AbstractsComputer Science

www.swarmtv.net: non-­hierarchy through open source approaches to distributed filmmaking

by Jem Mackay

Institution: University of the Arts London
Year: 2015
Keywords: Film Production; Film & Video
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2113892
Full text PDF: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/8756/


An increasing number of filmmaking projects borrow approaches from open source programming methodologies in the practical process of film production. The potential benefits of open filmmaking include fast development times, customizable storytelling, less-biased reportage and a rich learning environment for future filmmakers, among others. There has been very little academic study about the challenges of this approach and the opportunities it affords for distributed filmmaking. This thesis explores the possibility of incorporating open source programming methodologies into the practice of distributed filmmaking. It develops a number of emergent policies and procedures that relate to this practice, and tests them out using an interactive website called “Swarm TV”. This online environment acts as a prototype for these policies and procedures, as well as functioning as a probe, testing their effectiveness in the filmmaking projects. Data is collected from the website and has been used from a number of projects over the last nine years, to reflect on how these emergent policies and procedures affect the dynamics of a filmmaking community. From the context of open source programming, the digital revolution has emphasized three main characteristics that are significant in open source methodologies: Openness, Non-hierarchy & Collaboration. These concepts are explored in this thesis to define guidelines for distributed filmmaking projects where open source methodologies are implemented. Analysis of the effectiveness of these policies and procedures is provided for filmmaking projects using Swarm TV, and conclusions are developed focused on the effectiveness of open source approaches to filmmaking projects in distributed communities. The practical research in this thesis demonstrates the extent to which open source methodologies are effective for the filmmaking process, and also, identifies the emergent policies and procedures that might facilitate distributed filmmaking in an online environment.