We’ve all Been Framed

I think a lot about the unconscious frames that we view the world through.  In fact I would even say that my frame is a “frame skeptical frame”, which tends to slow me down quite a bit.  However, most people ignore the frames and just “go with the flow”, because asking questions can be difficult.  Two articles I saw today really highlighted this point.

This morning I read an article about “The Pill”.  The pharmaceutical industry framed the pill as something of a cure all.  Not only was it useful for stopping pregnancy, but also for acne, weight loss, and a host of other treats.  However, it also can lead to a loss of libido, depression, anxiety, and mood swings.  Some will even argue that all of chemicals in the pill have gotten into the water supply and are now having a profound effect on wildlife and humans.  I know this latter information because a friend of mine posted in on facebook recently.  The comments on the post were pretty vicious.  Those in favor of birth control refused to look at this reality because it threatened the other reality that they felt strongly about.  Humans don’t like dissonance.  As filmmakers that encourage people to think deeply about complex issues this can be problematic for us.  Funder’s are less interested in our work and film festival programmers shy away from it at times as well.

I believe that art should raise questions rather than argue in an effort to prove a point.  This morning I also read an article about data and filmmaking that took for granted that the opposite is true.

“Filmmakers who ignore analysis in a misguided fealty to some conception of artistic integrity are, consciously or unconsciously, placing their aesthetics above the issues they care about.  They are also ignoring the first rule of a public speaking, “Know your audience.”  Happily, many filmmakers are embracing and learning what they can from these emerging insights.  They will be the leaders in a new age of filmmaking that is more influential than ever before.”

The point being made here is that filmmakers need to hone their framing skills in order to sharpen their message to more effectively get others to adopt their viewpoint.  If one’s goal is to bring people around to their point of view then this makes sense.  What if one wants people to explore the complexities of an issue and make their own decisions?   If “Fealty to artistic integrity” is a crime, lock me up!  I think fealty to overriding paradigms is much more dangerous than artistic integrity.

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