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A practical handbook
Author: Andy Lawrence

This handbook is intended for those wanting to use documentary filmmaking as a research method to explore subjects and also as a way of expressing ideas. Its focus is practical rather than technical, aiming to complement the many handbooks that already exist covering filmmaking, digital videography, sound recording and video editing. It concentrates on aspects of filmmaking for research purposes at an introductory level that are not so well documented elsewhere, such as the practical stages involved in the production of an ethnographic film. The underlying principal of this handbook is to broaden the application of ethnographic filmmaking to suit a wide range of research areas and documentary expression, encompassing sensory, fictive, observational, participatory, reflexive, performative and immersive modes of storytelling. I have chosen to avoid detailed discussion of technology as this dates quickly. This handbook aims to assist individuals in their personalised searches using online facilities to develop research methods and also teaching, by decoding technical terminology and explaining filmmaking workflows.

Abstract only
Meritxell Ramírez-i-Ollé

1 Fieldwork Every year at the beginning of August, since 2006, Professor Rob Wilson has been busy putting the finishing touches to an annual fieldwork expedition in the Scottish Highlands. Rob is the leader of the ‘Scottish Pine Project’, a dendroclimatological project aiming to use Scots pine trees (Pinus Sylvestris L.) to reconstruct the climatic history of Scotland over the last two millennia. During fieldwork, the members of the Scottish Pine Project and other occasional participants like me collect pieces of Scots pine wood from forests, buildings and

in Into the woods
Abstract only
Andy Lawrence

sounds must first be wrestled into some sort of order by a process of editing, which will undoubtedly force us to look closer into the experience of our fieldwork participants and also of ourselves. Editing is a repetitive process of organising and attempting to understand many hours of recorded material until it can be distilled and shaped into a coherent narrative, using computer software and technology designed specifically for the purpose. By referencing experiences recorded on location the researcher can develop and test theories about their field site. During

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
Andy Lawrence

Human life cannot be reduced to the conceptual language with which we render it intelligible or manageable. Michael Jackson anthropologist and author of Lifeworlds ( 2013 : 7) There is a fundamental problem for ethnographers when attempting to understand moments of fieldwork that are marked by confusion, ambiguity or uncertainty. How do we attempt to understand something that extends beyond the boundaries of rationality using academic methods that are built on reason? If researchers grow remote from the experiences that colour their fieldwork then a

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
Andy Lawrence

, how to read a fieldwork situation or relationship and when to take risks. Some issues will be different, such as how the involvement of the filmmaker can be limited in order to create more scope for an individualised and interactive experience within a flexible narrative. Most ethnographic documentary encourages the maker to engage critically and reflexively with the production of knowledge in the field. Recording a two-dimensional film is a way of acting in the world, as an extension of seeing and hearing, and editing can be considered akin to reflective thinking

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
Andy Lawrence

of the way that things feel differently for each of us. A filmmaker, however, seeks proximity to others as a way to interpret their thoughts, emotions and actions through images, sounds and stories that are eventually shared in a different but related cinematic experience. Opportunities for these documentaries are found in daily processes, spoken words and critical events, or they might be discovered outside of our existing conceptual frameworks as we encounter new things along the journey. Filmmaking for fieldwork is more than using a camera and sound devices to

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
Andy Lawrence

in the film’s content. The relationships that audience members develop with the protagonists of a film become something new, a cinematic experience entwined in the public act of viewing, which is quite different to the private experience of fieldwork. Previous sections have attempted to show how cinematic tools and techniques are used to relate the unfolding of experience to its narration through affect and the senses. Now that construction work for the film has ended, you may want to think carefully about how filmmaking negotiates this shift from personal

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
Andy Lawrence

mic, one Zeiss Batis 25mm full frame lens, a mini tripod & batteries tucked away. Lloyd Belcher (PhD University of Manchester, 2019) filmmaker and fieldworker Documentary is driven by ideas but it is navigated with technology that is in a perpetual state of innovation. The task of selecting cinematic equipment is best approached with a strategy for locating the technical features that suit your project rather than having a specific brand in mind. There are many self-updating references on equipment, such as internet forums, user reviews and blog sites. This

in Filmmaking for fieldwork
Bilge Firat

2 Fieldwork among the no(ta)bles Pilot: Bruxelles/Brussel/Brüssel/Brussels The trains from Brussels’ Zaventem Airport to the city centre carry thousands every day. When I took the trip late one evening in July 2005, a Dutch development consultant returning from Africa sat next to me. I had found an apartment in Brussels online. For the next four weeks, I was going to be an intern at the EU representation office of one of the most powerful interest groups from Turkey. I had never been to this post-industrial, northern European, polyglot city Turkish people call

in Diplomacy and lobbying during Turkey’s Europeanisation
Elizabeth Dauphinée

4712P BOSNIA-PT/bp.qxd 6/12/06 15:04 Page 1 1111 1 An accusation in the course of fieldwork Before one is guilty, one is already uniquely and irreplaceably in a position of shame in regard to those about whom one is to write.1 I am building my career on the loss of a man named Stojan Sokolović (and on the loss of many millions of others, who may or may not resemble him). And one night, he told me: ‘You write about violence – you say that fear is a violence – that the things that cause fear and insecurity are violences. But you do not know how that fear

in The ethics of researching war