Academic and Practice Research
Research challenges. Studying for a PhD by practice can be a greater challenge than you anticipated, unlike the usual pathway of the thesis based PhD you have to both research the subject academically (for the written thesis part) and at the same time research for the practice element, which in my case is a film production.
What are the differences? they may seem obvious, the academic research is primarily for the written thesis and any research for the practice element/artefact and in my case the making of a film, is for the pre-production of the film, that is the films outline, B-roll, subjects and locations I want to include in the film, basically everything that needs to be done before you can start filming. However there is considerable overlap, as the academic research also produces ideas and leads for the films production. For example, my initial academic research when applied to the location Lancaster City and its surrounding area has identified potential subjects and locations that I would want to include into the film. Indeed this initial academic research into my subject of collective memory has identified another thread to consider for further research, which if the research is successful would bring the benefit of my film having multiple storylines.
Will my practice research add to my academic research? yes is the answer, even at this early stage of the films pre-production the locations and potential film subjects have influenced some of my further reading choices I have made and I suspect this may in turn lead to further threads to the film. However I need to be careful of over expanding my subjects range, as it is impossible to have all the answers to such an over expanded subject and almost certain to lead to a research challenge impossible to achieve in the 3 years of a PhD and in the context of the film, it would also be impossible to include all of the research driven results and expanded questions in a film of acceptable duration..
Where am I now? my research on the subject of collective memory and film has opened up a new area of research on Cinema, and by this I actually mean the collective memories of people going to the cinema to watch a film (a shared experience, event) . The social experience of going to the cinema, the people, the buying of a ticket, something to eat, drink and the taking of your seat in the auditorium. The film that you watched and the time period are all factors and potential areas of interest to research and explore in my documentary. This again leads to another question of how It would be useful to compare cinema going from the previous century to going to the cinema now.
Practice research adds to my reading list Collective Memory Film a Reading List