Week 10:

Create a visual story with at least 10 stills from your own life, depicting memories in relation to yourself, your family or your friends. Write at least 250 words contextualising your story with regards to one of the above readings

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Week 8 :After having read Ruby’s text, choose your favourite documentary and analyse.

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Reflexivity in documentaries can be considered as a filmmaking process where the filmmaker acknowledges their existence in front of the camera. While the reflexive style is typically concomitant with experimental documentaries, some directors choose this style even though their films are not experimental. A good example of such directors is Nick Broomfield in Driving Me Crazy.

With a runtime of 1 hour 25 minutes, Driving Me Crazy is an outstanding documentary that was released in 1988. It is a documentary about money, chaos, disaster, egotism, power, megalomania, and sex. The backstage life of the spirited production is delightfully captured with a keen and cynical eye. The type of reflexivity that is inherent is high level reflexivity. This assertion is informed by the fact that for most parts of the documentary, Nick Broomfield as well as his film crew are seen in front of the camera. The fact that Nick Broomfield is seen severally shows that he is interested in the making of the film more than its actual content.

Nick Broomfield is striving to be unbiased and objective. He shares the nightmares he went through and turns them a documentary that any documentary-maker can wish for. Per se, problems started when the budget of the film was slashed to £300,000 from £1.3 million resulting into the need to reduce the crew. Nick shows how unbiased he is when he allows Duke’s granddaughter – Mercedes Ellington – to be hit by a camera on the head. Consequently, the lighting crew, backers, choreographers, dancers, and producers start arguing in full glare of the camera. All these shows that Nick wanted to show high order reflexivity by letting the audience see the problems that he went through to produce the documentary and also allow himself be part of the onscreen team.

Week 7:Choose an interesting member of your family and write a short documentary synopsis based on a particular story in his/her life – use narrative strategies from Knudsen’s reading.

The most interesting person in my family is my mother. She is most important person in the lives of my siblings and I and we treasure and support her in all activities she does to make our life comfortable. I remember in 1996 when she decided to walk out of an abusive relationship she had with my father, who vowed never to support her nor us when we needed him. My father was physically and emotionally abusive towards my mother and never bothered the effects his actions on us. I am the firstborn in a family of three and was quite responsible and affected by the actions of my father. One day, my mother decided we were moving out and would look for ways of survival once we step out of our house. I remember we moved to Chelmsford in Essex, one of the poorest estates in the country. Our house was a single room and was never enough for all us but it was peaceful and we were contend.

My mother worked hard sometimes day and night to ensure we had food that would sustain us. I witnessed her work hard until she got a formal employment but still worked overtime jobs to fully sustain our needs. She enrolled us in better schools, attained quality health care and made us her first priority. I am in college with my siblings in good high schools but she stills provides for our needs as if we are small children. She is our inspiration and looks up to her in all decisions that I make. She is my pillar and foundation of hard work.

Week 5: Demonstrate the concept in a pedagogical way

Performativity of Gender

Butler in her own way explains gender in terms of performance and performativity. Gender is a construction of repetitive actions by an individual which becomes a reality when it performed. Butler explains that performativity of gender is based on impersonation of actions that are repetitive or mere imitation of the existing gender. Importantly, the biological sex of an individual informs the social construction and then the gender of the person. For instance, if a doctor announces the sex of the child as a girl, which is a performative act, the society enforces behavior and actions of the baby to be identified as a woman. Notably, Butler explains subversion does not contribute to gender identification. The performance of repetitive actions that are not voluntary inevitably creates the gender of a person. Sometime people mistake the above and create of style of their choice to reveal a certain gender to public. Importantly, the actions revealing gender are not calculated but come naturally to an individual.

 

Week 4: Read Rothwell’s text on interviewing, choose a particular contributor ‘role’ from his model and apply this to yourself writing an account of a significant event in your life from that role’s POV.

My contributor of choice for use in this essay is authority. Rothwell describes authority as the key participant who was involved in the situation and therefore, would tell as it was. The scars on my body tell my story. A painful story that left me with permanent scars but still taught me to be always thankful for what I have. I remember that evening, my two younger brothers and I were watching our favorite cartoon series when everything changed in a blink of an eye. Our mother arrived from work, frustrated, tired as usual, and decided to rest in her bedroom. The divorce affected her so much that I as the first born always took care of my younger brothers in efforts of putting the house in order. My mother developed a smoking habit from the divorce procedures but would always smoke outside the house to avoid affecting my brothers. That evening I smelled cigar in her room but decided not to disturb her because I assumed she was tired and stressed as usual.

