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Documentary as a Form of Creative-Led Research Production and Dissemination

Notes on a presentation by Professor Trish Fitzsimmons, Deputy Head of Griffith Film School. Please excuse any errors or omissions. This is not intended for citation or reference.

In our career as academics-researchers- find the herringbone/ the dialectic- find what you care about, what you want to explore, and find what the institution (GU) and external bodies wants me to do- finding the way to bring these two energies together to make a strong structure that will keep us going and make us successful.

Trish- background as documentary filmmaker- worked in broadcaster- studies in history, passion in historical documentary. Book published in the “documentary impulse”. Latest work in documentary pedagogy- working with others online, os and thru the net

Definition of research- “Research comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge” – Frascati Manual, OECD 2002:30

ERA as a body that places value on research and ranks the worth as research outputs

The key question in a doctorate- :does this contribute to knowledge”- figuring out how I do this as a special skill, done through understanding a field. Like getting together a dinner party of all those within the field, whats been done before, and the gap in the field, and how it is you can contribute to this gap.

Trinh Ti Min-ha – talking about how film must be understood from within and without, looking from different viewpoints and not from just a sterile theoretical stance- from a practitioners point of view.

Reinvigorated interest in local land sparked in 2011 floods, grabbing a camera and filming the results.

The power of the people who administer grants, even if they do not have the power of granting, is to be kept in mind. The Helen Taylor Grant $10,000 was up for grabs and Trish received it in order to put her film together making the promise of 2 mini documentaries to act as proof of concept for a full scale doco. Working alongside the people from the Norman Creek Catchment Committee- taking the stories of the land to the people.

Keep the ear to the ground about who has funding, understanding what they want, and what would make their eyes shine that you would also love to work on.

Looking into public developments and budgets in order to develop one’s own work, to shape the future in alignment of your own desires.

Time and Tide- life on Norman Creek as one of the two short docks made with the grant.

Research as :

Secondary sources- Local Histories and their Gaps

Archival- State Archives of Queensland, BCC, Govt Printer

Primary- 21 interviews, leads from the SE Advertiser article

Collaborations as key to putting together any kind of project

Finding ways to talk about your idea in order to attract support

Presenting findings and research at conferences, symposium, etc- deadlines as a way to get your stuff together

Crane arts in Philidelphia as a place to screen/show work. A place to explore the connections between fine art and film, collaborations of photography, painting and film.

Museum of Brisbane- The River, a semi permanent exhibition on show

Applying for grants as a process of momentum

Thinking hard about how to join your wants with what other bodies want- finding that line of energy and being “bloody minded” in pursuit of this