How do people develop interest in film and create personal film journeys?

  • How are these journeys developed?
    Personal film journeys are developed throughout lifecourse though people’s interaction and relationships with other people, with particular films genres and types of film, with particular venues and places, and through the experience of participation in film audiences in different ways:
    • In childhood and adolescence (below the age of 18), developing a personal taste in film is important in developing one’s identity. For children, this can often be shaped by parents or other close family members in their choice of films to share. For teenagers especially, film taste acts as a status symbol, shaping the subgroups or cultures people choose to align with. It also acts as an expression of the social self, where creativity can become a key aspect of people configuring their relationship with film through various interactions with friends, peers, family members, and other people with linked lives who can introduce new films and types of film.
    • In early adulthood (18-24), people tend to go from school or college into either higher education or their first job, or leave home for the first time, in order to start a career. It often involves relocation or travel, and as such is a stage of life characterised by change, transition, and of identity formation Each opens new sets of social relations, friendships, and interests that influence how people engage with film, including active introductions to new films and film types.
    • In midlife (25-54), people often have to carve out time for their film-watching from a busy schedule of commitments, such as going to work, having children and/or moving to a new house. At this stage, films often provide a form of escape from the stress of strains of daily life, as well as a way of socialising with family and friends by sharing the experience of watching a film together as part of a group film audience.
    • In old age, a stage of life (55 and over) characterised by semi-retirement or retirement, having grandchildren, and (to varying degrees) taking up hobbies, people often have more disposable time to watch films and greater flexibility over when they can watch them than in earlier stages. They also tend to meet new people to share films with, which can expand and develop their personal tastes. Here, the personal journey with film develops through increased opportunities to share film with others, whether as part of a group film audience or as part of the exhibition process (e.g., through voluntary work at a cinema). In taking up these opportunities, people in old age often ascribe social value to film-watching as an activity that helps to avoid social isolation.
  • Are there different types of journeys and how are these developed throughout the lifecourse?
    While there are patterns in how people engage with film at different stages in the lifecourse, and a discernible set of aspects that shape and alter people’s personal film journeys, they are unique to each person. 
  • What are the key resources of these journeys and how do they configure in supporting people’s development in film?
    It is the relationships and interactions that people have with other people (especially those with linked lives, such as family members and friends), as well as venues, places, and particular films that shape people’s personal film journeys. Each serves to configure in a particular way: (1) other people actively introduce people to new films and types of film, and share the experience of watching and discussing films together in group audiences; (2) venues can provide a sense of community, and are places where people go to watch films in particular ways, for instance, as an individualised audience member; (3) the level of film exhibition provision in different places provides greater or lesser opportunities to access a diverse range of films; and (4) engaging with particular films and film types and genres introduces people to different narratives, ideas, and stories.