Thesis

Any truth

In 2003 I came home to the United States after living in Europe for almost eight years. The week of my return was also the week that Colin Powell made his presentation to the United Nations regarding the American "proof' for war against Iraq. As I left Europe I watched the BBC and CNN International, both news outlets I had grown to rely on during my time abroad. My beliefs regarding current international affairs had been constructed by those news outlets as my country went through a contentious presidential election in 2000, was attacked on September 11, 2001, went to war in Afghanistan and considered going to war again, this time against Iraq. I still quite vividly remember turning on the news after I returned home and the confusion that followed. The proof that Colin Powell had presented was interpreted completely differently here. I realized over the passing weeks that almost all the news events had been interpreted and reported very differently in my hometown. Nobody wanted to hear me talk about what people thought in Europe, in Asia. I was called anti-American by close family friends -I felt angry and isolated. In the midst of all of this, my artwork changed direction completely and an entire body of work, culminating in my thesis, was born. Initially my work assumed a political perspective and was focused on simply showing different reports of the same news event. In conversations with my professors, however, I realized that my vision of this topic was quite limited and would benefit from an expansion of perspective. I began to disregard the notion of right and wrong and instead focus on the construction of media itself. I studied Media Literacy and documentary and questioned the very notion of truth through film or media. As I progressed in my theoretical studies regarding media truth, I also advanced in my profession as a television editor. I lefilned the tricks of the trade, so to speak, from the inside. Initially, I became an editor to make documentfilies, and cinema verite documentaries in particular. This "filmmaker as tly-on-the-wall" approach had become my personal favorite and the form of documentary that I felt came the closest to telling the truth, or at least inspiring the viewer to interpret events using his/her own critical thinking skills. In 2007 I began conceptualizing my thesis project. At the same time I was hired to work on a few reality shows. The film Any Truth, my thesis project, is what resulted from my studies and the realistic professional demands that are put on an editor in the work place to tell a story, no - to create a story as compellingly as possible not for the sake of the truth but for the eyeballs.

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