Professional Practice Task 5

Professional Practice; Task 5: SSI Evaluation

Below is the original proposal form I handed in with my intitial idea for my special subject investigation.

Special Subject Investigation (SSI) Research Project Proposal Form


Your name:

Victoria Grant

Your course:

HND Creative Media Production Yr 2

Your supervising tutor:

Paul Smith

Please describe the topic of study:

The subject, Methodology (Qualitative or Quantitative), resources you will require and proposed schedule.

Award winning female directors vs. male directors over the past 60 years (1950 – 2010)

I will focus on the quantity of female directors vs male directors who have won awards at major award ceremonies. I will be using a qualitative methodology based on the ratio of female to male directors that have been nominated, and the number of awards given to female directors versus males. I can access archives from the organisations’ websites which are reliable primary sources as it is statistical data.

Justify your intended research project for it’s suitability, achievability, availability of research materials and relevance to your vocational subject area:

The information I need is readily available, and is a primary source as I will be collecting statistical data straight from the source, therefore I feel it is an achievable topic of investigation. In addition, I am only focusing on two or three of the oldest award ceremonies/festivals so my investigation is not vague and I can obtain reliable data that will give me an informed outcome. I will also look at quantitative data, in forms archives and social studies, to have an understanding and maybe an explanation to support the statistical data I will find. My vocational area of study is television and film production, and I am very interested in the study and production of film. Film awards are the most prestigious ways of being recognised and celebrated for your work, especially as a director. It is any filmmakers’ aspiration to be recognised at such award ceremonies like ‘The Oscars’ or award festivals like ‘Cannes’, so it is also an aspiration of mine. Also, being a female in a male dominated ‘workplace’ I feel it wise for me to investigate this subject so I can further my knowledge and understanding of how I could reach this goal considering it is primarily hard for females to obtain these prestigious director roles of multi-million funded productions and in turn receive awards.

Provisional title for the study:

Award winning female directors vs. male directors over the past 60 years

Do you intend to include a practical component (presentation of results) in your research project?

If so, then please explain how it will relate to the overall research project focus:

Maybe in the form of a graph so I can compare male vs. females directors over a time period to further validate my investigation.

Please give a brief overview of your previous experience of this topic (e.g. from previous modules/units/research investigations) and outline the areas that you have started to explore so far in your research that is relevant to this SSI:

We are always being encouraged to enter festivals and competitions so I am already an active part of the competition side of things and haver briefly looked into the first ever competitions like ‘The Oscars’, the ‘BAFTAS’, ‘Golden Globe Awards’, etc. In film studies units, we have had to research directors of the films we watch and study, and their successes.


My original idea was to research and analyse why there is a gender equality within the media industry, and I was going to show this inequality by finding statistics on how many females have won awards for media related work compared to males. I was going to focus on 3 award shows, however I looked for archives of the nominations and awards, and I either couldn’t find the information or it was only showing statistics for the previous 10 years, and I wanted to base mine over approximately 50- years. I should have done more research on the topic before  submitting this idea as my final SSI. Had I done so I would have realised the lack of data and that I wouldn’t acquire enough research to evidence my point. In addition to this, I was advised that my subject was to broad so it needed to be narrowed.

Thinking along the same lines as before I still wanted to concentrate on gender inequality, and I decided one of the best ways of doing so was to focus on a case study. My subject was going to be Gale Anne Hurd, a world  famous producer of television and films. I was going to focus on how she has succeeded as a female in a predominantly male industry. Still proving my point of gender inequality, but using a case study to justify my argument. My tutor agreed that this could be an option.

After having done some research on Gale Anne Hurd, I faced a problem that I could not find enough material to make or justify an argument. I could not find enough material to contribute new knowledge on the matter, so I chose a different subject instead. There was plenty of information on Gale Anne Hurd, such as interviews and blogs about her, but there was not much information on how she has struggled as a female, most of the information was just about how she found success on what projects she has worked on. This would not validate my point so I needed to change my subject matter. I discussed this with my tutor and he agreed that I s hold take a different path.

I started to deviate away from gender equality and think of a more specific subject. I thought about what subject/s interested me, and I  thought of a couple. I have always been a fan of film, hence I am on this course. The horror genre is one of my favourites and I had done analytical work on films beforehand so I had experience in that area.  I then thought about what in particular i was going to analyse about the film, and decided on a subject I was less familiar with- cinematography. It would give me a chance to further my knowledge on the subject of cinematography whilst critically reviewing a film. I knew that there were plenty of resource materials on both cinematography and information about the film I wanted to analyse – Halloween. I already had literature on cinematography so I went ahead and started my final choice of special subject investigation, on cinematography and how it is used effectively in Halloween.

I felt I used a good process when researching for my analysis. I researched the technique of cinematography and then analysed how it was applied to a film. I used both secondary and primary research to collate my data. I found reliable data that has been validated by practitioners about the technique of cinematography, so I knew it was valid information. I also used qualitative data in the form of interviews, and it was valid because it was the opinions of professional practitioners and the opinion of the people that actually made the film. Having said this, I could have found more literature to further validate my information about cinematography. For further development of research into cinematography, in the future I would like to look at other films of the horror genre and analyse the cinematography of them, to discover whether there are any similarities or even patterns that are used to create tension and suspense within a film.

 For further development of research into cinematography, in the future I would like to look at other films of the horror genre and analyse the cinematography of them, to discover whether there are any similarities or even patterns that are used to create tension and suspense within a film.