Crossing the Theory-Practice Divide

Crossing the Theory-Practice Divide

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4.2 Theme 2. Complexity and Luck

The images above reflect the most challenging scene in the Detective Brouwer project. While rehearsing their shot list, the team discovered the difficulties of translating a film script and shot list into an actual film. In the script, three characters are talking whilst seated around a table. They would all be shown in close-up, utilizing a pan and a focus pull. In order to film this, the students had to remove the table altogether. The student-author involved voiced this as a learning experience about perspective and the way framing and editing create the illusion of space:

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Figure 3.1. The challenging Detective Brouwer scene: Set-up.

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Figure 3.2. The challenging Detective Brouwer scene: Rehearsal.

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Figure 3.3. The challenging Detective Brouwer scene: On set with table.

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Figure 3.4. The challenging Detective Brouwer scene: Resulting scene.

The Ned Doc Style team, while creating their own work, learned about the role of luck in documentary production: ‘… it’s more a matter of luck… There is a lot of waiting to strike at the right moment to get the desired images,’ commented one.2 In addition, the Ned Doc Style team learned about the complexities of arranging access to archival material and copyrights.

The inquiry-based learning approach confronted students with everyday problems that may arise during film production, for which they often found their own solutions, which supports the benefits of self-directed learning. It also confronted them with the epistemic boundaries of media theories, as many issues were context specific.

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