My final-year university project looked at how digital media can be used to better research and represent subcultures. Through reviewing historical and current methods of cultural research, I made use of various aspects of visual and digital ethnography (a subset of anthropology) to gain a better understanding of the skateboarding subcultures in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Through embedding myself within the cultures, I built up good ethnographic relationships with my informants before filming the interviews so as to make their representations of themselves more natural.
The interviews themselves were filmed on-location (via "video-tours"), with the informants leading me around the spaces they occupy and giving them ability to "self-edit" and only show/tell me things they were comfortable with. Inspired by a scene in Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin's "Chronique d'un été" (1961), the informants were wirelessly mic'd up with unobtrusive equipment so as to capture clear audio, whilst not getting in the way of their performance.
I also made use of audiovisual reciprocity to confirm that all the footage was okay to publish. This was made possible by the digital process and meant I could gain feedback from informants locally or remotely. This also helped during the editing process to ensure the informants had a say in the final film.
The Final Film
The final film uses considered editing to ensure the informants narratives remain intact. This was a big editing task and has made my video editing process much more efficient. In addition to this I created an eye-catching brand and motion graphics and for the film which can be seen throughout.
In all, my honours project has improved my skills in digital video, motion graphics, visual effects and brand development, as well as developed my interpersonal skills, through working with informants on-location.
If you would like to gain a bit more insight into the creation of FLIPSIDE, take a look at the making of below which walks you through my process, including how I went about finding informants, filming the interviews and editing the film.
If you're still reading, please check out the written components of my Honours Project, which includes my research and my project evaluation (dropbox links):