since I was inspired by this quote and it has definitely improved my progression as a media producer.
What skill or knowledge have you developed? –
Over the course of this module, I have found myself expanding my horizon by further indulging myself in more accurate and thorough research and development of my ideas. “If you do your research well, you will reduce the risk of making a serious mistake.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) By applying this idea I have found that when I produced a media product I had a more clear and concise idea of the subject I was conveying, how to produce a piece in the selected genre and how to effectively create emotion in the audience. This can be seen through the comedy in artefact 1 and the sadness in artefact 3.
How did you challenge yourself? –
Within the artefacts we have produced, I attempted to challenge myself by tackling new genres and trying my best to create emotion in the audience that would be watching them, whether that be empathy, sadness or laughter. For example, in artefact 3, I tried my hardest to engage my audience through empathy. “If we then empathize with that character, this activates the emotional experiences that correspond to the cognitive script”. (Smith, 2003) I created empathy by creating two binary opposites in the one who controls and the one being controlled. I tried to make this distinction as obvious and painstaking as possible to ensure the audience can follow the cognitive script.
What would you do better? –
First element I would improve in my work is greater preparation for shooting. For example, I would conduct more thorough locations scouting to ensure that I have the best location possible and that all the environment in the location has been accounted for, so that on the day of production, it all goes very smoothly. “The goal is to find places that represent the words on the page. You must find a balance between your aesthetic concerns and your physical limitations.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) For example, when shooting for artefact 1, whilst we wanted it to be shot in a house, we perhaps could have used a better suited house in terms of space for camera equipment. Or, we could have scouted the location more thoroughly and used more suited equipment.
How can you develop your work further? –
I would try and market my work to a wider audience. This could be done through more thorough research into viral marketing. “Marketing means promoting what is best about your work, giving buyers a reason to want to own it or rent it.” (Rea and Irving, 1995) For example, for artefact 3, I could have perhaps contacted domestic abuse websites/organisations to see if they wanted to display my work to help further show the signs and excuses of domestic abuse. Also, I could have perhaps further researched into how to engage an audience and what makes an item sharable and applied it to my work.
BrainyQuote, (2015). Robert Wise Quotes at BrainyQuote.com. [online] Available at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertwise187099.html [Accessed 14 Nov. 2015].
Rea, P. and Irving, D. (1995). Producing and directing the short film and video. Boston: Focal Press. p106, p141, p361,
Smith, G. (2003). Film structure and the emotion system. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p76.
Here are the full list of phrases which the male will have to say and the females excuses in turn. These will hopefully effectively convey how the power/control is given and taken in this relationship/relationships with abuse in them.
Male: She’s a stupid bitch that needs to know her place.
Female: He only says these things because he grew up in a violent home, he doesn’t know any better.
Male: She needs to get the fuck out of my house and my life if she doesn’t change her ways
Female: He doesn’t mean it, he’s only saying it because he is drunk. He says this stuff all the time when he is drunk or using.
Male: She needs to sort her life out and stop sponging off me, she’s a good for nothing with no job who’s lucky to have me.
Female: He only says these things because he cares about me and wants me to do well in life.
Male: She should just do what her whore mother did by leaving her father and leave me already. You can tell she wants to.
Female: He said sorry. It’s fine. He said he won’t ever do it again.
Male: She should just stuff her stupid feelings up inside and not let them ruin everything all the fucking time.
Female: It’s okay. He has depression. I’m helping him. I need to accept who he is.
Male: Maybe if she learns her place I wouldn’t need to show it to her.
Female: I made him angry. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t make him angry.
In artifact 3, we are going to be doing a piece about power/control and that has been interpreted into using it to show abuse in relationships. The video is going to show powerful images of people speaking about general actions that entail abuse and then excuses. This will be overlayed with powerful and simple imagery of them speaking, to not draw away from the main message.
I did some research into what abusers generally say/excuses they generally give after giving said abuse.
“I’m sorry. I won’t ever do that again…”
“I was drunk/I was using drugs.”
“I act this way because I care about you.”
“You made me mad/provoked me, and I had no other choice. I can’t control it.”
“I have a mental illness or a personality disorder — ex. I’m bipolar, I have PTSD.”
“I grew up in a violent home where I experienced or witnessed abuse.”
