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Über dieses Buch

Aimed at students and educators across all levels of Higher Education, this agenda-setting book defines what screen production research is and looks like—and by doing so celebrates creative practice as an important pursuit in the contemporary academic landscape. Drawing on the work of international experts as well as case studies from a range of forms and genres—including screenwriting, fiction filmmaking, documentary production and mobile media practice—the book is an essential guide for those interested in the rich relationship between theory and practice. It provides theories, models, tools and best practice examples that students and researchers can follow and expand upon in their own screen production projects.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Screen production research is the study of the creation of audio-visual work that is disseminated on/with screens and can include theory-driven practices that use the screen to ‘do’ research (e.g., research-led practice), and systematic reflection upon a production to gain rigorous insights into how a work was made (e.g., practice-led research)
Craig Batty, Susan Kerrigan

Chapter 2. A ‘Logical’ Explanation of Screen Production as Method-Led Research

Screen production research brings new knowledge to the practice of filmmaking, screenwriting, and digital media production. This type of creative research is attractive to those who have worked professionally, are aspiring to do so, or want an academic career specialising in screen production practice. Choosing an appropriate methodology, epistemology and ontology that supports an enquiry into practice requires a deeper appreciation of the philosophical position of the researcher, who chooses to examine their subjective point of view through their creative practice. This chapter provides an explanation of an appropriate research design to allow a screen production researcher to logically defend their research enquiry and decision to use practice, be that filmmaking, screenwriting or editing, as a method that leads the research process. This aligns with practice-led, research-led, practice-based and practice as research, which are popular approaches used in creative practice research enquiries.
Susan Kerrigan

Chapter 3. Lights, Camera, Research: The Specificity of Research in Screen Production

This chapter argues that the development of screen production could be enhanced with a stronger alignment between the academic research sector and the film and television industry, where, at present, knowledge transfer from academic researchers to the wider screen practice community is negligible at best. However, for this to improve, approaches to research need to clearly reflect the specifics of the practice, and demonstrate outcomes that resonate with practitioners beyond the academy. Drawing on a body of practice by the author that includes work in both professional and academic contexts, this chapter will explore the question of what, if anything, marks the practice of screen production as a distinct field of academic inquiry. It will also consider whether specific research methods are required to meaningfully capture knowledge about the field.
Leo Berkeley

Chapter 4. The Primacy of Practice: Establishing the Terms of Reference of Creative Arts and Media Research

This chapter seeks to define some of the key terms at play in discussions of practice-based arts and media research, and places this endeavour in its institutional setting. A review of the various forms of arts research currently being practiced in higher education reveals the marginalisation of the forms of research and project development conducted by artists in the course making their work, which the academy is loath to acknowledge. To advance the artistic research paradigm, we may need a broader historical perspective on artistic research. The historic avant-garde pioneered a revolution in arts pedagogy in the first decades of the twentieth century, and this provides the basis for the emergence of a tradition of artistic theorising and research practice that we can continue to learn from. The chapter sketches the model of artistic research that emerged at this time, and argues that this still has cogency for contemporary practice-based, creative arts and media research.
Desmond Bell

Chapter 5. Screenwriting as a Mode of Research, and the Screenplay as a Research Artefact

Screenwriting practice is now a flourishing mode of research within universities internationally, whereby the act of writing a screenplay or developing screenplay works is not only understood but also celebrated as a legitimate form of knowledge discovery and dissemination. The resulting work of this creative practice research, which we might call the ‘academic screenplay’, thus functions simultaneously as a method of research enquiry and a ‘non-traditional’ research artefact. In this chapter, we explore what it means to develop and write a screenplay in the academy, under the conditions of and for research. By positioning screenwriting alongside and in between the disciplines of creative writing and screen production, we reflect on how it can draw from both disciplines at different times and for different purposes and can be influenced by their specific—and sometimes contradictory—discourses. By doing so, the chapter provides a comprehensive overview of screenwriting as a growing mode of research, and its practice as an important addition to the academy.
Craig Batty, Dallas J. Baker

Chapter 6. Using Practitioner-Based Enquiry (PBE) to Examine Screen Production as a Form of Creative Practice

In order to understand creative practice, one firstly needs to understand the current research literature into creativity. We then have a basis for examining ways of researching creativity, particularly in relation to screen production. There are a number of possible research approaches. Using a framework that is common to all research, be it objectivist, subjectivist or constructionist, one could research screen production by taking a traditional research approach such as textual analysis or ethnography or by, instead, undertaking a creative practice research process while producing audio-visual material for the screen using a practitioner-based enquiry (PBE) approach. This chapter outlines the ontological and epistemological basis of PBE, describes and justifies its general use as a research tool to examine the creative process, outlines how it is used to research screen production as a specific form of creative practice, and finally, provides empirical examples of its application.
Phillip McIntyre

Chapter 7. Ethnography and Screen Production Research

This chapter explores what can happen when creative practice research meets ethnography. While ethnography has a long and proud history, creative practice is a relative newcomer as a research methodology. Often creative practice research in the screen production areas is obsessed with representation. Filmmaking, photography and screenwriting suggest representational research strategies with a strong focus on artifacts as texts. Over the last decade there has been a push in creative practice research toward research that emphasises the experiential. Ethnographic writing strategies provide useful alternatives and additions to reflection on process as a way of constructing knowledge. Ethnographic approaches capture the nuances of the experiential, affective and sensory aspects of everyday life. This chapter argues that there is much to be gained from mingling creative practice research with ethnographic approaches to research.
Marsha Berry

