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Beyond Participatory Production: Digitally Supporting Grassroots Documentary

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  • David Green
  • Guy Schofield
  • Gary Pritchard
  • Patrick Olivier
  • Peter Wright
Publication date2/05/2015
Host publicationProceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Although many common tools of media making such as video cameras have become more accessible in recent years, many remain inaccessible. Cinematography, lighting and sound-recording equipment for example can be prohibitively expensive to obtain, complex to configure, and/or require specialist knowledge to operate effectively. These barriers can prevent non-professionals who want to produce highquality media from being able to. Cinehack is an ongoing project to research ways to overcome these barriers. In this paper, we specifically report on Cinehack: Cape Town, a participatory media making project. By co-producing hip hop videos within a community for whom media making is often a ‘means-to-an-end’, we were able gain insights into the kinds of support needed to enable high quality media making by non-professionals. Specifically, we highlight ways to meet users’ needs by embracing informal codes of practice via experimental making and peer-support.