Monday, 9 March 2015

GradProg talks 11/3: Qs of Practice-Based Research // Zero Budget Film-making

11th of March, MediaCityUK, University of Salford Campus, Room: 3.17

Internal Speakers: Rosie Miller and Jonathan Carson (3.30-4.30)

Combining practice based and non-practice based research

This session examines strategies for students interested in combining practiced based and non-practice based research. It will also discuss the value of this combining especially in relation to reflexive thinking and the development of research work and a research profile. The session will be led by collaborative artists Carson & Miller.

External Speaker: Dr William Brown (Surrey Roehampton) (4.30 - 5.30)

Zero Budget Filmmaking: Why It Matters (and Why I Do It)

In this talk, I will discuss various forms of zero- to low-budget filmmaking from across the globe, including Uruguay, China, Iran, the Philippines, South Africa and the USA. I shall contend that zero budget filmmaking is, in the contemporary era, enabled by digital technology – and that the technology, in conjunction with the low budget, often leads to formal innovation that makes of this kind of filmmaking a vibrant and important form. Nonetheless, distribution remains a key issue for such films and filmmakers, in spite of the utopian promise of online distribution and exhibition sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. What is more, while often supportive of such films, film festivals are forced increasingly to be risk-averse in their film choices. Perhaps this means that academia is the realm where zero-budget filmmaking might thrive. Indeed, I query that the academic sphere is the best hope for zero-budget filmmakers, among whom I include myself: cheap enough to be formally adventurous, too cheap for festivals to risk losing an audience for.

William Brown is Senior Lecturer in Film at the University of Roehampton, London. He is the author of Supercinema: Film-Philosophy for the Digital Age (Berghahn, 2013) and Global Digital Cinema: Cinema and the Multitude (Berghahn, forthcoming). He is the co-author, with Dina Iordanova and Leshu Torchin, of Moving People, Moving Images: Cinema and Trafficking in the New Europe (St Andrews Film Studies, 2010) and the co-editor, with David Martin-Jones, of Deleuze and Film (Edinburgh University Press, 2012). He has also directed several zero- to low-budget films, including En Attendant Godard (2009), Afterimages (2010) and Common Ground (2012). He hopefully will also finish Ur: The End of Civilization in 90 Tableaux (2013) by the time he gives this talk.

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