Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Member

Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika

Committee Member

Dr. David Travers Scott

Committee Member

Dr. Darren L. Linvill

Committee Member

Dr. Bruce Whisler


This document is a written reflection of the production process of the creative project Synthesized, a scholarly-rooted documentary exploring the analog synthesizer world with focus on organizational structure and perception of social identity. After exploring how this production complements existing works on the synthesizer, electronic music, identity, Communication and group association, this reflection explores my creative process and decision making as an artist and filmmaker through the lens of a qualitative researcher. As part of this, I will discuss logistic, as well as artistic and creative, challenges. This includes how I negotiated limited access, resources, time constraints, selecting an event and potential participants according to set parameters, lighting and acoustic conditions at venues, avoiding copyright violations, obtaining proper permission to film, and the scheduling of production and editing. The production of Synthesized is the story of my process of deepening and challenging my own understanding of the culture of analog synthesizer enthusiasts; field observations and interviews, gathering and exploring relevant documents, and other interpretive and creative processes of knowledge production were part of the documentary filmmaking process. Consequently, the production process overlaps with aspects of traditional qualitative research. This paper will take a closer look at the relationship between data collection and filming, as well as footage review, editing techniques, and theme selection, and how they relate to qualitative analysis. It is my hope that these reflections will eliminate the notion that data collection can only be undertaken in a purely scientific manner and that the lines can blur between creative exploration and traditional research.



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