Reflection on the manifesto project for 160MC

Our task was to individually or in pairs create a one minute manifesto – a short film that conveyed a message. I started my work for this task by brainstorming what socio-cultural issues interested me that I could make the message behind my film, and I decided to go for the topic of gender/gender identity. I chose this because, as well as being something I am very passionate about, it is a contemporary talking point in the media today.

As the film only had to be one minute long, I decided that I wanted to keep it as simple as possible so that it wasn’t over-complicated and the message came across clearly. I got the idea of representing the gender divide visually, using props to make a social commentary. I thought about a lot of short videos I see circulating Facebook that just make use of one camera angle, a bird’s-eye view of a surface, and have objects moved into and out of frame. I thought this would make the video quite fun and easy to watch.

I created my own music for the piece while editing it and I felt the music I made appropriately matched the tone of the film. I decided to use the physical split-screen to visually represent the gender divide. I wanted the film to have a low-budget, homemade aesthetic to it but I feel like the blue and pink paper I used to make the background didn’t look very appealing in the film and if I was to re-make it I would probably use a painted background. I would also have a more masculine hand for the male side as this was something that was fed back to me by a couple of people upon viewing the film.

I wanted my video to bring up the idea of the gender binary/divide and encourage the viewer to question it’s relevance in today’s society. I believe that my film did this to a good extent.  I feel that I did a good job at covering different levels of gender bias, from kids toys to the wage gap, and I was able to fit a lot of things into a minute.  I was worried when showing back the film that some of the sequences would go over people’s heads and they wouldn’t fully understand the meaning of them but from talking to my peers, they all seemed to understand the individual messages clearly. If I was to re-make the film I would probably also record some audio as I would also have liked to make better use of the soundscape. And to me, the lighting wasn’t the best and I feel better lighting could’ve helped improve the overall quality of the film.

Overall, even though there are things I would’ve liked to do differently, I am pleased with the final film I produced and I was able to learn a lot of things about myself as a film-maker that should hopefully improve my films in the future.