Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seminar 6 Dyfrig Jones Position Statement

Conceiving the DATA-PSST! Documentary

Dyfrig Jones

Bangor University

Over almost two years, we have discussed a huge range of issues related to privacy and the use of data, bringing together a broad sweep of theoretical perspectives. As we approach the end of the DATA-PSST! series, the production of a short documentary film presents a number of challenges. Simply reflecting the opinions expressed during the seminars would, I suspect, be a relatively easy task. Interviews would be arranged with key participants, sound-bites elicited, and the whole thing could be tied together with shots of us deep in discussion. Such a film would do little more than tick a box, however. It would be a vanity piece, a mirror in which we could see ourselves at our cleverest and most interesting – but of little interest to anyone else.

From the outset, DATA-PSST has sought to engage with non-academics who have an interest in this field. The aim of the film is to expand this circle further, not only drawing in policy-makers and opinion formers, but also the general public. Co-ordinating the work, and taking it from concept to screen is my responsibility, but the film should be a collective endeavour. To try and steer me in the right direction, I would appreciate it if we could, during this final seminar, briefly discuss some of the following questions:

·       What are the key ideas that need to be expressed? How do we distil five days of discussion into ten minutes of film, without being (overly) reductive?

·       How can these ideas be turned into narratives? Good documentaries usually show, rather than tell.  Think about the real-world implications of your ideas, and how these can be put on screen.

·       How will this work visually? We need to avoid being overly reliant on interviews; this should be more than series of position statements in video form.

·       How do we appeal to the general public? What will make people share this video with their friends?

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