We are going to flip this around and have the abusee giving these excuses to highlight the power that they are giving the abuser by accepting what they are saying.
For example, a line we are giving is “I made him angry, it was my fault. I should know my place. I gave him no other choice. He can’t control what he does if I make him angry.”
I then did some further research into what generally an abuser would say categorically:
Tells You What You’re Doing (But Is Incorrect)
Plays Word Games
Tries to Appear Better Than You
Insults People And Pets You Love
Sexual Insults And Injuries
Insults Your Ideas and Dreams
Threatens Or Intimidates You
(Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, 2015)
We are going to have the antagonist say something similar to these phrases they have given as examples mixed with the responses given in the primary research. Then have the protagonist give an excuse for their actions, showing the power and subsequent control they are giving the abuser. For example:
Antagonist: “She’d be fucking nothing without me, she doesn’t have a job, she’s a waste of fucking space.”
Protagonist: “He was just saying it because he cares about me. He wants me to do well.
Verbal Abuse Journals: Domestic Violence & Abuse Exposed, (2015). Things Abusers Say And Do. [online] Available at: http://verbalabusejournals.com/about-abuse/things-abusers-say-do/ [Accessed 5 Nov. 2015].
http://www.loveisrespect.org, (2015). Apologies and Excuses – http://www.loveisrespect.org. [online] Available at: http://www.loveisrespect.org/content/apologies-and-excuses/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].
What defines the line between them? –
Power is earned on a daily basis. Control is taken. Power is freely given by those who believe in you. Control is needed only when they do not. (Nationmultimedia.com, 2007). This implies that people who exercise control are exercising their power as the other involved party do not believe it them. As the other party does not believe in them enough to give them power they must use their own power in the form of control.
When does one become the other? –
Power is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events. Whereas, control is the power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events or to determine the behaviour or supervise the running of. These two things can become each other when they are not being exercised. Zimmerling speaks of Kristjansson and his views on having power and exercising that power as control. He says that “‘having power over’ cannot be the ability on which ‘exercising power over’ is based, for having power over is ‘here’ not a capacity at all” (Zimmerling, 2005). This in turn means that power turns into control when it is exercised over somebody.
Who decides? –
“It is commonly observed that person X dominates Y, while being subservient in relations with Z. Furthermore, these power relations are frequently intransitive!” (Emerson, 1962) So, as we can see, the power relations are decided by the people within them and who wants to be in control/have power over or be subservient to the other. With people and their power relations being intransitive it means it really depends on the individuals and who/what they wish to give power to and who/what they want to take control over.
How are our lives affected by these concepts/how does your cultural, religious, political background influence you and others around you? –
“Generally, it can be said that there are three types of struggles: either against forms of domination (ethnic, social, and religious); against forms of exploitation which separate individuals from what they produce; or against that which ties the individual to himself and submits him to others in this way (struggles against subjection, against forms of subjectivity and submission).” (The Subject and Power, 1982) These are all the forms of power struggles. These are the ways in which power relations can be formed. Depending on your placing in these specific fields, you can have a different standing in your power relations with others. Purnell has said “It has become very much a closed shop… this middle class power grab was the result of a political system that has become closed to the ordinary people” (Jones, 2011) So, this leads us to believe that power, at least politically and religiously, is closed off for the ordinary people and the control is had over them.
Emerson, R. (1962). Power-Dependence Relations. American Sociological Review, 27(1), p.31.
Jones, O. (2011). Chavs. London: Verso. p.105.
Nationmultimedia.com, (2007). Bangkok’s Independent Newspaper. [online] Available at: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2007/11/26/rookie/rookie_30057429.php [Accessed 2 Nov. 2015].
The Subject and Power. (1982). Critical Enquiry, 8(4), p.781.
Zimmerling, R. (2005). Influence and power. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer. p225
To undertake my primary research, I spoke to a friend of mine who was the subject of domestic abuse. Here are the questions I asked her and the responses I received:
Why do you think he abused you?
I think he thought it was a way he could stay with me. He felt if he didn’t have absolute control over me then I would leave him. He was obsessed with the fact I would leave him or be unfaithful.
Why did you put up with it?
