Film and Video

After flirting with the ethnography-infused subfield of visual anthropology on the theoretical level, I became interested in production itself.  My initial foray into the production of moving images was a semester course at Oberlin College on 16mm film production.  I was never able to digitize the final product, but sometimes I find the memories of an experience, the really good ones at least, stay with you for a while.  Holding the film, splicing it and putting it all together however you please, running it through the spool.  Learning about the evolution of production aesthetics: today’s being the highest ratio of cuts/minute and insane amounts of lighting.

Some years later, I became more interested in digital film production and documentary film as a genre.  With enough tips saved, I was able to enroll in a doc film course through a local non-profit, Docs in Progress.  My 3-person production team followed a nearby tap studio in Silver Spring, MD during their yearly weeklong dance festival (Dance is the Answer, not incidentally, also the name of our piece, seen here).  It first aired in 2010 at the Silver Spring Stories Festival and was reviewed by Susan Mecheck of Social Susan Magazine, who had this to say: “this illuminating movie teaches life lessons such as the only thing that’s constant is change and you’re never too old or young to do anything.”

Through my studies at Georgetown, I have become interested in visual semiotics as a complementary approach to the study of discourse and human interaction more broadly. My recent work on media and public discourse has focused on digital narratives, as well as Otherization (read racial and discursive discrimination) in political campaign ads. Language access advocates can also benefit from a visual semiotic approach. My forthcoming research work will focus on linguistic landscapes of public and institutional spaces in a multi-lingual urban setting.  I recommend Scollon’s (2003) Discourses in Place, van Leeuwen and Jewitt’s (2001) Handbook of Visual Analysis, and Shohamy’s (2010) Linguistic Landscape in the the City, as helpful readers for this type of work.

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