This module explores the use of audio-visual media as research, reflexive and transformational ethnographic practice in tune with contemporary anthropological theorising of ethnographic and documentary film. The collaborative and feedback oriented process of using audio-visual media in the production of a short video film that is presented online delivers experiential insights and re-evaluation of the value of video, photography and audio to research, represent and influence aspects of people's lifeworlds. The practical instruction in how to develop a project is grounded in exercises that explore cultural and personal assumptions of what a camera does. Further training in cinematography, interviewing and sound, camera movement and improvisation, and the flexible uses of DSLR cameras present the key pre-production training. Editing theory and practice is taught with a view to efficient workflow and minimal post-production, facilitating knowledge of use in independent multi-media production. Web based interactive platforms are introduced with a view to facilitate wider communication and dissemination. The value of feedback is emphasised in creating media productions that have academic and personal integrity, resonance with and impact on particular audiences.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Method of assessment
Video/screenable multimedia production(s), 8-12 mins (60%)
Web-based interactive platform (35%)
Symbolic camera (5%)
De Jong, Wilma, Jerry Rothwell, and Erik Knudsen. 2011. Creative documentary: Theory and Practice. Harlow: Longman.
Harris, A. 2016. Video as Method: Understanding Qualitative Research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Barbash, I & L. Taylor 1998 Cross-Cultural Filmmaking: a handbook for making documentary and ethnographic films University of California Press.
Aston, J, Gaudenzi, S & Rose, Mandy. 2017. I-docs: The Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary.
Pink, S. 2007. Visual Interventions: Applied Visual Anthropology.
Grimshaw, A and Ravetz, A. 2009. Observational Cinema: Anthropology, Film and the Exploration of Social Life. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
On successfully completing the module MA/MSc students will be able to:
1. present a comprehensive and systematic understanding of Visual Anthropological media production.
2. have developed an informed ability in ethnographic audio/visual production
3. analyse and communicate their comprehension of the use of audio/visual media as research.
4. create web based multimedia combining video, photography, audio and text , integrating critical, and conceptual understanding, with substantiated ethnographic examples
5. carry out original, collaborative and reflexive research using DSLR cameras aware of the range of assumptions of what a camera does.
6. interview, observe and give feedback to, and about, ethnographic subjects
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