The second week of MMTM picked up where we left off as we turned our attention once more to Miss Representation. Rather than talking about the initial impact the movie had on us, we started to focus on what kind of message it sent to us, and what kind of message it made us want to create ourselves. We asked ourselves questions like,
“Who are we to judge each other as women?”
“Are the ways women are portrayed in the media accurate to our own lives, and if not how do they differ?”
“What is the influence that causes us to know that this objectification of women in order to market to men is wrong?”
“What do you, as a woman, care about?” and most importantly,
“If you had the opportunity to make a story that matters to you, what would it be about?”
As we batted these questions around, we started to slowly form the foundational concepts of our movies. This proved to be a crucial exercise as it is important to remember that we make films based on what we care about. To tell stories, you have to first understand why you want to tell this particular story, why it is your duty. From our group discussion, two major themes emerged – the complexity and the strength of women. These are two of the major aspects of women that seem to be diluted or misrepresented in the mainstream media, and we decided to concentrate on these themes for our movies by splitting into two production teams.
Before we jumped into the production process, we decided to look at a few different examples of film so that we could see different styles, filming methods, and ways to convey messages.
Most of the shorts that we viewed used kids as the main characters. By doing this, the directors allowed for the audience to take in the storylines without being preoccupied with how the characters look or portray themselves. There is a simplicity to children in the sense that we don’t automatically objectify them automatically in the same way we do to adults. This is contrasted by the Gold music video. It was the only clip we watched that didn’t feature children, and the girls in the video are wearing provocative clothing. However, the way these women are portrayed, although sexualized, is not necessarily objectification. This video illustrates the possibility for women to be both sexy and empowered without being that way for a man.
By exposing the girls to these different examples of short films we hoped not only kick start the process of brainstorming, but also show them the world of possibility that film has and the different ways to tell different stories. In the weeks to follow we would start both the brainstorming process as well as learning the technicalities of film in order to make our ideas into realities.