TMA1407 Feedback Reflection

TMA1407 is the module which dealt with Processes and was intended to help us develop and further our projects. It was fairly good for this but (as I may have mentioned once or twice) I don’t feel like I was able to dedicate as much attention to this module as it deserved due to TMA1402. But that aside the feedback from 1407 was useful to me:

There is some good work here you are tackling the filming and post production effectively, you are taking on the challenge on scripting and edit to build a narrative, the is way to in this respect but progress is sure and steady. The next stage regards the critical development of the piece, there are things to consider which will influence how the project progresess from here. What is the film about and who is it for, so that’s context and audience. Critically, you have a tendancy to measure relevance of material/research etc based on your own parameters, but by asking the simple (yet complex) question of context and audience,  you can begin to tease core themes that will then allow your studies to not be confined to or read as  “women martial artist doc”, but to move across subject, genre and medium to get to deeper level regarding gender, representation, purpose and authorship: E.G: do you speak for her? Do you articulate what she cannot? If you are speaking on her behalf, what is being said and how? that is where you build from.

So again we are talking about the voice and this is where my research is going to have to focus for now, to truly understand the concept of voice. I don’t know that I can speak for Gemma and I don’t feel that I need to. She has a strong voice of her own so at present I am leaning towards using her voice and bolster that with the voices of her friends and family.


As I promised before, there will be more to come on the voice

Sex: My British Job

Well, not mine. It’s a documentary directed by Nick Broomfield starring Hsiao-Hung Pai looking at the hidden world of the prostitution of Chinese illegal immigrants.

Starring is probably the wrong term to use here as the documentary is predominantly filmed through her eyes by way of a secret camera hidden in her glasses. As such the footage is all fairly low quality but the topic is so absorbing that you soon forget about shaky, low quality image.

In the documentary Hsiao-Hung Pai works as a maid in a brothel in London and her duties include cleaning, cooking and answering the phone. This is about 14 hours a day every day all for about £100 a week. Those are meant to be her duties however as the film progresses there is increasing pressure put on her to work as a prostitute with the madam getting more and more aggressive and verbally abusive the more she resists. You can see Pai getting more depressed as time passes and in the end she agrees to prostitute herself, calls in Nick and gets out. The documentary finishes with Pai, accompanied by Nick, going to confront the madam about her behaviour and the way she victimises the vulnerable girls who through being undocumented cannot work in legal well paid jobs.

As I said above, this documentaries strength lies not in its visuals but rather in the immersive investigation that Pai undertook.

In my own work I’m trying hard to produce strong high end visuals but maybe I shouldn’t get too tied up with that.

Documenting the Madness

As a part of developing my own documentary I have been watching a lot of documentaries to learn more about the conventions of documentaries and explore how they develop their narratives. I’ve decided not to restrict myself on the types of documentary I’m watching but generally they are around equality, feminism and violence.