INTRODUCTIONThe purpose of this presentation is to evaluate and understandthe process of Crowdsourcing as a means of film production. I will seek a definition of the process and compare it to The Inside experience’s model of ‘social film’. Using relevant examples I will analyse Crowdsourcing and evaluate it as a method for producing ‘social film’
WHAT IS CROWDSOURCING? “Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.”(Jeff Howe,2006) From this definition of crowdsourcing I understand it to be aprocess or activity usually undertaken by an elite few or a solitaryproducer and offered to a community of enthusiastic amateurs toparticipate in a collaborative process and produce something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
EXAMPLES OF CROWDSOURCINGThe earliest example of crowdsourcing as a means of production is the 2009 feature film Faintheart. The production began with the search for the director. The MySpace profile MyMovie MashUp’s was used a forum for potential candidates to upload previous work in an attempt toobtain the directorial role. The director was then selected through a poll available on the profile page. Of 800 short film submissions it was Vito Rocco’s Goodbye Cruel World that proved most popular and ultimately won him the role of the director.
FURTHER EXAMPLES OF CROWDSOURCING Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald’s Life in a Day(2011) shows crowdsourcing on a much grander scale. The premise of the project was that for one day, July 242010, anyone could film themselves and upload the footage onto YouTube for consideration to feature in the final film.Of the 4500 hours of footage submitted, 80,000 uploads in totaland from 192 countries, the final film totalled 94 minutes and 27 seconds(Wikipedia, 2011). On the 31st October 2011, the film was made available for viewing free of charge on YouTube.
CROWDSOURCING AS ‘SOCIAL FILM’ To consider crowdsourcing as a viable method for producing ‘social film’ we must first consider its opportunities for participation.Both examples I have mentioned before offer limited opportunities for interaction and participation. Of the two Life in a Day promised the greatest prospect for participation with it relying solely on footageuploaded on YouTube. However, once the footage was collected it wasultimately at the discretion of the director, Kevin Macdonald, to decide the content and narrative of the film, essentially terminating the communitys participation prematurely.
CONCLUSION Crowdsourcing as a film production method pales in comparison to The Inside Experience’s model of ‘social film’. Although both offer opportunity for interaction, it can be said that crowd sourced films still operate within the framework of traditional film production. With the contribution of the audience reduced to a token gesture or a gimmick for the film to be sold on. It is projects like The Inside Experience and KillCam live where true ‘social film’ lies, offering audience’s the opportunity to affect andcontribute to the film in a considerable way. Albeit often to produce an inferior product to crowd sourced films but nevertheless a truly socialexperience in which collaboration and participation are fundamental to the success of the project
REFERENCESJ.HOWE (2006). Crowdsourcing. Weblog [Online] May 2006. Available from: http://www.crowdsourcing.com/cs/2006/05/index.html. [15/11/2011]. WIKIPEDIA. (2011) Life in a Day. [Online]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_in_a_Day_%282011_film%29. [15/11/2011].
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