Post-film reflections

The crown shyness is a phenomenon observed in specific tree species, in which a canopy with channel-like-gaps is shaped after the crowns of fully stocked trees do not touch each other. The crown shyness is usually used by environmentalists to prove a kind of tree's consciousness. If you use crown shyness as a metaphorical gap between the film-maker and one's audience, you can understand why the engagement with the documentary can be initiated but not be fully satisfied with resonance.

The "ground under repair" is the most illuminating visualization and generally conceptualization through whose inspection the audience can grasp how we, humans, change our environment to fit it into aesthetic boundaries(Bourdieu 1984).

It is not only the filming or the editing that crystallize the conceptualization of the film-maker about the multiplicity of the possible films to be produced, but the perception of the film by wider audiences which can interact and contribute to the film itself and thus to the film-ethnographer(Banks and Zeitlyn 2015: 25). The social scientists are not exclusively extraordinary spectators due to their social interpretation of the world around them. On their hand their audiences are called to resonate with an issue which does not necessarily concern their habits or their reality(Wikan 1992).

Even though I enjoy equally extraordinary documentaries  about environmental issues such as An Inconvenient truth(2006) in which Al Gore, an American ex-leading politician is rallying on global basis for less dependence on fossil fuels and the respect of international environmental protocols or the Windfall(2010) which follows the locally negotiated issue of the establishment of wind farms in Rural Meredith, New York, I had to deal with different audiences. The first watchers were of course my editing colleagues, but the targeted audience for me are the incoming students of any academic interest, and ultimately the estates' management of the University of Kent. The former are called by the film to engage with the environment around them and question the archetypal stereotypes on nature, while the latter are called to put into public discussion and if possible reconsider their plans of modifications on campus's forestry. The most of my colleagues wondered why they had not observed this situation which had started much before unraveling on common view. They also complained that they did not capture the central message of the "documentary". Adriana asked me "So is the coppicing positive or negative for the forest itself?",  "What you want from your audience, to become distressed? If this is what you want you have it".

What I will be incapable of forgetting is the encounter I had with my own and others' illusions of a "de-dehumancentric" future relationship of the University's community with the Tyler Hill Forest(Kohn 2013). What I keep as precious remembrance is the track I followed along so diversely sensitized friends and colleagues of the Billhook Nook Project about the forest issues and how people perceive "nature", if it really exists as essential existence or it vainly represents an objectified space(Morton 2007). What I want to escape from is the anxiety or fear of whether I used the forest to arouse a pretending or an arbitrary problematized outlook on "ecological" issues(Descola 2013). What I will feel definitely nostalgia of is the freedom I enjoyed while being in the forest, as the latter is a first-class opportunity for an amateur film-maker like me to explore creative ways of capturing sensationally arousing footage of irregular surfaces, conditions and other beings, as well as encounter diverse "ways of telling" only through a small lens(Berger and Mohr 1982: 60-73).


To possible critics and even supporters of the film, as an artistic, scientific or ecologically minded product, I would like to remind that what the film-maker produces means something vital first to himself and through this signification, the visual project may or may not receive attention or/and promote relevant or irrelevant projects, indeed through collaboration and inter-sensitivity(Ferrarini 2017). Thus, what I expect from the film to signify, my worry about the powerful relationship between humans and forests, in benefit of the former, will be signified to you, only if my personal signification fertilizes a worry or distress on your side about how we treat nature as institutions and individuals. However, the opportunistic resonance is necessary, but not sufficient to trigger future relevant projects. For example, the Billhook Nook project was attended by a average number of ten to fifteen students on the best days. There were many students who attended once and never appeared again. A film, especially a marginal one as the Forest alone is and could be perceived as a project which is in great need of dedication and constantly changing interpretation(Banks and Zeitlyn 2015).

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