Tuesday, June 18, 2013

MA Research Questions

Here are the research questions:

Research Questions – Raindance

  1. Filmmakers tend to learn in different ways than traditional academic students. Many are experiential, aural or visual learners rather than traditional classroom teaching.  I would like to explore the techniques used by a group of successful film/media teachers at the high school, college and university level to answer the question, what are some of the best methods to teach film/media studies?

  1. Looking at a number of cases studies, I would like to research what role social media now plays in film/media marketing?

  1. Financing is always the most difficult part of filmmaking. By exploring new trends in film financing, I will be better equipped to work with students to ensure they have they the most financing options for getting their projects made. I will do this by asking, what are the latest and most successful trends in film financing?

 I look forward to your feedback.


  1. Hi Chuck, Jaimy is exploring your question 1 regarding the 'teaching' of filmmaking and what is effective. I hope you can connect with her about this.

    You probably already have an idea that doing / making and reflecting on that process - or a 'hands on' process - is probably more effective than, say, reading about a topic or listening to someone talking about a topic. So maybe, you could ask 'what types of doing-activities are more helpful for teaching filmmakers' than just presenting a seminar-style information session - and - could you test this in your DOC course at Raindance?

    What specific activities enliven filmmakers, get them excited or help them problem-solve the challenges of filmmaking?

    For your second question about Social Media and filmmaking...again, Jaimy and Elliot would be great resources for you. Would you want to narrow this focus a bit and look at social media use for documentary promotion? Just a thought

    Regarding question 3 - financing is a shifting target -but nonetheless an important one. You could of course explore what's out there. Anything that you can think of that more specifically supports DOC filmmaking?

  2. As a psychology student we were taught that the best learning is when all the senses were involved. When we studied for exams, and apparently lawyers also did this was write out the work, read it out loud while you wrote, so that you used all of your senses. I personally find these questions fascinating.

    I think #2 is a look at society as whole, I truly believe you cannot separate social media from the younger generation, your question is truly a societal shift, which in my opinion would be reflected in the movies coming out, not just in terms of the types of movies, but also at the level of processing. Back in high school I had my Charlie Chaplin phase and watched everything he did, by today's standards the movies would be extremely slow, and sluggish, but by the same token it's also an instant gratification. The speed at which a movie is loved or hated is viral within weeks ... it might explain why movies spend so little time in theatres (in addition to the costs) but at the speed at which movies are being made. Fifteen years ago, one could keep up with new releases at the movies, on DVD's, but not anymore. I think all your questions have true merit, and will certainly help you towards becoming a better tutor.

  3. Hi Chuck,
    Your Questions #3 definitely speaks to me as a filmmaker looking at the business of financing in films and not being satisfied with the status quo. It's too bad that we haven't had a chance to connect on this further, but hope that I'll have a chance to draw on your experience and that my journey in this masters may provide you with useful information as well.

    Regarding question #1, I wanted to suggest my old high school in Scarborough, Stephen Leacock C.I. as a case study. At the time I went there it was one of only two high schools in all of Canada that had its only Television studio. We were very closely associated to City TV, CTV, and Global, often receiving donated equipment and being able to work on special projects with them. e.g. I was lucky to have written-directed on a student-driven short horror with the assistance of a CTV producer.
    Anyway, I'm not sure what the current state of the program is, but if you're interested I can help you connect with the school.

  4. I had a similar experience to Wilson's when I attended journalism school at Ryerson University. We also had our own TV and radio studios, and we were taught by broadcasters who were actively working at the CBC. Every week we had to produce a 1/2 hour of TV news and a 1/2 hour of radio news. And each week we had to assume a different role in the process -- one week I was a news anchor, the next week I edited tape, the next week I was a cameraman, etc. The show always went to air on a tight deadline and then the prof critiqued it to professional standards. It was an awesome learning experience. I hear the journalism program at Carlton is much more academically focused, with most of their learning time spent in lecture halls. I'm sure I wouldn't have fared as well. I imagine a lot of film school share this sort of dichotomy.

    I would be very interested to see what sort of project you'd devise from your research into film school teaching methods. Would you compare and contrast two films schools that have very different teaching methodologies? What criteria would you use to determine which teaching method was "better"?

  5. Thanks for your comments. I will talk a bit more of my approach on Sunday. I have a number of resources at all levels of schooling. As well a friend how has a Phd. in learning technologies. So I have a plan. I think if you have any resources that can help that would be great. Speak to you all in the AM.