Social Media as a Narrative Filmmaking Tool

Jodi Nelson

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This article explores the research being conducted through a practice-led documentary film project, web platform and published case study. I am primarily interested in how the new paradigm shifts in digital technology and the democratisation of the filmmaking process allow filmmakers to connect to an ‘expert’ global niche audience with more immediacy through the internet; engaging virtual communities, crowd funding and fan building initiatives and a variety of social media landscapes. Textural and contextual significance in sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Wordpress and a host of other social media landscapes provide a rich source of material for a documentary filmmaker to utilise when creating a narrative. There are various important significances for utilising online text in this way that is visually, conceptually, socially, culturally and economically acceptable and unique in the storytelling medium.

In the case study, my film project entitled "What does a 21st Century Feminist Look Like?" (Nelson 2010), engages a global audience of online fans, friends and followers asking these virtual strangers to participate in the production, creation and financing of the film. Utilising social networks, crowd funding initiatives, web blogs, viral video, virtual chat interaction and traditional modes of documentary practice, the aim is to create a documentary film that exemplifies feminism in its profoundly new image.

Key words:
Feminism; documentary; film; social media; crowdfunding; virtual space; digital media
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-161
JournalImage and Text
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • visual
  • culture
  • film
  • social media


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