Cinematography and Filmmaking Research: Reflections on a Practice-led Doctoral Process
Abstract: This paper offers an overview of a recent practice-led doctoral enquiry which examined lighting techniques used by cinematographers and more widely amongst practitioners working with moving imagery. This research was completed in the Digital Cultures Research Centre at UWE Bristol and funded by the AHRC 3d3 Centre for Doctoral Training. The paper specifically reflects on three strands of enquiry which existed in dialogue with one another, showing how the mutual interaction and reinforcement between scholarly activity, collaborative film production and independent creative experimentation were fundamental to the approach and direction of the research. Amongst a wider contribution, this doctoral research can be seen as methodologically innovative, providing a more detailed first-hand investigation into lighting processes than is currently available by using autoethnographic methods to capture practical knowledge that is deployed in situ during moving image production. The paper discusses this novel use of autoethnography within practice-research and also explains how the resulting evidence was incorporated in the thesis through a layered approach to writing.