I’ve been a little bit in touch with my ‘old life’ recently, as I’ve been reading about a project at my former place of work that was getting under way when I left to have babies three years ago. I used to work for the Centre for Qualitative Research at Bournemouth University which was tasked with promoting qualitative research (research based on personal narratives and experiences, rather than quantitative research which is more statistical) and holding conferences, workshops and masterclasses. The Centre was also bidding for research grants on various topics and it’s one of these that I’ve been reading about as I’m still in touch with some of my former colleagues.
This particular three-year study has focused on positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and South Wales, which was funded by the British Research Councils. I’ll be upfront and say it’s possibly not something I would normally come across or be greatly interested in reading about, but what’s interesting to me in this case is that the research findings are being presented in a short film. This film, Rufus Stone is being directed by Josh Appignanesi who last directed The Infidel, starring Omid Djalili and Richard Schiff. Josh has also directed several short films, including Ex Memoria, starring Sarah Kestelman and Nine 1/2 Minutes, starring David Tennant. The project lead and executive producer of the film is Dr Kip Jones, my former colleague, and Reader in Qualitative Research at the School of Health and Social Care at BU.
Dr Jones is an exponent of Performative Social Science, where researchers look to present their research findings in new, interesting and relevant ways, rather than with PowerPoint slides and a laser pen. That’s not to say that PowerPoint can’t be tamed and used in a more interesting fashion, but Performative Social Science is more about using poetry, song, dance or drama to get research finding out there in a more accessible way. At the last Qualitative Research Conference at BU in 2010 (and covered on BBC Breakfast!), there was some really interesting work going on. A performance area was set aside where delegates could show their work either in formal time slots or informally during mealtimes and although I felt that the BBC report didn’t really take the whole thing seriously and sort of missed the point, it did actually show some poetry reading and a workshop based around the healing touch which sort of gave viewers the idea. Movie making also fits into this mode of presenting research findings, hence Rufus Stone.
The short film based on the Gay and Pleasant Land project will be going into production in July and the call has gone out for some extras who could take part in Dorset. There are some speaking and non-speaking roles available and details are at the bottom of this post. I would jump at the chance, but I don’t think my childcare arrangements will allow, but I know I know some ‘dramatic’ people who might be interested in taking part.
At a very basic level, it will be an exciting day out with movie-types but actually, from reading the project’s blog and knowing some of the people involved, it should be an interesting and enjoyable film which I would like to see when it’s released.
If you are interested in taking part the contact details are below, but do also check out the Rufus Stone blog as this will give you more information on the project itself and a bit more information about the story behind the movie.
RUFUS STONE – Casting
Shooting dates will be confirmed by the end of June. A casting session will be held on the first week of July in Bournemouth, exact date TBC.
EXPENSES ONLY (SPEAKING)
Mr. Carston (60) (Two days – 18th/19th and 22nd of July)
Older Lady (70) – Speaking (22nd of July)
Angry villager who shouts at Rufus and Flip.
EXPENSES ONLY (NOT SPEAKING)
Rufus’ Father (40) (19th July)
Authoritarian figure, abusive to Rufus.
Rufus’ Mother (38) (19th July)
Weak figure, she rejects Rufus
Flip’s Young Mother (40) (19th July)
Aggressive, she threatens Rufus with a knife.
Flip’s Old Mother (90) (21st July)
Lost in her thoughts, a mute bitter woman.
Kids/Teenagers (18th July)
Village Crowd (22nd July)
If interested please send a headshot/picture and CV or cover letter. For further detail please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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