Workshop about the Essay Film


Good essay film – the story is much in the voice, it has really strong argument. Everything is very carefully planned around the argument.


Argument for our essay film:

Our group argument is to create an essay film about the cultural appropriation in the framework of ‘eating the other’.



An essay film is… “To me, the essayistic is not about a particular generic fascination for voiceover or montage, the essayistic is dissatisfaction, it’s discontent with the duties of an image and the obligations of a sound. It’s dissatisfaction with what we expect a documentary to do especially.” (Kodwo Eshun)

It is not documentary, which present themselves as objective, telling us the facts. It is combination visuals, words and sounds, and using these things together (sometimes create harmony, but sometimes to demonstrated dissatisfaction).

It is about connecting thoughts (do not present the lecture content). The case studies are important, because how they connect to each other (a little bit of ones and a big piece of other). It is our opinion; our group represent the whole web in its transnational subjectivity.

Everything of the case studies have relationships one to another, creating the bigger picture.

“Assemblages are composed of heterogeneous elements or objects that enter into relations with one another. These objects are not all of the same type. Thus you have physical objects, happenings, events, and so on, but you also have signs, utterances, and so on. While there are assemblages that are composed entirely of bodies, there are no assemblages composed entirely of signs and utterances” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987)




Learning Objectives are the things we are going to be mark on:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge that reflects holistic thinking, by being able to understand feeling as both individual, personal experiences and wider body politics. Understanding our personal feeling which are often connected to bigger politics.
  2. Understand complex bodies of thought that inform current theoretical concepts of subjectivity and be able to apply these in complex and agile ways across a range of case studies to produce new theory. Everything we discuss, all of the ideas can be used to inform any of the case studies. New theory often emerges while it is happening. It will be original because we are doing it.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of a theory and practice based empathy with others, and be able to understand this empathy and interrelatedness as central to the formation of their own subjectivities in an international context. We recognize ourselves as subject in the eyes of someone else. Because we are interacting with others; the empathy as essential for formatting our own subjectivity.
  4. Show an ability to manage group work and the presentation of oneself in a professional context. We are going to present this essay film in front of the audience in professional way. None of our ideas are good individually. Sharing knowledge in the group makes our ideas better.
  5. Be creative in their practical skills, and able to capture meaning that moves knowledge beyond
    traditional academic values, by producing work that has multiple layers e.g. visceral, embodied,
    auditory, sensorial, affective and tactile, alongside its academic worth. With the essay film we can shape how others feel.


How we plan to achieve the learning objectives:

  1. We can discuss how a topic makes us feel on individual level, to understand why we are feeling in this way and how our feelings are part of the bigger picture. Organize it in steps, fragmentation it in order to understand our feeling and reflections better
  2. Multidisciplinary approach to understand complex theories and concepts. Using our own basis of knowledge in different areas to explain some case study and combining them to understand it.
  3. Every personal interaction contributes to understanding the other. Defining our similarities and differences makes us to be able to understand the formation of other’s subjectivity.
  4. Sharing our ideas to each other, combine them in order to develop the final one which will be our best one. Putting together our personal skills to achieve best results.
  5. Experiment with different concepts and theories, mix different approaches, different text, sound, etc. to develop something new, different, reflective…


Where we are…

  • Occupy your mind
  • Race and War
  • Borderless
14th December: Formative assessment deadline and presentation of essay film



Creating an argument: PACE

Archive footage

Contrast: find two extracts of footage in your collection that have wholly different meanings

  • What feeling is created by splicing them together?
  • How does the speed of the splice change the meaning?

Rhythm: Find a piece of music

  • How can you use the beat within that music to work in time with your footage?


Structure and Storytelling

You got to keep the viewer in mind, because sometimes the structure is unclear. You should not have structure which is ‘and then, and then, and then’, but much as ‘and then, therefore’. Quite often arguments have two different story lines in the same time (meanwhile, at the peak of the first story, introducing the second).


Plan and Timeline

On the 14th of December, you’ll be presenting the ‘first draft’ narrative of your final essay films.

As a group, identify all the work you need to meet this deadline. How are you going to create the work? Who’s roles come into play?

You will need to create multiple ‘drafts’ that will need editing and refining. When will these drafts be complete?


  • We need to collect suitable footage in order to present our argument.
  • We need to write something like script, in order to organize our work properly.
  • We need to start experimenting with our presentation of the argument.

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