Research article

Excitement lies elsewhere: Teenage film-makers and popular culture

  • Ryan Shand orcid logo (Research Fellow, Ravensbourne University London, UK)


When teenagers are given access to digital media equipment, their teachers and film club leaders may hope that they will take the opportunity to make films of personal significance. Instead, young people often choose to engage in a parodic dialogue with popular culture, in a process which feels more familiar and/or comfortable to them, providing as it does a creative space unburdened by expectations of sincere expression. From a survey of numerous short films made in Scotland, it is evident that the use of pastiche and parody facilitates both progressive and reactionary perspectives, often within the same film. Exploring a series of detailed case studies of films made by young people in Scotland in the early 2000s, this article argues that parody can provide for young people an aesthetic distance from personal expression, which, ironically, is unexpectedly revealing of generalised teenage sociocultural attitudes.

Keywords: media literacy, parody, pastiche, digital media, popular culture, teenage film-makers, Scotland

How to Cite: Shand, R. (2021). Excitement lies elsewhere: Teenage film-makers and popular culture. Film Education Journal, 4(2).

Rights: Copyright 2021 Ryan Shand




Published on
23 Nov 2021
Peer Reviewed
UCL Press