Justin – Week 1

Working in a group setting with productive and honest people is helping me shape my project. Before this week I only had an idea of what I’d do for my research, but after talking with the group about what I had in mind really helped me gain a stronger understanding of my project. My project will be studying films and their screenplays that were released during periods of mass social activism, A few movements I had are the LGTBQ+ movement, the Civil Rights movement, and the Women’s Right’s movements. The argument I’m trying to make is that film can do more than entertain people, and that it can be used as a political and social device that either aids or harms the movement they were released during. From three periods of social activism I will gather about ten films and their screenplays each.  Lately, I’ve been thinking that I should gather more films and that ten isn’t enough. I’ve been trying to determine the scope of my project and there are only so many films I can actually watch. I met with John Hunter and he may have a way for me to analyze these films faster and more accurately. This way involves ripping the metadata off of a dvd, specifically the closed captioning which can give you a line and a timestamp of when it was said in the film. It also fins the image that’s on screen at the time. This makes it so I can spend more time gathering films and analyzing what I get in order to create a better argument because I’ll have more films to reference. John’s  way of gathering data from the dvd also finds the ten lines before the specific line you decide to choose and the ten lines after in order to provide context. I’ve also been toying with the idea of only doing one social movement with large collection of films. This movement being the LGBTQ+ movement. There aren’t many digital scholarship projects that address the history of the LGBTQ+ movement and cinema and cinema may have aided or hurt the movement. There are archives and projects that attempt to restore and preserve cinema and media, but not many that try to make arguments based on those collections. This makes me feel like my work is meaningful because there aren’t many projects like mine for people to access. I’d like for people to be able to search for films during a specific ranges of time such as ten years and understand what was being depicted in the media as  LGBTQ+.

While being able to structure my project in a better way thanks to our daily meetings I’ve been able to understand topics such as copyright and open source. My project shouldn’t run into any copyright issues as my use of the films are educational and informative. While going over fair use my project didn’t seem to fall under what didn’t constitute as fair use.

I have my project somewhat figured out, but it definitely needs work in how it’s being shaped before I actually begin gathering and analyzing data.


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