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What Makes a Youth-Produced Film Good? The Youth Audience Perspective

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Learning, Media and Technology Volume 39, Number 3, ISSN 1743-9884


In this article, we explore how youth audiences evaluate the quality of youth-produced films. Our interest stems from a dearth of ways to measure the quality of what youth produce in artistic production processes. As a result, making art in formal learning settings devolves into either romanticized creativity or instrumental work to improve skills in core content areas. We conducted focus groups with 38 youth participants where they viewed four different films produced by the same youth media arts organization that works with young people to produce short-form, autobiographical documentaries. We found that youth focused their evaluations on identifying the films' genre and content and on assessing how well the filmmakers' creative decisions fit with identifications of genre and content. Evaluations were mediated by audiences' expectations and seemed to inform judgments of quality and creativity. We hope that our work can inform the design of formal learning spaces where young people are producing narrative art.


Halverson, E.R., Gibbons, D., Copeland, S., Andrews, A., Llorens, B.H. & Bass, M.B. (2014). What Makes a Youth-Produced Film Good? The Youth Audience Perspective. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(3), 386-403. Retrieved May 30, 2023 from .

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