30 ways to put the community into film

I follow the very useful Media Trust on Twitter (Media_Trust, if you’re interested), and noticed a link they posted to this article on the Community Media Activist blog. I guess I hadn’t thought about film as being a community film, but it definitely is, considering the subject matter and the small, close knit nature of the subject I’m covering. Everyone knows everyone in Cardiff, and you often find people who are involved in a number of different projects. It’s a beautiful thing, one of the things I love about the alternative music scene here.

I’ve listed the questions in the article below, but you should check the blog – it makes for an interesting read. Does my project answer yes to any of those questions? Probably most of them – and it’s given me food for thought in how to structure it.

A Checklist of 30 Questions to support the community film-making process – from first ideas to mass distribution.

1. Is your film defined by the collective engagement of all participants?

2. Is it a group narrative with multiple visions and voices?

3. Are there elements which are collaborative and improvisatory?

4. Are its questions and answers unpredictable and undetermined at the outset?

5. Is there a dialogue between creativity and critical analysis (making and reflecting)?

6. Is there a process or product that contributes to social change, empowerment and social justice?

7. Does you film build the social capital of the community?

8. Is there an opportunity for reflection and dialogue with other communities?

9. Have you fully employed the skills of community agents and artists in a supportive and empowering environment?

10. Are you prepared to take risks?

11. Does your film challenge traditions or expectations within and outside the community?

12. Have you negotiated aspects of its methodology/approach/plan of action?

13. Have you been been prepared to reconsider your methodology or ideology?

14. Is you film sensitive and responsive to ethical, ethnographic and postcolonial issues?

15. How much of your film was produced and led by volunteers, social actors, community participants and their supporters?

16. Have you been economical with resources and sustainable in your approach?

17. Is there an educational dimension that builds skills and confidence for individuals and the group?

18. Is your film designed to showcase democratic and inclusive processes and their outcomes?

19 Does your film create a product worthy of its participants’ efforts?

20. Have you captured the passion of the people involved or represented?

21. Is your film the conclusion and/or the commencement of a community enquiry process?

22. Is your film equipped to provide a body of evidence that counts as research?

23. Are you committed to finding new ways of engagement and interactivity through Web 2.0?

24. Is ‘You’ Singular or Plural?

25 Does your film work alongside other modes of activism and forms of communication?

26. Is your film a form of advocacy for social causes?

27. Does your film embrace spontaneity, acting, volunteering, gaps, wigs, rapping, soundworlds, technique, sweat, manners, scipting, youth, humour, risk, evolution, rebellion, make-up, repetition, costumes, tripods, outdoors, lights, cities, colour, panoramas, poetry, age, trains, dollies, butterflies … ?

28. Have you created a personal narrative of public value?

29. Is you work an act of faith and a form of communion with the other?

30. Have you considered any insights not listed ABOVE ?


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