I was scared. He threatened me if I left that I would regret it. I wasn’t entirely sure what he meant but the way he said it made sure I knew it’d be bad. He ground down my self esteem and I felt I didn’t deserve any better…
Did he ever apologise for his actions?
Yes. Pretty much every time. He made me feel every time like it was going to be different. That he wouldn’t act that way again.
What were the excuses he gave for his abuse?
He said it was because he came from a broken home and he didn’t know any better. I know his upbringing was tough so I tried to help him through it. He had anger issues and he would take it out on me. I tried to help but I think I just made it worse.
How did he work down your self esteem?
He just constantly found negatives in everything I did. No matter what I did, there was always something wrong. I just didn’t know how to act and what to do.
Beauty, what is it and are there ideals that are accepted universally?
Out of people surveyed, asking for their opinions on beauty and what it is, answers seemed to lean towards beauty being something that is natural and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s intriguing that no one suggested that beauty is constructed or manufactured, everyone suggested things like the grace of an athlete, passion filled music and something that evokes a strong emotion. Nobody mentioned anything about beauty within the media and its portrayal of the perfect body, face or anything stereotypically paraded across the tabloids.
In an investigation into the social media app Instagram, predominantly used for photo and video sharing allowing users to take and edit items it became clear that the app can and has been used to glamorise just about anything, be it nature, food, clothing, depression, violence, eating disorders, make up, travelling animals, you name it and it is probably on there, within reason of course as the app is regulated so graphically explicit images would be taken down by members of staff.
Despite users having the ability of filter options and editing powers on their pictures more recently there appears a big community of instagram users have a new thirst for more genuine content, with the hashtag beauty having more that 84,000,000 posts and nofilter having over 140,000,000 posts. nofilter shows how we want to separate what’s real from what’s artificial. It’s sort of a truth-telling mechanism. The way we’re able to manipulate things now means if something is authentic, it’s more meaningful however it should be stated that more than 7% of images with the nofilter hashtag actually have a filter, this suggests that maybe people do have a common consensus on beauty and that they want their images to appear to be pure, natural and unedited as it would seem to be what people would be more interested in and drawn to.
After production and post production, I feel like this is a good start but quite a distance away from reaching its full comedic, cinematic and audio potential. I feel with certain remakes this could be a very entertaining and cinematically sound piece.
My main gripe about the production is the sound. We used an attached rode mic to the camera which created certain inconsistencies in audio quality. Whilst it picked up the dialogue to an acceptable level, it picked up a certain level of background noise which was unacceptable. Also, some pieces of audio had to be added in post production due to them not being picked up in production, which felt sometimes jarring. Furthermore, in our script we created a framework for dialogue but allowed a lot of improvisation to allow for more natural flowing dialogue. However, this made it hard to cut the conversation together as often the two different shots had dialogue which was too dissimilar. So, next time we should perhaps create a tighter framework for dialogue to make it easier in post.
Cinematically, we had different ideas. In the storyboard we used a lot of tracking shots. However, when on location we found this was not feasible due to physical restraints of space. Next time we should do more diligent in our location scouting so we can plan in advance accurately and not waste time on the day improvising.
Furthermore, the shots often varied in colours and lightness due to the changing of rooms and daylight. To prevent this from becoming an issue next time we should aim to plan our shooting around a time in which we would have the most consistent daylight and check our shots more diligently to ensure they match to the best of our abilities. This will ensure that the post production is more of a matter of polishing a diamond rather than a turd. (so to speak)
To start off task two, we decided to undergo some initial research into beauty via a survey. We asked for their opinions on what they thought beauty meant, what they found beautiful and what they found unattractive and repulsive. Of the responses we have received, here are 5 responses for each category. The responses are mixed between male and female for each question, with the two age ranges 18-29 and 30-44.
When you hear the word beauty, what does it mean to you?
What do you think is beautiful?
What do the words repulsive/unattractiveness/inelegance mean to you?
What do you think is repulsive?
