Practice as Research Films

I am particularly interested in making films developed from creative, practice based research projects. It is well understood that the documentation of process is vital to provide evidence and illustration of the methods and findings of a project, as well as being further tool of investigation – recording as an aid to understanding.  It is also possible that the document (in this case a film record) has a life of its own in the legacy of the project, and enhances the impact of the work beyond the life and scope of the research.

At its simplest the film may well be an edited ‘record’ (however problematic the term) of process and findings, or at a more complex level the film may have its own life, becoming a creative outcome in its own right.  At the very least it can certainly aid the exposition and sharpen focus of the research questions and enhance the profile of the project.

I am unusually well placed to provide filmmaking services for PAR projects havings been an academic in  university drama and contemporary arts departments for 20 years – mainly at the University of Kent.  I have engaged in research through practice and scholarship and have published, performed and recorded outcomes.  Consequently I understand the process, problems and requirements of the work and I would hope to help you hone and articulate your focus.

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Two exemplar case studies from 2014.

See extracts on the Films page.  Contact me if you are interested in seeing the complete films.

Bodies in the Crypt

A film commissioned by the University of Kent to document the process, practice and research involved in finding an appropriate theatrical mode for Marlowe’s difficult play A Massacre at Paris; in consultation with the researchers the film focused on the physicality of the piece and the nature of the space (it was performed in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral).

The film was not only a useful record of the process but also contributed to the enquiry in that that the film prompted reflexivity, it required the researchers to articulate their questions and methods.  The final film, which was only a fraction of the archive footage shot, used interviews with directors, performers and researchers alongside footage of rehearsals and encounters in the space.  A 20 minute cut of the film was made specifically to enhance and support a conference presentation about the project.  It was decided to make this film for a moderately specialist audience in order to demonstrate research imperatives and archive the project.

Andante

Made with a Professor of Cello at Washington State University for her project Music Outside Four Walls this film is quite different from Bodies in the Crypt. It was made explicitly to appeal to a fairly wide audience and thus enhance the profile of the project, but also have a life beyond it.  As such it does not frame the project with the academic language of research but instead makes it a human story – and we hope an inspiring one. Even so the process once again encouraged the researcher to reflect upon her process and methods – although in this case that was less explicitly articulated in the final outcome.

This film has been selected for several festivals, and is lined-up for several more.

Your project.

Please do not hestiate to contact me to discuss your project.  Costing will naturally depend on the complexity of the work.  See further details here. My contact details are available on the company website.

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