AUCTION FILM -General Overview - Bob Aibel


Whatever we finally decide to do with the film in terms of its subject matter, I am firmly committed to making sure that we take an approach and pursue it. As we all know the greatest danger in this sort of film is losing the CORE. From my point of view everything must revolve around what we decide the CORE is. Each and every idea, interview, shoot, shot, edited sequence has to be justified by its relationship to the CORE of the film. We can't possibly do everything that we each want to do, or even try to communicate everything we know, so we must he very careful to decide upon a CORE set of ideas and pursue them with great care. For me it is more important that we end up saying part of what we know very clearly and well, rather than getting caught up in dealing with too mush and losing ourselves in confusion. We can't possibly tell the whole story or the "whole truth" so I'd easily settle for making a clear statement which exemplifies our theoretical framework.

In fact, for me the film is a report on our research on the auction system in Juniata. From a reflexive point of view the most important thing for me, in that case, is that we clearly present our theoretical framework so that viewers clearly see all events as constructed by us to exemplify our findings as determined by our theory. I'm less interested in discussing how we got into making the film and who we are, and other mundane, though important information, unless it can fit into the film without distracting from our central theoretical research construction. That is, I would like people to see our major reflexive effort in the area of theory, and the explanation of this theory through our findings. I very mush agree with Jay that this should be done in a forceful, distancing way, whatever we do., It would be nice to make it clear to our audience that the film itself is conceived as social science filmmaking in its goals, participants and process. Personally, it is my first opportunity to do what I was trained to do, and what I taught others to do, and as few have been trained as social science filmmakers, and fewer have tried to do anything explicitly with it(if any) I do think it is important to make our commitment to the interweaving of film and social science from the very conception of a film, through each and every stage of it, known. Few have systematically committed themselves to systematically investigating the interface of film and social science during the conception and production of a film, man except by paying, lip service to it. We are writing, shooting, editing, etc. with our social scientific goals to guide us, but we also know film and how it can and cannot help us to reach these goals. That is, we understand the nature of film communication, what can be said on film and what can't be said on the film, how to try to say things on film, how audiences deal with film. That is, we truly see this team as an explicitly social science film team through and through, and the film is meant to reflect this. We don't the film to work as social science and to work as film, want the film to work as social science and to work as film but we want it to work as social science and film.

As I see it the core set of ideas around this film is based is to delineate the role of the auction in the life/death cycle of Juniata County. By choosing to focus on the auction we choose to focus on objects in the cycle and the way in which they take or multiple meanings as they pass through the cycle. In the family re negotiation the object becomes the vehicle for settling and dealing with family relationships. That is, the estate as a set of negotiable commodities. Death is handled through the intermediary of the estate.

Film opens at the auction emphasizing surface appearance, as discussed in proposal, Possibly here we can establish the location of the sale in Central Pennsylvania, Juniata County. I'm not sure that there is any need for specific detail about the location/county, as the film itself will provide a sense of the area and people. From her e we want to go to a place which will allow us to trace the place of the auction just seen in the life cycle. Essentially we've got to get onto the past as Chris suggests in the Prior to Death section. However, I feel that to get into that we first want to do this in the empty house so that we get a sense of death. First, at this point we must lay out our perspective on the role of the auction. Narrator says something like what we've seen is actually much more complex and meaningful for all involves. This is the final phase in a complex system of life and death and the distribution. Narrator indicates the surface appeal and excitement of the auction, but there is much complexity and significance to the events we've seen that is not at all apparent on the surface, which demand careful observation and research in the community in which it takes place. Essentially the auction is a phase in a family cycle of growth and exchange. It is a ritual solution to the end of a family cycle . Then place the auction in the Expansion, Replacement. Dispersion cycle. Emphasize here that what we are showing here is the auction as it is. Narrator lays out that this auction occurred after the death of a particular family unit. Maybe even go into a discussion of who the heirs are. Emphasize that we are interested in the auction as it is incorporated in the life/death cycle and want to show how the carious components of the estate (material) function in different ways through, take on different meanings and uses in the life cycle of the family, and of the community We discuss the auction as a mechanism for re negotiation, evaluation , redistribution of symbolic and material wealth. We explain that the various material components of the estate act as vehicles for these activities Having set the theoretical stage we can get into the Pre death stuff.