The area my group were given was an area with two large supermarkets. On the first day, we went down there to look for borders/conflicts that we could base our films on.
While in the shops, I noticed several things that had the potential to make a good film.
1, There are different foods and products here than back home.
There were many products and brands that I didn’t recognise in these stores. It didn’t occur to me that many of the brands I am used to are not international and are not sold in Lugano.
I found this quite interesting and combined with the language barrier, it made it quite difficult for me to be sure the food I was potentially buying was vegetarian.
This idea had potential but I wasn’t sure how we could make it into a film that involved the local people so I kept looking.
2, The make-up and toiletries are separated by gender.
While there are certain products that only men need and only women need, I found it funny that some of the products that all people use, such as hairspray, suncream and mouthwash, were segregated as well.
There are much bigger issues surrounding the divide between men and women and I’m not sure this is the conduit for discussing it. I feel there is the potential for the scope to get too large and we would move away from the point.
3, The alcohol is in a separate section at the very back of the store.
You have to go all the way into the store to get to the section where the alcohol is. I discussed this with one out our tutors Joleen and she pointed out that it may be because people may steal alcohol and this way they have been spotted by all the cameras.
Although there is the potential to talk about youth drinking culture, especially in comparison to our own countries, what Joleen said got me thinking about the cameras in the store which lead me to my strongest idea.
4, Privacy vs security, there are cameras and screens everywhere in the store.
I had noticed a couple of the screens while walking around the store but after talking to Joleen, I noticed how many of them there were.
I started walking around taking pictures and trying to count how many cameras and screens I could see. In total I found 7 cameras, in each corner, by the front door, by the checkout area, by the makeup and by the hard liquor. I found three screens where you can see the camera footage, by the front door, by the makeup and by the hard liquor.
Then I began trying to sneak around the store, avoiding the cameras. I found that there was absolutely no way to go into the store without being seen. After that, I began to look at the people in the store, no one seemed particularly bothered that they were being filmed.
The screen by the front door makes you feel instantly watched when you come in and then again by the makeup and liquor, the things people are most likely to steal.
I felt like this idea had a lot of potential and we could do some interesting things with it so I decided this was the idea I would champion and do my best to persuade my group to do.