Creative research

When writing up my proposal and research list for this week, I realized that my greatest problem right now is researching for creative projects. I have a lot of research experience under my belt already: I did a summer research program through the Sociology department, I’m currently writing an honors thesis in Women’s Studies, and my job requires that I research faculty and staff to come up with appropriate interview questions. However, all of these are different from researching for creative work.

According to the MiW research guide, I satisfy content-based research by interviewing people; that’s an integral part of my capstone project. For genre-based research, I’m citing instructional videos on film videography and editing. What’s missing, however, is actual examples of my project’s genre I can watch. Learning the mechanics of video-making and interviewing people is very different from actually watching videos I can draw upon. I’ve only found one example so far, one that I cited in my previous Challenge Journal, the U-M Men’s Glee Club premiere video of two of their pieces. I’d like to find more videos like this that explore the creative journey that led to the song, however I don’t even know how to describe it to the Google machine.

I don’t have much creative work to draw from, so I hearkened back to a high school classic, Agua Bonito, a Spanish class-sponsored remix of Britney’s “…Baby One More Time.” (Which I, coincidentally, sang for my a cappella group last semester!) As I recall, the project required using our newly-learned verb tense, and BOMT fit the bill. In terms of research, we watched the music video many times, surveyed other music videos for cut scenes that we could use, and discerned the meaning of the song to help us come up with lyrics for our own (within our limited capacities, of course). I’ve done some of these steps already: I (tried to) look(ed) up other videos and I’ve chosen my video genre based on the project’s meaning. My problem is not that I don’t know what to do, it’s that I don’t know where/how to begin looking for videos like above one from the Glee Club. If you have any insights into potential research avenues, I’d be very grateful!

One thought to “Creative research”

  1. I put these two things in Canvas, but in case they help trigger ideas from anyone else: Just this weekend I watched a PBS video that aired last year, “A Ballerina’s Tale,” which is a documentary about Misty Copeland’s rise to the position of first black principle ballerina at ABT. There’s also the whole “Great Performances” series…”Hamilton’s America” is a good one, which will shock you not at all that I say. And something I didn’t say on Canvas but that just occurs to be is to check Howlround and/or the UMS/SMTD channels on YouTube.

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