Sunday, 29 November 2015

Breaking Cinema: The focus is figured!

Its a project that examines cinema, but does not really look at the films.

Breaking Cinema is a creative branded entity I am currently developing that is made up of a website, a YouTube channel, social media profiles and a podcast, which is the primary central element.

Potential rough logo/graphic design

This project is drawing heavily on my Postgraduate 2.0 Studies, my Ways 2 Interface research project, my belief in Constructive Film Studies and my continuing interest in NeuroPsychoCinematics; as such, Breaking Cinema is inherently transdisciplinary in its approach and is being enriched by a broad canvas of knowledge.

It's basically a creative mish-mash of diverse knowledge and application, with cinema only being the starting point.

Be under no illusion, this project is not conservative film nostalgia (there are enough sources already taking care of that, Something to do with Film being one of them), I want to do something a little bit more progressive with Breaking Cinema.

The Podcast

The Breaking Cinema podcast will be made up of clusters/seasons of about 10 high-quality episodes a piece that will utilise an experimental documentary storytelling format to constructively explore the subjects of film and media from a lucid and lateral, but highly entertaining and quirky perspective.

Film and Media Studies are SO last century!

Using 'cinema' as the starting point, Breaking Cinema breaks with the tradition of wholly isolated and objectified textual analysis, criticism and appreciation in order to creatively utilise the inherent subjectivity and freedom of the audio form to broaden the canvas of exploration.

"Another observation I have drawn from the many podcasts and audio dramas that I have listened to over the past six years is that, opposed to when I am watching a film, where my brain is constantly being bombarded and distracted by new imagery, the lack of immediate visual information with a podcast allows my brain more time and space in which to ponder points that have been raised in the content of the audio." 
- Me, The Breaking Cinema Overview Document

And a film is an after-print of various other minds - it's mind boggling, I know!

The point of the podcast is to enable the listener to generate their own imagery and introspection while consuming the content as a collaborator in the experience's overall final impact. An experience with the end-goal of expanding the listener's point of view in order to envision a bigger picture of the reality around them.

I believe that in order to really understand what 'cinema' is, you have to approach it via an indirect route, you have to take a step back from all of the audio-visual technological noise that now surrounds us and you absolutely have to get away from the over-discussed two-dimensional images on the screen.

Instead, you have to start looking at the four-dimensional beings who are just as much (in fact, more so) active creators and embodiments of 'cinema', as they are of the imagery and impact of this audio podcast.

As such, the podcast will incorporate many personal reflections from many different points of view - this is ABSOLUTELY essential!

"The human voice can convey much more meaning through tone and inflection than the printed word ever can. It’s why millions of Americans sat, fixated, during the Golden Age of Radio – listening to everything from adventure, comedy and drama to classical music concerts, news and farm reports." 
- Nicolette Beard, Podcasting: Storytelling for the 21st Century

'Cinema' may be the starting point, but I do not believe that it is the end in and of itself. I think that with the very ambiguous concept of 'cinema' human beings have been trying to pin down something vastly more fundamental and universal; something that is now very clearly growing beyond just being embodied as two-dimensional images on a screen.

I believe that 'cinema' represents something that has always been transcendental to films and I think it has an awful lot to do with unlocking the mechanisms behind human consciousness.

That's my theory and my starting point to present an alternative and enriching humanistic exploration of cinema that is not just about films!

The bigger picture I want to get my teeth stuck into.
Hence, why this project is called Breaking Cinema.

Its a project that examines cinema, but does not really look at the films. If that is not motivation for a really creative, divergent and engaging podcast, then I don't know what is!

Finally, as an experimental documentary storytelling podcast, what I am going for in the tone, format and style of Breaking Cinema will be something akin to a fusion of Serial, You Must Remember This, Short Cuts, Attaboy Clarence and The Secret History of Hollywood.

Breaking Cinema with a Selfie Stick: Constructive Film Studies and the Point of the Podcast

"If the study of film just become history, then film will be history!"

Breaking Cinema with a Selfie Stick (a possible alternative name for the podcast) is a spontaneous, flu-induced 40-minute reflection I produced that goes into a great deal more depth about my motivations for the approach of the Breaking Cinema project...

This whole project is born out of passion and frustration in equal measure!

Also see, Breaking Cinema: 1 blog post & 20 key points of the focus...

Teething Problems and a Change in Direction

Initially, the Breaking Cinema podcast was envisioned as sit-down discussions with alternating contributors from one episode to the next and I actually recorded a number of test episodes utilising this format with a selection of contributors.

However, even when we were utilising this format, it never really filled me with any great enthusiasm - I know how to iron my clothes, but it's not necessarily something I enjoy doing!

The test episode approach always felt too passive, because we were just re-hashing the over-stepped path of traditional Film Studies, which is entirely unsurprising and completely my fault considering that I allowed four other Film Studies graduates to come aboard the project!

My incentive for recording the test episodes had been to amass a backlogue of potentially use-able episodes and to see if a better format developed out of the process, which it eventually did (the format outlined above), but only after I had completely stepped away from the test episodes.

Some of the key concepts of the project

Whether or not any of the test episode material will be used in the new format is hard to say at this stage, but, at any rate, I would still like to involve the test episode contributors as future contributors.

I've spent a whole year developing this idea and it has been like pulling teeth without anaesthetic the whole way!

However, I am glad for the mental workout and I am very pleased with the new format and direction!

To be launched soon... ish.