Knowing your Subject

Posted: March 18, 2012 by Alan Hardcastle in FdA 11_13
Tags: , ,

Identifying the issue you are dealing with is only scratching the surface.

All artifacts are mediated in some way – they are always a product of someones opinion or point of view. No matter how unbiased we see them, there is always an element of bias; whether concious or unconscious, whether effected by budget, culture, society or class.

If we know this, we can take it into account – both as media students and creators.

Research your subject – you will need to know everything you can about it, understand the issue inside out. Read every news report, every study, every comment. Be prepared to seek out those opinions that directly oppose yours. Find surveys. Make surveys. Do everything you can to find out about the subject and what people know about it.

Then, start talking to people. How do your family, your friends understand the issue? You don’t need to talk to experts – you have become the expert. What you need is the uneducated opinion: what does someone, who hasn’t been paying attention to it, think? This will become your starting point. There is no point making your film for the experts: 1. there aren’t that many of them, and 2. They will probably hate you for trying.

No, you need to make it for those people who have never thought about it – and suddenly realize, with surprise, that it is an interesting thing (because you have found a way in for them). You are also making it for those people who are aware – the people who have kind of thought about the subject, but haven’t had time to read around. But you have done the reading around for them, found the good stuff, and are making it interesting.

 

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