Planning the future

Reflective Journal

MA Communication Design
Masters Project
4 August 2017

Critical Evaluation Report 

Whilst working on my Critical Evaluation Report I have been undertaking more research on feminist theories drawing on the works of Angela McRobbie, Ann Oakley and Laura Bates. Everyday Sexism is useful for referring to evidence of sexism faced towards women in today’s society. Angela MCrobbie talks about feminism being ‘unpalatable’ to younger women. She mentioned the new genre of make-over television programmes that glamourise and individualise feminine subjectivity.  This is an interesting area that I would like to explore in my next project after the MA which could look at the social change of vanity. I have collated many vogue magazines and would like to do a stop motion film inspired by Martha Colburn’s work. I would like the film to be fast and lots of action and meaning.

I also looked at Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism which Walter mentions that sexual allure is celebrated as ‘a sign of women’s liberation and empowerment’. Exaggerated femininity is encouraged among your women. She can chose to buy anything ‘stereotypically feminine behaviour, from baking to pole-dancing, from high heels to domestic work’. This is is all food for thought for a future project.  Have women’s behaviour towards themselves changed for the worse?  Is this only a small sample of women that are objectifying themselves?

I have also enjoyed reading Ann Oakley Reader. She also talks about gender and the feminist perspective. It is interesting about the difference between sex and gender – ‘sex is a biological term, gender is a psychological and cultural one’.  I also found one point very interesting on the fact we are always comparing women with men or proving that women are or not different than men rather than the other way round. ‘If this fact needs explaining, it is enough to point out that the bias of our culture is still patriarchal; it is women who are claiming the rights of men and who need to be defended against charges of inferiority’. This point is important to raise if I want to pursue my Matriarchalism: the future is female project that I mentioned in the previous unit.

During the making of my film I have questioned whether my protagonist is represented as a victim and whether there were too many assumptions. Late research has contradicted my research in which…. ‘[historians] reified women as victims and tended to detract from the ability and determination of women’ (Gleadle, 2001 p.2). I was interested in a darker side and as I have said before as artists we decide what to emphasis in an historical narrative and mine was the darker side of women’s perceptions and behaviours. Suzie also mentioned that my film could have been darker and I think I would have enjoyed that angle and would like to create some darker films in the future.

Gleadle, K. (2001) British Women in the Nineteenth Century. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Bates, L. (2015) Everyday Sexism. London : Simon & Schuster.

Oakley, A. (2005) The Ann Oakley reader: gender, women, and social science. Bristol: Policy.

McRobbie, A., (2009) The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change. London: Sage.

There are also books in the Millennium Library that I would be interested in reading in the future such as The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer and The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

Critical Evaluation Drop in session

I received some good pointers in the critical evaluation drop-in session. I realise the report needed to be more industry and academic led. I took out a lot of historical facts that link to scenes and placed these in the appendix. The report was difficult to do as I had so much to talk about but by placing text in the appendices that helped me become more focused.

Professional Practice

I have emailed potential clients and film production companies to invite them to the MA degree show. Within the email I have sent them a link to a clip of the film as a taster of what they would see.

I invited the following:-

Bel Greenwood from Women and Words who would like to meet up with me at the PV. They are celebration women’s suffrage next year and are interested in the film.

JMS who are a local production company that were interested in my clip and keeping in touch. However there are unable to attend so I sent them a link to the whole film which is on Vimeo but password protected. They also said the style would make a good title sequence for something. I have been interested in title sequences and may experiment with this in the future.

Digifish Productions replied but can’t make the PV. However I have now sent them the whole film and awaiting a reply.

I also sent an email to a contact working in the archives at Museum of London. She can’t make it but like my interpretation of Edwardian society. I have now sent her the whole film.

Also approached a previous contact that worked with House of Parliament for the Magna Carta. She is a Creative Programmer and Cultural Strategist. Although she doesn’t work there anymore she is willing to send my film to her contacts.

Lambda Video Production and Animation Company are local and I sent them my first email this week.

Make It Move Productions are also local and work in animation. I have received a reply and they are checking if they can make the show.

Ugly Studios are also local and I am awaiting their reply.

Norfolk Museums have also replied and would like to discuss my work at the PV. The contact works in Great Yarmouth Museum.

Culture and Events Manager at Norwich City Council has been emailed twice and I am awaiting their reply. I will check that I have the right contact name.

