‘Choose Your Character, A Documentary’, David Blandy
‘Choose Your Character: A Documentary’ celebrated a particular sub-cultural obsession, the computer fighting game, by looking at the community that surrounds this activity. What drives people to seek to find themselves in these products of global culture and what authenticity and the underground mean in the internet-driven world.
A small group of selected participants, aged 18-25, many of whom not in formal education, employment or training, were taught all the skills necessary to craft their own documentary projects, from planning, filming, recording sound, and editing to publicity and the final presentation.
‘Choose Your Character: A Documentary’ built on David Blandy’s ongoing research into identity and its relationship to consumer and underground culture, highlighting the slippage and tension between fantasy and reality in everyday life.
The participants concentrated on making a video self-portrait, using their games-playing as a central motif. The films that were produced were edited in a series of group workshops, to form a film that creates a picture of a community through intimate portraits of individuals. For the final filming session all the participants converged for an evening of competitive games playing.
This project transformed the participants’ outlook on their lives. It showed them that not only are their lives and passions worthwhile, but that through dedication and hard work, change in the real world and in their daily lives, is achievable.
‘Choose Your Character, A Documentary’ was commissioned by HS Projects and funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).
The project ran from April to September 2012.