Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fair Use: Using the Principle To Ethically Shape My Project

My documentary project revolves around media criticism and serves as a platform for greater discussion of the treatment of transgender individuals in the media (non-fiction, news media, that is). To facilitate conversation and illustrate the problems in the media regarding bodily privacy and respecting an indvidual's identity. While I am in the process of reaching out to the various media outlets for permission to utilize footage for my project, I'm not receiving any feedback. While I need to keep trying, I started thinking about my other avenues. Insert fair use. I watched this fantastic video on youtube that features prominent entertainment lawyer Michael C. Donaldson. For each media example I utilize, I must ask myself three questions:
                      1. Does this item well illustrate your point?
                      2. Did you only use as much needed to illustrate the point?
                      3. Is the connection between the item you are using and the point you are making obvious to                         the average viewer?

I thus far have asked myself those questions and it has aided me well in cutting down on the length of the clips I've utilized in conjunction with my interviews. As Donaldson mentions: I need to treat this project like a journalist. Through my research and interviews, I have revealed a lot of inequalities and inappropriate treatment of trans individuals within the media system, and that's what my focus is on. While I want to do this process right, this project has ultimately been a creative and intellectual exercise for myself and a launching pad for what I plan to take with me into graduate studies rather than something I aim to distribute.


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