13 Pages

Project Two: Sam Spade Meets Johann Kepler

The value of Open Night, as I saw it, lay in three directions. First, we'd demonstrated that it was possible for a group of people with very limited resources to make their own video entertainment. (Most groups I knew were simply using video either to record events, such as rock concerts, or to do documentary interviews. We hoped that Open Night would encourage groups to experiment with entertainment - including groups of enthusiasts in schools, who might be able to lay their hands on the school equipment outside class time. ) Secondly, we'd demonstrated that an entertainment form could be used in video to make a strong political statement. We hoped that some people in community or political groups would be encouraged to try and use video in the same way. Thirdly, we'd invented a language which could be used to comment on wide areas of "official reality" . In Open Night the three authority fIgures had concentrated on solving the "education problem" . It seemed to me that, in a series, they might also offer "solutions" for unemployment, immigration, Northern Ireland . .. So that entertainment could be used consciously to undermine the" offtcial" attitudes unconsciously asserted in the TV information services.