Research Statement

Goals
My intended area of study is film production, distribution, and exhibition research. My goal is to create and provide studies that film production professionals can use to help with their creative work. Research and study information should be provided to and actively seeked by members of the film production community. This does not happen, but with more film production community members aware of production and viewer research, it could help with how films are created. Given that I have a terminal degree in Film, I also plan to teach a few production classes. This type of research in film will help students develop a better understanding of production work, when many others do not fully grasp the depth of what is happening after this work has been released. In an area that tends to not look at research to aid in its work, providing students with this material will hopefully start a change in their creations, resulting in a developing change in professional film work in the future.

Background
I have a sports and film production background and while I do not have previous research experience, I see the value that it can have in the production community. Coming from a film production background, no one suggested that we should use current research to help with our work. However, I see the possibilities of research helping with our productions. Research is rarely provided to the film community and those inside the community do not actively seek it out. While in film school, the only research study that we learned of was the eye tracking video from There Will Be Blood (2007) by Tim J. Smith. This study was discussed, because it was relevant to us, as filmmakers.

Future Plans and Research
Just like in the past, when films were widescreen but viewed on a 4:3 television set, some footage was removed and “lost” to the viewer, losing the original intention of the director. One of my own film professors in graduate school said that he had a VHS of Ghostbusters that he would watch on his VCR with a 4:3 television. It wasn’t until the late-00s, when he got a widescreen television set, that he realized in the montage of the film, that all of the ghostbusters were in the frame and it was not just three of them. One of the members was cropped out of the montage because of the resizing. During that time, filmmakers didn’t take that problem into account when filming, and for almost 15 years more than one film viewer was watching the “wrong” version of the film.

Some forms of film exhibition are returning, such as the drive-in, and is anticipated to continue to rise in popularity. Even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Academy Awards) has recognized the significance in this and is now allowing films screened at drive-ins to be eligible for Oscars. The television show M*A*S*H  has been streaming on Hulu. Originally shot in 4:3, this has been streaming at 16:9, which was not the intention of the creators. With technology constantly changing and being created (or being brought back), odds are there will be some issues with film distribution and exhibition in the future. If more studies relevant to the film community are created and provided to them, some of these issues might be prevented.