For my essay I plan to continue on with the topic of oral history on television. I would say historical television is at its peak right now, and though the bulk of this focuses on fictionalized accounts, interview based documentary is incredibly strong. My presentation focused mainly on the different ways interviews have been used on programmes over time. I plan to speak about this in more detail (as obviously I can’t just slot in a bunch of clips to a written paper to get the point across. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth, well, all the words, right?)
But I think the bigger point I wish to speak to is how just about any documentary style programme you find is driven by oral history.
There are the obvious topics to consider: does the camera change what people say, what do you do with translation, etc. However, I also think it might be interesting to look at editing for television. These interviews are cut WAY down for the show, and there has to be a lot of thought and planning that goes into that. Also, if possible, I’d like to consider the possibility of using “oral” history for topics outside of the living memory.
I have a world of concerns, most of which came to light in our class session this past week. Mostly this refers to my own anxieties. I’ll make no bones about my dread at the thought of creating an interview out of nothing, cold contacting people.
That being said, I have a lot of hope that by having chosen a topic I am deeply interested in I will be able to overcome these problems and find someone who will regale me with the tale of how something we both love has shaped their own life experiences. (That is I assume that comics are something they love, I suppose I should allow for the possibility of someone who hates what the industry has done to them…)
The practice interviews were really very helpful. I already see a few pitfalls that I’m going to need to watch out for. I struggled with not remarking as the interviewee was speaking (making it too much of a conversation can of course be a problem) as well as knowing how to end. I seemed fine with being able to keep on track with questions that pertained to the topic and that will likely be important for an interview that centers around a particular aspect of a persons life that is likely to present many an opportunity for tangents.
All in all I’m hoping the interview will provide an insight into the largely overshadowed British comic book world, and help me branch out a little and grow a bit myself.
I would like to focus my project on the growth of comics in Britain. Ideally I would hope to get in touch with a creator, preferably one from the Silver Age of Comics (1956 into the 70s). I would be interested to get their take on the rise of comics in Britain, as the superhero comic was largely an American construct that was “exported” around the time of the Second World War.
If a creator were unavailable, I would hope to find a purveyor who could speak about the role of comics in Britain’s history. Comics (or more specifically their featured heroes) are fast becoming a great unifier in the expanding global pop culture, and I think it would be invaluable to get the story of someone who was in on the ground floor of their rise outside of the U.S.