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Itinerant Filmmaking

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Itinerant filmmaking is a creation of films that use local towns people as actors to play various roles. In the late 1930s a man named Melton Barker began traveling to different towns asking local people if they wanted to act in his film; the only catch was it cost a fee. To many individuals this may sound like a scam, but most of the participants in the film were not trying to become famous, they just wanted to act in a movie. Therefore by paying a fee, the local townspeople would have their few minuets of fame.  Barker’s film was called, “The Kidnapper’s Foil” which was first shot the 1930s, and then continuously shot using different actors for the next 30 to 40 years.

Although Barker was never famous, his films show an interesting contrast of people throughout the decades. As you watch the series of films each one uses the same script, yet is filmed during a different year. This demonstrates a reflection of the past and makes you wonder how much our society is influenced by external factors. In the earlier videos, it seems that the children in the films are much more reserved and quieter, where as the older, more current films seem to have more out going and confidant “actors.” In all the films, you can tell the “actors” occasionally stumble on their lines, but it adds interest in a sense you are watching real people play the part of an actor. This topic was a discussion on, “On The Media” the week of February 28th, 2013.

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