Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 19 years.
Under the umbrella term of 'arts-based research', his main efforts have involved developing tools
from the arts and humanities for use by social scientists in research and its impact on a wider
public or a Perfomative Social Science.

Jones is Reader in Performative Social Science and Director of the Centre for Qualitative Research
at Bournemouth University. Kip has produced films and written many articles for academic
journals and authored chapters for books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality,
and older LGBT citizens. His ground-breaking use of qualitative methods, including
biography and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research and
dissemination are well-known.

Jones acted as Author and Executive Producer of
the award-winning short film,
RUFUS STONE, funded by Research Councils UK.
The film is now available for
free viewing on the Internet and has been
viewed by more than 13,000 people in 150

Areas of expertise
• Close relationships, culture and ethnicity
• Social psychology, sociology
• Ageing, self and identity
• Interpersonal processes, personality,
individual differences,
social networks, prejudice and stereotyping
• Sexuality and sexual orientation
• Creativity and the use of the
arts in Social Science

Media experience
His work has been reported widely
in the media, including:
BBC Radio 4,BBC TV news,Times
Higher Education, Sunday New
York Times, International
and The Independent.

Monday, 21 April 2014

The "Long Take" Shooting RUFUS STONE's Fire Scene

William Gaunt ("Rufus") left; Nicholas Thompson Technician, exiting quickly, right
I have been screening RUFUS STONE at various venues around the country recently. Typically, after the film, we hold a Q and A session with the audience.

Usually, there is a stunned silence following, sometimes applause. The silence is understandable. I believe that it takes a bit of time to take in the emotional journey that the film has produced and respond to it. Time to catch one's emotional breath, as it were.

I often simply ask for comments, questions or reactions to the film. Typically, the first questions are about the research, how it fit into the process of making the film, etc. At this point, some then begin to express how it made them feel and relate it to similar experiences that they have had or have heard of. Discussions then often turn to what might be done to minimise prejudice and open up hearts and minds in the wider community.

At about this point, questions begin to turn to making of the film itself, working with the director, Josh Appignanesi, and a professional crew and how that was accomplished. I love talking about this part of making the film, probably because it was the new part for me and, therefore, the most exciting personally.

I often use the example of shooting the fire scene that ends the film because it represents the magical mix of director, cinematographer, cast, crew and extras working simultaneously to pull off a very difficult shot. Anything can go wrong, from actors missing a cue, technical malfunctions, and, in this case, the fire starter coming into camera range inappropriately.

The "long take" or "oner" is an uninterrupted shot in a film which lasts much longer than the conventional editing pace. Long takes are often accomplished through the use of a dolly shot or Steadicam shot. Long takes of a sequence filmed in one shot without any editing are rare in films (cf. Wikipedia). Cary Fukunaga, director of True Detective, said "They're the most first-person experience you can get in a film."

I refer to the long take in RUFUS STONE when answering questions about making the film because it demonstrates in a few minutes my admiration (even astonishment) at how well the crew carried off each of their specific tasks. No one gets in the way of someone else's ability to carry out what is often a very technical and seemingly insignificant (to outsiders) function. When it is working, it is a well-oiled machine. Impressive!

The last day of the shoot was intense. We had filmed two other scenes in two different locations in rural South West England that day, including the very emotional final scene between Rufus and Flip. We then moved to the old, abandoned farmhouse site, for the final 'fire scene'. I often mention the 'fire starter', a professional technician (Nicholas Thompson) who is required for safety as well as skill to start the fire.  Nick enters the scene, starts the fire and exits without ever ending up in the frame. All of this time, the camera on a dolly track is moving towards the lighted fire itself.  When I observed this scene being shot, I said, "It's like a ballet. Wonderful!".

I also realised somewhat later that I was fascinated by fire as a child and, for a time, had a problem playing with matches. Perhaps I am intrigued with the fire starter for that reason: an adult occupation where you are allowed to 'play with matches'!

I embed the "Long Take" from RUFUS STONE below. If you keep an eye on the pile of wood and the right of the frame, you can catch the fire starter, Nicholas Thompson, entering at 0:25 and exiting the set-up at 0:46.

The "Long Take" for RUFUS STONE the movie from Kip Jones on Vimeo.

Trailer for RUFUS STONE

A ranking of the greatest, most celebrated long takes in cinema history. 
16 Incredible Long Takes

Watch the film here:

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