The Edge of Dreaming is a PhD by practice, consisting of one
feature documentary film and a 45,000 word thesis. I locate
my practice in the cultural, historic, personal and aesthetic
context of autobiographical film- making.
There are two main research questions:
1.What sort of film language and structure can I produce
to create room for the audience in this autobiographical
2. What sort of knowledge do I obtain, and share, in
exploring the subject of death and dreams through
autobiographical film- making?
The thesis covers the period of time from 2003 to 2010
including research, film- making, scripting, editing and
screening the film to audiences. Dreams and death are
examined from scientific, psychotherapeutic and shamanic
perspectives through the literature review. Case studies of
other film-makers clarify `character', audience engagement and
ethical concerns in first person film- making. Methodology,
cinematic language, story and essay structure are explored in
the context of the imperative to make this particular film.
The primary template of my research is the creative process.
By sharing the decision making about how to structure the
practice output - The Edge of Dreaming - this thesis aims to
make my creative and scholarly research transparent, so that
the solutions shown in the film can be deconstructed and this
articulation can be transferred to others and expand the field of
first person documentary research.