Documentary Ethics

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February 13th 2013
FST 302
Ethics Paper
Power to the People- What does this phrase mean and how does it relate to the subjects/filmmakers of Dancing Outlaw? In documentary film, the phrase “Power to the People” means that the subject has a certain amount of influence. Although the director of the documentary has the most control in the message of the film, the subjects have a significant amount also. For example, in Dancing Outlaw, Young can ask to film certain things, but if Jesco doesn’t want to show or do certain things, then he will not. He is not a paid actor. Also, at the beginning of negotiations with the director, the subject can gain power over how the film will go through contracts. I believe if Jesco was more knowledgeable of his rights as a subject of a documentary, he would have taken advantage of this power.

Informed Consent
* Why Is Jesco making this film? (10pts)
I believe that Jesco is making this film in order to promote himself as a dancer. He has no idea that his whole life is something that people would want to watch for entertainment. Even Jacob Young, the director of the film, says in his interview with Anne S. Lewis, “I think he thought I was making a music video -- he has this way of interpreting things in his own way and it's hard to convince him otherwise. He thought this was going to be his big break.” * Why is Jacob Young making this film? (10pts)

I think that Jacob Young did not even know why Jacob Young was making this film while in production. I know that he wanted to show the world Boone County. I know he desired to create a portrait of a few interesting individuals that resided there. But I don’t believe he truly knew what he was after until it began to form and take shape in post-production. Jacob states in the previous mentioned interview that, “I never know what movie I've got until I start to edit it, which is why only I can edit my films. * Has Jacob Young been honest with Jesco in...
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