As I was preparing dinner, my brothers came screaming into the kitchen that smoke was coming from our mother’s room. I panicked for a moment but managed to sober up because I was the only adult person in this situation. I took my brothers outside for safety and came for my mother as I called 999. I wanted to save my mother so bad that I went to the burning house to try to retrieve her. The fire had occupied half of the house but just decided to walk into it and try save her. I woke up in a hospital bed the following with over 20% burning. However, my mother did not survive and died days later. Luckily, I recovered but the scars remained on my body forever.

D.P Exercise 4: Week 4 UNBROKEN STORY/EDITING FOR ELISION

Notes on your character

Your working hypothesis

Whats it like to work at freddies bar for the student union

How much time you will allot for each intended stage

9 questions to be asked so 9 stages. Total length of the film approx 3 mins in duration. So 180/9 =20 secs per question and answer.

Likely image size changes, camera angles, and movements

Framing

How you frame your shot is an integral part of your interview. A slightly askew frame can annoy your audience, as well as a shot that has way too much empty space.

The best way to frame your talent is to use the Rule of Thirds. You should select an area mid right, mid left or centre depending on the purpose of your video.

Mid Right & Mid Left Framing

This should be used for a more interview/ storyteller feel and this choice of framing will generally give your video a more relaxed feel.

Centre Framing

This should be used when you want to talk directly to your audience.

Do not frame your subjects in the extreme right or left, top or bottom of your frame. Your subject can become insignificant in the shot and it will detract from the message.

Give yourself enough room.

When shooting your talent, always make sure there is enough room on the sides, but also enough headroom from the top. You are allowed to fill the entire bottom of frame if needed.

Special signals to be worked out with crew to cover exigencies

Make sure the talent has a chance to see the questions beforehand so that they are not put on the spot. If they have some time to formulate ideas for their responses to the questions this can help, as long as they aren’t trying to repeat their pre-prepared answers word for word, as that doesn’t generally look good as most people struggle with this.

D.P Exercise 3: Week 3 Visual analysis of a documentary film

THE MODERN RACIST PARADIGM

The Modern Racist Paradigm is a documentary that uses media coverage and personal interviews to expose internalised racism in the world today.

Internalised racism are racist attitudes and feelings that are aimed towards people associated with their ethnic group as well as themselves.

Ethos is used in the documentary through the uses of archive speeches and news broadcasts, along with some interviews.

Pathos is used mostly when the social experiment is shown on the news about the black children that were asked to choose between a black doll and a white doll. It was very sad and revealing to see that nearly every child selected the white doll and there preferred choice.

Visuals

MONTAGES: Added an interesting twist on how the literal modern racist paradigm is portrayed

TEXT ON SCREEN: Quotes help to establish a deeper meaning of how the feelings of internalised racism are viewed from a different perspective.

NATIONALISED EXPERIMENTS/EXAMPLES: Specifically the doll experiment, the experiments and other examples help to reveal the internalised racism in everyday life.

FAMOUS FIGURES: Assists in depicting the possible extremes people may go through due to internalised racism.

Audio

Non distracting, soft and somewhat catchy music would play in the background of the quotes to add emphasis towards the quotes and gain interest

High tempo and instrumental rock music played during the montages to increase the curiosity and attention towards it

 

D.P Exercise 2: Week 2 write a short character description

He was almost fifty, and he looked it. His hair was long and tangled and greasy, and hung down, and you could see his eyes shining through like he was behind vines. It was all gray, no black; so was his long, mixed-up whiskers. There warn’t no colour in his face, where his face showed; it was white; not like another man’s white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make a body’s flesh crawl – a tree-toad white, a fish-belly white. As for his clothes – just rags, that was all.

  1. What’s your name?
  2. What’s you age?
  3. Where are you from?
  4. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  5. What’s you average day like living as a homeless person?
  6. How do you manage to get by each day?
  7. Do you receive any support from the government?
  8. Do you take drugs or drink alcohol?
  9. If so are you receiving any help with them?
  10. Do you receive any help from charities?