By definition, beauty is described as “A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight” (Oxford Dictionary 2015). I began undertaking this research by considering and asking myself and others what they considered to be beautiful. It is difficult to put a name on what beauty is, as many say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When surveying people, we noticed a trend in people leaning towards the idea that beauty is something that is natural rather than something you can construct. People seemed to believe that beauty is truth and that beauty evokes strong emotions. The main point of surprise for me is that nobody came up with the answer or lead us to believe that they thought beauty could be manufactured. People leant towards what was beautiful to them and lead their opinions from a very emotional standpoint. They would say they found the careless nature beautiful as an example. Nobody seemed to lead with the point that they agree with, or have an as an ideal, these media ideals of the perfect image we see across the newspapers, magazines and social media daily.
We wanted to investigate the social media app, Instagram, to see how beauty is perceived on this platform. Instagram is an online social media platform which allows users to upload and edit photos and videos to share with their followers and a wider audience through hashtags and their discover page. I have been using this app for nearing 3 years and during that time I have noticed how instagram seems to in itself glamourise everything from people to nature and food. In itself, #beauty has more than 84,000,000 posts and #nofilter has over 140,000,000 posts, leading us to believe that natural beauty is very prevalent within the app. This falls in line with our primary research where the people interviewed answered that beauty was natural. However, when looking at these hashtags, we can see that many of the pictures, if not the majority, actually do have a filter on them. This leads us to believe that outwardly facing we show something as naturally beauty, when it is actually manufactured. Why do we try and uphold our images to an unrealistic standard whilst still trying to maintain the natural integrity of these images? Perhaps it is because of unrealistic images fed to us by brands.
(Jenn’s Trends, 2014)
From this graph we can see that it is staggering quite the percentage of companies who adopt the social media platform. Not only that, they harbour a massive audience.
This leads us to believe that they are massive opinion leaders, the image they give out to the world is strived to achieve. Thus we see flocks of people trying to effortlessly copy this look in the way it is portrayed; as natural and beautiful as possible.
Sometimes in glamorizes darker subjects such as depression and self harm “The glamorization of self-harm and suicide on social media websites (such as Tumblr and Instagram) has led to an incorrect perspective of the seriousness of these disorders, as well as the desire to “fit in”, which is then triggering these tendencies in many susceptible users” (Storify, 2015). With people posting these disorders on Instagram and receiving moral support it is leading them to believe that self harm and depression is a way to fit in and that it is a beautiful thing. Thus, numbing quite how serious disorders such as these are.
So, in my piece I can discuss how many people believe beauty to be natural and how it is perhaps manufactured through the actions of people and corporations putting images out there to be admired and then replicated due to perceived social gratification.
Jenn’s Trends, (2014). Instagram Statistics for 2014 – Jenn’s Trends. [online] Available at: http://www.jennstrends.com/instagram-statistics-for-2014/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2015].
Lindig, S. (2015). The 20 Most Relevant Fashion Brands on Instagram. [online] Harper’s BAZAAR. Available at: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/designers/a12215/top-20-fashion-brands-on-instagram/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2015].
Oxford Dictionary (2015) Beauty [Online] Available from:http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/beauty [24 October 2015]
Storify, (2015). “Beautiful Sadness”: The Internet’s Romanticism of Self-Harm (with images, tweets) · rachelegore. [online] Available at: https://storify.com/rachelegore/the-internet-s-romanticism-of-self-harm [Accessed 20 Nov. 2015].
After generating the flash fiction idea, we developed a script for shooting.
He’s waiting for someone to arrive.
She is outside by her car.
He goes down to meet her and get his stuff.
She jokes with him for a minute and then he opens the boot.
He is shocked and angry.
The boot is full of fruit. He asks why
She reads the text he sent her listing all the slang/fruit names for the drugs he wanted.
Nathan stared at the clock on his phone, watching as each minute passed by, each minute that meant she was late. He was getting impatient, tapping his feet and banging his phone on the desk. He was just about to text her when, ‘beep’ a horn sounded from outside.
It startled him. He stood and moved towards the window. Seeing that it was her, leaning against her car with a big grin on her face, he rushed outside to meet her.
“Where the hell have you been?”
“Just be grateful that I wasted my time with your petty request.”
They stared at each other for a second before the grin replaced her dismay at his tone.
“Where is it?”
“In the boot.”
He glanced at the rear end of the car, about to move when she dangled the keys in front of his face. His hand shot towards them but he was still to slow. She laughed, “Can’t want it that much.”
He made a grab for it again but missed, “Stop messing around now, this is serious.” He was pissed off. The smile dropped from her face as she threw the keys at him.