Chapter 8. Method in Madness: A Case Study in Practice Research Methods

To embark on the making of a feature film is sheer madness. Yet some of us cannot help but be driven to engage with this form by adopting creative and managerial methods, routines, processes and discourses that help us navigate our way towards creating some kind of impact. In this chapter, I seek to describe and articulate an example of a film project as research, with a particular emphasis on looking at how documentation and critical reflection form the core methodology of the project. In the madness that is filmmaking, how can methodology and method be employed to provide the basis for rigour in the research enquiry?
Erik Knudsen

Chapter 9. Cinematography: Practice as Research, Research into Practice

This chapter explores ways to research and position the practice of cinematography and the figure of the cinematographer. Cinematography is a particular form of thinking and collaborative activity, and a specific form of praxis that combines visual ‘enskilment’ processes, aesthetic organisation and communities of practice culture. The chapter presents brief examples of cinematography research case studies under six thematic banners: text, technology, art form, process, culture, and document. The purpose of these themes is to underline how categories prioritise different qualities of research material, and that using practice-oriented interrogation may give visibility to evidence hitherto ignored. The author is a director-cinematographer and ethnographer, who draws on contemporary discussions of practice in anthropology; film production and pedagogy.
Cathy Greenhalgh

Chapter 10. Practices of Making as Forms of Knowledge: Creative Practice Research as a Mode of Documentary Making in Northeast India

Research-based creative practice documentaries pursue unexplored lines of inquiry and sensory trajectories. This chapter discusses two creative practice documentary projects that I have developed in the Northeast Indian state of Assam. My discussion takes up how the historical contexts of where I work inform the directions of my practice. My interest in documenting Assamese cultural practices as containers of living knowledges constitutes a counterpoint to dominant modes of representing the region that are identified with the ‘counter-insurgent gaze’ (Baruah 2005). The chapter raises my processes for developing Kamakha: Through Prayerful Eyes (2012) and When Women Weave (work-in-progress) to illustrate how documentary aesthetics construct meanings and discourses. I specifically discuss the influence of observational cinema and my approach to social aesthetics devised through haptic audio-visuality.
Aparna Sharma

Chapter 11. Fragments, Form and Photogénie: Using Practice to Research the Intersectional Work of Poetic Documentary

As creators of media works defined by a close relationship with the real, a significant question for documentary practitioners is how to respond to the complexity of reality. Theories of spectator embodiment suggest opportunities to address these conditions through both the content and form of documentary work. Building on Epstein’s photogénie and Marks’s tactile epistemologies, this chapter examines a poetic approach to documentary production as one way to activate diverse knowledges that go beyond what can be expressed verbally. Using examples from the production of the short documentary, How Many Ways to Say You? this chapter suggests that the intersectional methodology of an open, poetic approach to documentary can provoke diverse knowledges for makers and spectators that may address our fragile and changeful context.
Bettina Frankham

Chapter 12. Peter Kennedy’s The Photographs’ Story: The Dialectical Image as Research

Creative practice as research in moving image and sound has, since the 1960s, been central to the methodologies and works of many moving image artists in Australia. Peter Kennedy’s conceptual, performance, installation and light works mobilize radical political insight with richly complex formal strategies. Kennedy’s recent The Photographs’ Story (2015), working with a set of still photographs depicting the death of Mohammad Al-Dura in Gaza in June 2000, is examined for the manner in which formal strategies in moving image installation can be understood as a series of propositions regarding creative practice as research, arguing that the ‘poetic dimension’ of a work of art is the heart of its critical knowledge and the image, the vehicle for its transmission.
John Hughes

Chapter 13. The Naïve Researcher Resisting Methodology: A Ph.D. Experience

This chapter proposes a methodology for moving-image creative practice research which centres on qualities and practices of attention. This is about attending to the formal properties of the medium in the moment of ‘making’ whilst taking into the field of attention all of the other complex processes involved in moving-image production. The chapter reflects on how these materialities interrelate and give rise to the practitioner’s research ‘acts’. In this way, methodology is found in every instance as a unique set of processes, where the entanglement of the theoretical terrains, the materiality of the medium, and the researcher’s own experience of making come to bear on the work we call the research artefact. Here, the question of methodology remains flexible, malleable, and transformable.
Smiljana Glisovic

Chapter 14. Afterword: Tacit Knowledge and Affect—Soft Ethnography and Shared Domains

The Afterword highlights the range of creative methodological approaches and practices in screen production research explored in this book. While the majority of contributors reflect on the production phase of their research projects, the Afterword suggests an alternative approach in the absence of ‘being there’ on set. Using ‘soft ethnography’ to analyse the controversial film Blue Is the Warmest Colour, we focus on some key ‘authors’ (including performers) to examine the flow and feedback between different authorial ‘signatures’ revealed by after-the-event interviews and textual reading. Whether properly ethnographic, ‘cognitive two-step’, or our own case study of ‘soft ethnography’, we share an important contemporary upsurge in research that emphasizes a reflexive approach to tacit knowledge, embodiment and affect
Belinda Middleweek, John Tulloch


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