Your creative project, like a dissertation should be driven by a clear research question or objective. So once you’ve got your idea you need to start constructing it’s academic framework.
The first step is to decide on your aim – this might be specific (about a particular person/people or place or object) or it might be more open-ended (eg. who decides who is beautiful? ) Either way, the aim of your project should be clear and focused. Don’t be generic or generalized here or your idea will be loose and unmanageable.
STIMULUS EXERCISE – TO HELP YOU DEVELOP YOUR RATIONALE – READ THROUGH THE THEMATIC QUESTIONS BELOW. These have been designed to get you thinking about the kind of theme your idea might fit within.
Power: What or who is controlling you (or someone else or an organization or a community) and why? Is power the same as control? Who or what has power over you (or your character) and why? What do these scenarios tell us about society? Are beliefs a form of control or self-control? Are you a believer (religious, spiritual, political, nature) – what does this mean?
Empathy: Can you show us what it feels like to walk in another’s shoes, really show us – so we feel it? Or can you show us places (or people or lifestyles) that show us something new about each other.
Love: What is it like to love in an unconventional context? What feeds the passions of devotees of (SPORT, HOBBY, HEALTH FAD, FASHION)? What turns love into addiction? What stops love – on a personal or global level? ( People trying to overcome challenges/obstacles can often work well here)
Community: How can you show the life in a specific community in a meaningful way? Similarly can you show what life is like for an outsider to a community/country? What do we mean by “family”, does it mean the same for everyone? (Incorporating the lead up to an event or meeting often works here).
Youth: What are the hopes and fears of twenty-somethings and how to these manifest themselves? What does aging mean to different age groups? Who decides who is beautiful? (Use these prompts to question society’s norms)
Communication: Can you show how we misunderstand each other? Or ways for humans to better communicate? How well do we really know our friends/family/neighbours and what are the implications to society of not knowing?
Future: What current developments in the world are going to shape it for the next five/ ten/twenty years and how you can portray this realistically?
Technology: In what ways can modern technology be used as a storyteller? Or to tell old stories in new ways?
TASK: Use the questions above (or come up with you own) to help shape your idea. Then
- WRITE DOWN YOUR PROJECT AIM IN A SENTENCE. Be clear on your topic or theme and purpose.
- NOW WRITE YOUR RATIONALE FOR THE PROJECT IN A FEW SENTENCES. Give the reason/s for wanting to make this project.
- What are you hoping this project will evidence or discover?
- What kind of reaction are you hoping to provoke?
- What information or insight will the audience gain from watching this?
- Also include details about the genre, duration and intended methods of distribution.
NB – You can revise your aim and rationale after the research phase but it’s important to do it now so that your contextual research is focussed.
Writing research questions: purpose and examples
Writing a research statement: www.psychologicalscience.org
Coventry University, academic support – CAW