2. Project Aim and Rationale

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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.

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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.


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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?



Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.34.23 PM.png 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.




Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.41.18 PM.png 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)



Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.59.28 PM.png 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).


 Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.32.24 PM.pngYouth: 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)



Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 4.27.33 PM.png 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?



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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?


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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

  1. Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 3.56.38 PM.pngWRITE DOWN YOUR PROJECT AIM IN A SENTENCE. Be clear on your topic or theme and purpose.
  2. 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.



Further Reading:

Writing research questions: purpose and examples

Writing a research statement: www.psychologicalscience.org

Coventry University, academic support – CAW




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