Biological Sciences


Stites, Zoey

Advisor Department

Art & Art History




Photography; Film; Art; Portraits

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


During the late 19th century longer rolls of celluloid photographic film, and motion picture cameras were first introduced, which allowed for the capture of rapid sequences of still images at a relatively high speeds. The first films shown to audiences on a larger screen, although rudimentary, caused people to gasp or run from the cinema, as they believed the images on screen were real. As technology increased feature films progressed from only showing a simple static event to creating full stories spanning over various sets and containing multiple characters. With the advent of sound, filmmakers were given another tool to create stories, which could capture the imagination of their audiences.

Following the 1920s technological advancement of sound recording allowed for an accompaniment of dialogue with feature films, which lead to more intricate story telling. A pivotal film during the 1940s was Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which commented on the political strife generated by Hitler’s raise to power. Films during this time marked a unique change in the purpose of movies, no longer was a film meant for simple entertainment it could also comment on the social circumstances during which it was created. Modern films have continued the trend of acting as more than simple entertainment, often times a modern film contains a permeating theme which attempts to comment on a certain aspect or convention of society.

Additionally photography has been used for centuries in order to capture the artist’s interpretation of the world around them. Depending upon the photographer’s perspective and intended message a simple scene can have a number of different connotations. This project distills down the central theme of various films and utilizes photography as a medium to recreate and adapt them to current social circumstances. Through the set of photographs created, it uniquely attempts to combine both cinematic themes and photographic approaches to comment on a number of prominent social controversies. Films are used as the backdrop for this gallery of work due to the accessibility of them throughout different cultures, as well as the intimate connection they create with audiences. Additionally each photo remains truthful to the look and style of the film from which they are derived, which acts to reinforce the bridge between the two mediums. This collection of work represents not only a combination of media types, but also a socially conscious critique of current controversial themes.