Current Students

Cecilia Stenbom

This practice led research has centred on the development, production and public dissemination of Rules of Engagement a 22-minute long semi-fictional film. The work explores unwritten social protocols that control our behaviour both in public and private and consists of three filmic vignettes each based on a real experience. I began researching the unwritten rules of social interaction and collected stories from individuals of failed or uncomfortable social situations. I designed each scene to have the feel of familiar television and cinematic content whilst deliberately depriving the viewer of the usual tropes associated with narrative drama, namely dialogue and discernible story arch. The work teeters on the edge of absurdity to create an experience in which the viewer is caught between empathy and comedy. By highlighting micro-expressions and gestures I want to guide the audience through the layers of isolation experienced by each character’s plight to find a way to belong on their own terms. By deconstructing each distinct phase of the process of making Rules of Engagement this research has uncovered a complex relationship between actual and screen-based reality and how the process of narrative filmmaking itself can complicate and blur the boundary between reality and representation.

Supervisory Team: Mr Paul Becker, Arts and Cultures (Newcastle), Dr Ian Mcdonald, Arts and Cultures (Newcastle), Prof. Richard Talbot, Arts and Cultures (Newcastle).

Start Date: October 2015.