They went to the boot. Nathan gave a glance round to see if anyone was watching, before he put the key in and opened it halfway.
She couldn’t see his face; he’d leaned to far in.
He let the boot open all the way and turned to her, “What the hell is this?”
“I know it’s not in a bag, but they’re 5p now don’t you know?”
“This is a joke, this isn’t what I asked for, you know what I asked for, seriously, where is it.”
“This is everything you asked for Nathan, look at the text.”
She showed him the text she’d received, which she had clearly gotten mixed up!
He slammed the boot shut and stormed back inside.
“Yeah all that was about £20, pay me later yeah?”
His door slams.
As a media producer, ideas are supposed to be bread and butter to us. But ask someone to write a script on the spot without stopping and the narrative becomes diluted and without proper structure. However, ideas flow out of your fingers that you never thought you had. It is then a matter of sieving through these ideas and adding structure.
As a group, we analysed our ideas and came up with an idea based on this two images:
We were excited about using this first image as it could lead to many different narrative points and left us with a many different ways in which we could create an intriguing story around the image and how the characters got to that frame.
When looking for creative inspiration, the first place you look into your own lives, whether that is literal or the society around you that you often see and perhaps are affected by. One thing we have experienced as a group, not necessarily first hand, is drug culture.
Our second image is this message, received by a friend, from a drug dealer. We decided to incorporate this image into our story due to the slang used in the message. Blue cheese? To most people this wouldn’t initially stand out to them as a drug reference.
When undertaking further research, it became apparent that a number of drugs had nicknames which correlated with food names:
Cocaine – Sugar, Depressants – M&M’s, Heroin – Brown Sugar, Marijuana – Herbs, Mescaline – Beans, MDMA – Disco Biscuits, Opium – Chocolate. Psilocin – Mushrooms. (Staff, 2007)
So, our idea was to play on the fact of people’s lack of knowledge and portray one character as someone who was very aware of the drug culture and another who is hopelessly unaware, mixing up the others drug orders for groceries.
To create comedy around the idea we want to be able to hint at it all throughout through confusion in dialogue and suggestive cinematics. This will be done by giving the audience suggestions by the actor imitating drug takers habits through actions and dialogue. When undertaking research, we found out that anger, paranoia, suspicious behaviour, mood swings and life revolving around drug taking are all common signs of drug addicts. (Narconon – Addiction and Recovery, 2015) (Helpguide.org, 2015)All of these we aim to personify in our actor. This will give the audience the maximum chance of understanding the underlying drug theme without explicitly saying it. Hopefully having the other actors confusion conflicting with the main actors drug obsession and then, at the end, having a grand reveal of the groceries it will be a very gratifying and comedic ending.
To fully be able to create an artifact of the highest quality, we must do some further research into the comedy genre. “There is no single adequate theory of comedy, despite various efforts to produce an all-embracing account. Various different theoretical approaches are available and of differing degrees of use, depending on the precise nature of the comedy involved in any individual case and the different questions we might seek to answer.” (King, 2002). So, we must identify the topic we are trying to tackle so we know what type of comedic approach to take. Whilst we are tackling a topic of drugs, we can repurpose what is not generally seen as a comedic topic to be funny. “Material not intended to be in the realm of comedy can also be re-purposed to comical or partially comical effect…. in a manner that renders it to be absurd”. (King, 2002). So, by making this topic absolutely absurd we can create comedy rather than the usual dramatic sense that drugs are usually seen in.
King, G. (2002). Film comedy. London: Wallflower Press. p.5. p.200-201.
Staff, C. (2007). Top 20 Drugs And Their Street Names. [online] Casa Palmera. Available at: https://casapalmera.com/top-20-drugs-and-their-street-names/ [Accessed 24 Oct. 2015].
Narconon – Addiction and Recovery, (2015). The 5 Most Common Behavior Traits of an Addict | Narconon – Addiction and Recovery. [online] Available at: http://www.narconon.org/blog/drug-addiction/5-common-behavior-traits-addict/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2015].
Helpguide.org, (2015). Drug Abuse and Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Help for Drug Problems & Substance Abuse. [online] Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/drug-abuse-and-addiction.htm [Accessed 24 Oct. 2015].