Social Action: Unit 31 – Outcome 2


Subjected to Happiness is a grossly accurate portrayal of human conditioning. Monitored in a dystopian cell with no access to humanity – synthetic emotion, brainwashing and silence decide the fate of Specimen #B1032. Our film aims to question the way in which people view the media. We’re using an experimental idea in order to attract a more focused audience, as we believe that there aren’t enough social action films that challenge an audience. The film is aimed at younger audiences with an interest in the artistic side of film, it hopes to gain attention from an older audience as well but the importance lies in making young people question not only the media, but their own habits. 


The social issues that our film will tackle are becoming more topical; the media is becoming more see-through in their efforts to manipulate viewers. I created a survey to establish how people were affected by image manipulation software, as the film will focus on how a young girl’s mind is altered by television. The survey showed that the youngest group – 13-15 year olds – were the most severely affected by the media, the statistics showed that older people weren’t as bothered by image manipulation and showed less insecurity in general. Creating a ‘universe’ in which the film exists was important for us to ensure that the story was convincing. The background story involves world politics and other social issues such as environmental damage and mass government control though we didn’t want to involve too much of this as it would take away from the original point, if we revisit the film we will already have a story.

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Our film will use pornographic imagery to exemplify the damaging repercussions that it has on the mental health of young people.

We decided that we wouldn’t be showing any genitalia because it would cross a certain line. It is possible to create a more impactful piece by experimenting with audio. Due to the fact that we’re uploading the film to YouTube it’s impossible to control who views it. If a child were to stumble upon a film with overly violent or obscene imagery in it – regardless of artistic justification – they could be traumatised for years; an irresponsible step for a film maker to take.

Something that we need to get past is Copyright and fair usage. We originally planned to use clips from BBC News broadcasts, Big Brother and certain other television programs without considering the copyright infringement issues that we would run up against. Kasia looked for fair usage loopholes however it would have been too many holes to jump through for the designated time. It will be more beneficial to create our own faux content.


For our film we will need certain resources. The college has recently invested in a great deal of high quality equipment, so we will be using the Panasonic GH4 with the variety of heavy lenses that we bought. We aren’t shooting this in 4K because the only editing platform that we could use is FCP X and it would take a very powerful computer; Jacob intends to edit from home.

Regarding location, we are looking at downtrodden dark places to shoot with brick walls, so when we visited Carlisle train station we were pleasantly surprised.  It was the perfect location, peeling sandstone walls with a concrete floor and a high ceiling. This is a valuable community resource and an important tie to make at this stage so Kasia is talking to the station manager to organise a filming date.


Our project has a certain uniqueness to it because of it’s symbolic value. Western filmmakers seem to forget that in your film, it’s your universe. Physics doesn’t have to exist in the same way that it does on planet earth. Because of this Americanised view on film, this allows for much more individuality when you begin exploring outside of the box. I would compare some of the shooting style to Channel 4’s 2013 series ‘Utopia’. Jacob and I both watched the series as it firmly touches on world politics, population control and art combined.


We are only going to show our film on YouTube, until we decide to screen it. Once we have completed the film there are plans to try accessing the vue cinema for a private screening.


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