FGreat Studios have been contacted twice and I am awaiting their reply. They are based in London. I know they won’t make the show but it is a good way to introduce them to my work. This was also good with Chocolate Film Productions as I have made a contact who was very complimentary and asked me to contact them if I moved to London. Since then I have sent a link to the whole film and again they wanted to know if I wanted to get involved with a project but unfortunately it is for students and I finish in September. This is evidence that my work is of a professional standard and meets the expectations of the industry.

I have also submitted the film to Norwich Film Festival, London International Film Festival and Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. I know that Suzie has said that my film isn’t right for festivals but I thought I would still test it out to selected festivals. I have also emailed Glasgow Film Festival that a section called Crossing the Line which is more experimental. I have emailed them and awaiting a reply. In the future I would like to edit the film so that is shorter in some sections and also relook at the first chapter as I feel it is too disjointed for the audience. I can ask that question in PV and show. I then plan to submit to Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival and Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival. These are festivals where Rachel Maclean has screened.


I am still contemplating whether to create a book that outlines my ideas of the film. This would be completed between hand-in and PV. I have been reviewing books that show behind the scenes of a film and from concept to screen. I am looking at Twilight Director’s Notebook and Guillermo del Toro. I am also looking at Wes Anderson Collection. I have investigated prices and dimensions available with pixartprinting. I am deciding between 21 x 21cm and 16.5 x 24 cm I think the latter size would be better as it suits a notebook shape. I have set up the pages in InDesign and started to write notes on them of what I would like to add.

Future Plans

I have emailed Marie about my confusion about what to do next and we have arranged a meeting to discuss career advice. This will be during the first week in September.

This is part of the email:-

I wanted to have a chat about self branding and making sure I have it right for my website and other publicity. I would like to work on projects with heritage, museums and other organisations where I initiate the idea and seek support and funding. An example of this would be working with Women and Words group and creating a film for their celebrations next year. I will be meeting up with them in the PV.

I have also had meetings with Sarah Steed and Beth Sowersby to discuss local projects and funding opportunities. The problem doing the MA is that it opens many doors and it is tough deciding what to do next!  I know my age doesn’t help (49).

I am also interested in doing a PhD at a later stage, maybe a couple of years off first. ​The PhD could include creating a science fiction film based on historical events inspired by The Handmaid’s Tale. There are also interesting projects on the Research Council’s website – Women’s Work and Working Women: A Longitudinal Study of Women Working in the British Film and Television Industries (1933-1989) and women, aging and media. I don’t think they are practice-based research.

My ideal vocation would be ‘a multi-media artist working in film and photography’ and creating innovative and experimental films like Rachel Maclean and Martha Colburn. I have followed UK filmmaker Maclean who has screened work at film festivals and seeked funding from various sources. Colburn is American and has also screened at film festivals and worked with local musicians creating music videos.

I expect I would take a part-time job (hopefully in the arts) whilst I working on film projects.

The reason for the meeting is that I have been an artist for 7 years and worked mainly on self-initiated projects including Magna Carta Women funded by the Arts Council and want to make sure I am going in the right direction for my next step. 

Exhibition Plans 

I have created 6 posters for the exhibition inspired by Gatsby and Romeo + Juliet film posters. I created a frame and used Edwardian Script for the title. For 5 of the posters I designed one for each character and placed their name and their adjectives that describe their characteristics around the border. For the main poster which was larger I created Florence as an angel and Esther in the box. The wording around the border was a mix between positive and negative descriptions of Edwardian women. When I say positive it was still words that describe the Edwardian ideology of women as pure-hearted and dependent.

I have also ordered a vitrine and want to place props and objects of inspiration from the film in it. I have looked at Wes Anderson posters above and would like to place in a grid form. I also noted that each poster has a pastel poster for the background. I bought yellow patterned wallpaper that compliments the film posters and refers to the novel The Yellow Wallpaper. I have also placed a mannequin with Florence’s costume on it and also hung the husband’s costume on a hanger on the wall. I know the tutors were worried about it being too busy but I am happy with the outcome. I have also bought cushions for the chairs and am going to transfer either Hysterical Females on the cushions are adjectives taken from the main poster. This is inspired by the cushions in the Enchanted Palace exhibition below. Another idea is to print separate words on each cushion that formed a sentence when put together.


Amendments to film

After the discussion with Suzie I have changed the ending of the film.  The new amendments are:- Florence the suffragette gives Esther her wings and there is also a sash revealing Votes for Women. Florence disappears and Esther flies off on her own in the box. I was worried before about Esther being in the box and I think this will solve the issue and convey that the suffragette has saved the modern women. That is to say she has given Esther wings to fly away to freedom.







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