Ethnography

What is Ethnography?

Ethnography comes from Greek ethnos = folk/people and grapho = to write. It is the study and systematic recording of human cultures, as well as a descriptive work produced from such research.

What is Ethnographic Film?

Shoot.Edit.Share describes it as the study, analysis, and observation of cultures via the visual, aural, and verbal, all wrapped up in the medium that we "know" as film. It is visual anthropology, but grounded in producing sequences of images, not in the process of note-taking and written records. As the famous pair of ethnographic filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall believe, "how do you begin to make the shift from a word-and-sentence-based anthropological thought to an image-and-sequence-based anthropological thought? (...) film may therefore not only enhance the kinds of knowledge that we already have but make possible new kinds of knowledge."

What is Experimental Ethnographic Filmmaking?

Experimental ethnographic filmmaking goes even further afield than the traditional modes of ethnographic filmmaking, and pushes the boundaries in hopes to find new and interesting ways to research and present an experience of an unfamiliar reality via film, and have those realities come alive in different ways.

Why Shoot.Edit.Share?

Isabelle, the founder of Shoot.Edit.Share, was often capturing fleeting gems on the fly during her culture-intensive travels, or as James Agee calls it, "the small casual scraps of existence," and she wanted to share them in a meaningful way with the world. More and more, her content gravitated towards capturing on film the mundane-yet-wonderful moments of different cultures she came into contact with. Seeing the way that the world consumes media with shorter and shorter attention spans, she wanted to try and see if she could present some of her videos in the present-tense of our twitter-infected media, and keep things simple, raw, and direct....and ideally, short. As Edgar Morin said, ethnographic filmmaking is using film as a medium for engaging with life as it is lived, or being a cinéaste-plongeur, and confronting the world with an experience, however short, rather than digesting it or drowning it in a sea of context.

We are not experts. Rather this is an exper(imen)t.