Inspiration: How To Save The World

Recently I attended a screen of ‘How To Save The World’ at the Cube cinema. A film which documents the history of the Green Peace movement through archived footage of events and recent interviews with members reflecting on their time in the group. Throughout the duration of the film, the short interviews about the members personal experiences towards certain evens the movements encountered, led to a collection of different opinions displayed. This therefore welcomed diversity within each event spoken about, which is something I would like to demonstrate through my interviews with the LGBT. I also took inspiration from the way in which the interview shots were filmed- simple, direct and informative.

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Here is a trailer, giving an idea of the structure of the film:

The purpose of my narrative it not to highlight how negatively the media portray the LGBT but to in fact to collect a variety of mixed reviews. As I previously mentioned this project is partly a research project, therefore I cannot stimulate and contrive what my interviewees answers will be. The outcome of this project is not to prove a specific point but it is to gather a collection of information which will inform the public about the differing attitudes of the LGBT. As this is not something that is reported on often, it’s not a topic I think the public will become bored of hearing about therefore I hope this will encourage the public engage and empathise with.


Inspiration: 3 minute wonders

Being an avid channel viewer, I have watched many ‘3 minute wonders’. These are 3 minute slots that channel 4 has given to independent directors to display their work between the advertisements between the end and beginning of the next programme. The objective of these short films are to promote the talent of  independent film makers, giving them a helping hand to break into the industry. What Interests me about the style of these mini documentaries is how intimate and forward they are. Some of the most moving and eye opening episodes I have watched have been set out in the most visually basic format, simply consisting of a white backdrop with the subject sitting and facing the camera, discussing a subject or topic in which they feel passionate towards. This intimate and very effectively persuasive style of film draws the viewers to feel as if they are being spoken to directly by the on screen subject. It almost imitates a diary cam style of shot, therefore providing a similar effect on the audiences regarding their reactions towards the information supplied by the subject talking. These techniques to capture the audiences attention means that their message comes across much stronger therefore convincing and impacting the audiences opinion, as usually they are concerning topics which are not usually reported on through the mainstream media. One way in which Guardian reported described these 3 Minute Wonders as ‘brilliant use of their micro running time, you are left feeling short changed’, implying they encourage revelations to audiences thought processes towards the specific topics discussed.

During a studio workshop in which we were taught about lighting techniques for the cameras, we were testing differing kinds of lighting to produce different types of images and atmospheres. This is was the moment I realised that a straight forward and uncomplicated documentary would be most effective for the subject I want to focus on for my project. Whilst testing how the lighting looked on a person through the camera lens, the class picked up on the positioning of the camera lens and compared it to the framing used to film as an audition tape. This could also have been due to the fact that she was talking to the camera lens, however it evoked a sense of directness and truth from her- an important aspect that which I want to promote through my project.

Here are some photographs of us experimenting with the lighting to see how the different positions and intensity of the lights have on the subject being filmed:


(photos coming)


Updated Idea

Foundations of the project

I have been exploring styles of documentary in order to gain a sense of direction in which I would like my documentary to head. Initially my intention was to produce an observational documentary, as I aimed to present a story though the view points homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in regards to how they feel they are portrayed through the media. By following their lives, interviews and simple shots of their daily routine, the motive was to somehow create a storyline around how and if they as people in society, are represented fairly and accurately through the media. ‘The media’ being a broad term, I want to focus on how the variations of sexuality are broadcasted mainly in television and film. However I have slightly reshaped the style in which I would like to present my ideas, through photography instead of focusing completely on a documentary. The reason for this is I feel that unless I had a clear and defined storyline, my intended narrative would be quite uneventful to and uninteresting watch throughout a 5/6 minute documentary. Therefore I have decided to exhibit it through both photography and video, as this is not just a visual project but also a research project for me. I am aware that a lot of research and knowledge is necessary for my first assignment, as the topic of sexuality is one that I have not particularity focused a great deal on. By exploring theories concerning sexuality will enable me to arise some key themes in my project contributing to the argument of to how accurately  does the media reflect homosexual and  bisexual people in society. When represented in media, can they see aspects of themselves in either film/tv characters or even news reports? Or do they see generic characters who abide stereotypes? This is something I want to investigate throughout my project. Additionally for the second element of my project I am interested in learning about their views towards certain words which have been commonly used to describe LBG characters in television. This will require research in the fields of the history of sexuality. The diversity in sexuality has progressively become more accepting within society, although it is essential for me as the researcher and producer of this project to understand how change and acceptance came about and how people who were anything but Hetrosexual were treated.

Exhibition of the project

The main platform to display my work will be located on a webpage. The page will consist of 4 photographs of the subjects who I intend to interview, 2 LGB people and 2 heterosexual people. Underneath their photographs will be a word which regularly debated within the LGB community of how TV characters embody homosexual stereotypes. This will direct the viewer to a montage of each interviewer response to the term clicked on- ashort 30/60 second interview.  The interview will discuss their personal opinion towards this term and how generally feel towards it. 4 photgraphs, 4 words, 4 videos. In many mays this still follows the conventions of documentary, informing the viewers through observational techniques, however in a more interactive and condensed form. The viewer has the freedom to decide what sector of the photograph they would like to listen to and learn about. My decision to reformat the style of video means that it does not necessarily have pursue a story, instead providing the viewers with a collection of straight to the point, intimate and personal experiences. I feel that this will capture the attention of the viewers more effectively as it is essentially puts the power in their hands to decide whether they want to watch more people express their opinions. My intentions are to explore the views towards these stereotypes whilst defying representation of sexuality by accumulation view points of both LGB and heterosexual people. Due to the intimate and detailed manner of the interview, I think the short and snappy interviews will be more gripping for the audience opposed to a rolling documentary which I probably would have had to include irrelevant footage to fill the time.  Straight to the point is the main concept i’m basing the presentation of my project on, thus a combination of photography and video accommodates well to these intentions.

Initial documentary ideas

Singer Conchita Wurst arrives on the red carpet for the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, January 11, 2015 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

I have chosen to use the form of documentary for my assignment as I feel like film is the most informative way I can present my ideas. I will be looking at topic of gender and sexuality and specifically how they are presented in the media. In Mc1 we touched on gender roles and their surrounding discourse however I am interesting in further exploring the aspect of sexuality. My aim is to investigate how homosexuals and transgender are represented in a variety of media platforms such as television, newspaper, radio and social media.