02 May
Critical Review: Blog

 Through looking through my diary entries and series of thoughts that I have written through my journey of second semester there are some key aspects that have formed a narrative that explores the concerns that I had pre-course especially how my attitude towards the course and business has changed since undertaking the course. Firstly, the entire aspect of reviewing and reflecting on my work plus furthermore an extent of myself was daunting as it was something I had not really had to contend with before and I struggled to mentally project how I was going to tackle looking deeper inside myself. I personally would not describe myself as an overtly emotional person especially when it comes to the work that I produce as whenever I have finished a project or an assignment, I try to pull out of the experience of creating and working on it, viewing it from a third person perspective emotionally distancing myself. Looking through resources whilst working on my assignments I came across Jennifer Moon’s text on Critical Thinking and her chapter on the person as a critical thinker stating that ‘everyone knows that emotions play a significant role in decision-making an choice’, but, as they say, it is difficult to determine the role of emotion because there is no useful consensus on what emotion is. We would suggest that we are dealing with more than one role.’ (Moon, 2007) having first reflected on these words I didn’t really understand how this could be attributed to how I had been making or reflecting on decisions I have made in my work and personal life. Moon then echos a statement from De Bono ‘In the end all thinking is emotional.... In the end our decisions, choices and courses of action are all determined by emotions, feelings and values.... Do we use our emotions first and allow these to determine our perception and our thinking? Or do we use our perception first and allow emotion to determine our final decision.’ (Moon, 2007) this statement contradicted the fact that I didn’t naturally believe that I used emotion yet in trying to distance myself from my work yet reflecting on these words made me realise that I was in myself using my emotions to decide that I shouldn’t emotionally reflect on my work after I was finished working. Looking at my diary and reflecting on how my working processes have changed and developed over the course, it really comes down to how I've changed my application towards of my own working methods. I was very rigid coming into the course, stuck in my own mind of what I believed exhibition and curation was defined as, seeing it in the image I had envisioned in my own mind rather than being open to accepting different forms of exhibition. It was mixture of research and self-realisation of where I live as I am from a small community that does not necessarily have a thriving art scene especially that of cinematic landscape. Whilst researching my area as part experiential learning and ECICE I realised the potential of area to try and develop my career as before I had always imagined having to move away to build my profile in this business. Understanding the benefits that community cinema can provide not only to the community, but yourself, was defining for how my attitude changed whilst applying myself regarding the course. Hobbs, Deslauriers, and Steager state the benefits of exhibiting in the non-theatrical, community space as ‘The practice of viewing film and media in the world of school, public, and academic libraries include a complex array of issues. We see patrons and learners as active, sympathetic, and responsive to lifelong learning. Because film and media engage the head, heart, and spirit, they can stimulate complex discussion about social, political, moral, and ethical issues. Film and media, when used well, show us that when people feel something, they’re ready to learn something’ (Hobbs, Steager, and Deslauriers, 2019) this is something that is not usually a primary objective of theatrical screenings with the chance to educate an audience through the parameters of film. Although I have lived in the same community my whole life I realised to progress in my personal and professional career I would need to research and integrate into the community on a deeper level. This ties in with the prejudice and uncompromising attitude I had towards not only reflecting on my work but how I viewed my area in relation to my career. This is main point I have tried to focus on when putting to use everything I have learned about myself within studying this module. Before this course I never really attempted to explore what was really on offer in my area regarding placing myself within the cultural economy of North Wales. After studying Experiential learning and becoming aware of the different reflective frameworks, Kolb was clearly an influential figure in this industry with his learning cycle being something that I have followed and used during this semester. This step of my critical reflection would be described by Kolb as active experimentation (putting into practice a theory you have learned), this for me was emailing and meeting people involved in the industry who work in the community where I was born and bred. Near the end of the semester, I was really struggling with dividing my time between all four of the modules I was trying to study with the mock timetable I had created at the start of the process not having the desired effect that I believed it would have. I really needed to correct this as soon as I could so I could continue to study to the best of my abilities and complete all the work in the required time before the deadline. All of this work mixed with the time that I had dedicated towards completing my work experience with TAPE meant that I had started to lose track of the reason why I choose to do this course, that was rectified when I got to the point where I was finally editing my video for critical review and it reaffirmed the reason why I was doing; simply that I love film. This was supported by my work experience as I learnt that I had developed a new passion other than just loving film; to provide a wholehearted, entertaining experience to people I do not know. The ICO (Independent Cinema Office) describe this passion perfectly on their website which is vital for anyone trying to make a career in the film industry ‘The desire to serve a local audience is at the heart of community film exhibition. At its best, community film exhibition can promote cohesion and strong communication within rural and urban communities and boost audiences’ film choices; whilst increasing the reach of cinema, particularly in rural areas where there is often otherwise a lack of access.’ (ICO) as stated, before this is a career path that I never saw for myself, but it was an unexpected benefit that has occurred due to studying this course and these modules. A rediscovery of love for my passion of film is something I am going to take forward from this module after looking back and reflecting on my journey during this course and how it has transpired this way. Reflecting on my diary entries and experience on this course so far has been a defining moment for my career and how I've changed the way I apply myself towards my work. Looking back, I definitely came into the course slightly naïve as to what was going to be expected and where I thought my career was heading but obviously that is okay as it is part of the learning curve in which if you never experience you can never expect to grow personally or professionally.  

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