VRM Documentary Group Project

by Timothy Malone

Our intent with the film was to juxtapose a series of discourses emergent in mainstream media representation about occupy wall street, with regards to ‘demands,’ and put them in conversation with a conception of the necessity of ‘need for demands’ derivative of protestors and sympathizers with the occupy movement.

This was achieved through a combination of television news clips, reference to articles, on site interviews, and lectures at OWS, and relevant media clips.

The fundamental thesis is that, although media and centers of power either dismiss Occupy as ‘demandless,’ or ask ‘what are their demands,’ the very question presupposes that making demands of the system is an appropriate tactic. Voices within the movement are not always so sure. The argument is that to give in to the requestng of demands necessarily delimits the voice of occupy, by crunching its energy down into easily replicated soundbites, or demands that can be answered within current configurations of power.

We sough to demonstate that a vibrant question emergent at occupy is precisely, if we had demands, could power really meet them, or could mass media represent them? Are our demands not to reconfigure these very systems to allow not only for democratic accountablity, but also democratic access….  that is, it is occupy itself that demands when and where demands will be voiced, to whom, and how they will be represented.

Occupy, in its most optimistic, is not about coming to power with a list, but a re-imagination and new practice of power (in the foucauldian sense, as not only oppressive, but positive/constructive).

  • Subject Matter: Focus on Occupy Wall Street and LA
    • Questions:
      • What are your demands?
        • May be a function of ideology because it may not be possible to narrow it down to a single demand
        • The very question may be a function of power
        • Cannot be made in a sound bite
        • Engagement upon multiple spheres
      • What are some criticisms of this movement from the media?

The movement has no specific single demand, but it carries a multiplicity of demands.

  • Authenticity
    • Film interviewer interviewing
    • Self-identify and Insider perspective
  • Evidence
    • Personal Footage
    • Interviews
    • Research on blogs and YouTube
  • Authority
    • Participatory democratic structure
    • Following progress of movement
    • Commitment to look at the big picture
  • Responsibility
    • Paying attention to the individuals of the movement unlike the mass media
  • Work Plan:
    • Dates:
      • Week of Oct. 13-20: Discuss interview questions over Sakai and gathering raw footage and evidence
      • Sat, Oct. 15: Shoot footage on site and do online research
      • Thurs, Oct. 20: Meet and create storyboard after class
      • Oct. 21-Oct. 31: Edit film
    • Duties
      • Tim and Tamara: go on site this Sat to City Hall in LA
      • Amanda and Katie: research on discussions on from news, blogs and YouTube clips  (raw footage and news clips)

Occupywallst.org: Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #OWS is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.