Final Project:

Video Essay: The Representation Of Transgenders In Movies And TV Shows

This video deals with the representation of transgenders in movies and Tv Shows from stereotypes of the criminal, comic and drug addict character to the progress of some more human portrayals. I used movies from the 50s until now. Here are the ones I used:
Boys Don’t Cry / Chouchou / Dallas Buyers Club/ Dressed To Kill / La Mala Educacion / Laurence Anyways / Le Père Noël Est Une Ordure/ Ma Vie En Rose / Orange Is the New black / Psycho/ Tacones Lejanos/ The Adventures Of Prescilla, Queen Of The Desert/ The Rocky Horror Picture Show/ The Silence Of The Lambs/ Todo Sobre Mi Madre/ Tomboy/ Transamerica/ Transparent.


Final Project: Progess Report 4

I advanced a lot, now I am at the last part of editing the supercut about the « progress ». There are a lot to show so the main challenge will be to summarize the information to not exceed the time of my song. I still have to record everything well, search for new videos for the part about transgender as criminals which is the shortest, and create the credits at the end.

Final Project: Progess Report 3

I am late in my schedule. I wanted to finish editing the part about comic relief and drugs last week and I did not. I realized my project will take more time than I thought because of its social dimension which need a voice over explanation. I need a minutial work because the scene I chose need to fit perfectly with the words I use and it is very difficult. For example, for the comic relief part I used 3 important words in my voice over to illustrate the representation of transexual: sympatic, touching and caricature like. It is difficult to find a scene which summarize one character attitude. I don’t find a scene which show a comic character who is touching without being tragic. I am still working on it.

Final Project: Progess Report 1

Last week, I created the script for my video essay (which maybe need to be edit but all the idea are presents) and I began gathering the movies I need for the video. Today, I decided to start editing because I have a clear visual idea of what i want to produce.

Finally, it was perfect to begin the editing today because I faced up to technical issues I did not expect. I had to convert all my movies in the mp4 format to import them on Imovie and I did know how to convert them. Thanks to help I found a solution but it is better to face up to these issues now than in the last week of preparation.

My goal for next week is to finish editing at least the supercut for the introduction of my video essay which represent approximately 45seconds of my video essay.


Introduction (0:00- 0:35)

Supercut of some characters’faces discovering trangender characters :

(The rocky Horror Picture Show/ Psychose/ All about my Mother/ Transparent/ Boys don’t cry/ Laurence Anyways/ Transamerica …)

Apparition of the title: Representation of transgenders in film and TV Shows on a video showing high heels from La Femme video clip (0:35 – 0:40)

Capture d’écran 2015-03-29 à 16.10.13

Beginning of the voice over (0:40 – 5:22 or not)

Before studying their representation in movies and tv shows, we need to clarify what it means to be a transgender.
Transgender or transexual people are individuals who identify themselves as the sex opposite of which they were born with and adapt their appearances and behaviors without necessarily having a surgical operation.
Movies act as social reflectors in the sense that they have tried to approach the subject since the 30s without truly understanding it.

=> supercut showing transgender characters

First considered as a psychiatric pathology of identity disorder, movie directors used to show transgender and transsexual characters as unstable.
One of the main images conveyed by transgender cinema is the one of aggressive and monstrous individuals who commit murders to satisfy their impulsions.

=> Supercut of transgender characters commiting violent actions toward other or murders. Use of : Psychose, Pulsions, The Silence of the Lambs, Hit and Miss

One other representation is the humoristic and grotesque one. Transgender characters are frequently friendly, sometimes touching, but always caricature-like.

=> Supercut involving comic characters. Use of Chouchou, Le Père Noël est une ordure, All about my mother, Bad education…

They are very extravagant and colorful characters with a non-serious lifestyle with most of them having career in cabaret as if it is the only future available for them.

=> Supercut of transgender performing in cabarets. Use of Bad Education, Priscilla Queen of the desert, High Heels, La Cage aux folles, The Rocky Horror Picture Show..

Life perspectives are also narrow for transgender characters. When they are not acting as murderers, instead they are torturing themselves with drug addiction or risky sexual behaviors, which lead them to being more susceptible to STIs, especially HIV/AIDS.

=> Supercut of transgender doing drugs. Use of Bad education, Transamerica, Dallas Buyers Club

Addictions, extreme behaviors, and misunderstanding are barriers that lead many transgender people to premature death.

=> Supercut of transgender announcing they will die or dying. Use of Bad Education, All about my Mother, Dallas Buyers Club, Boys don’t cry, The Silence of the lambs.

However, Some movies and Tv shows approach the subject and reveal a certain progress in their representation of transgender people

The difficulty of the revelation …

=> Supercut of transgender doing their « coming out ». Use of boys don’t cry, Transparent, Laurence Anyways, Glee, Transamerica..

Familial and social relations transformed… …

=> Supercut familial relations. Use of Laurence Anyways, Orange is the New Black, Transamerica, Transparent, Priscilla

The society’s reactions, incomprehensive and sometimes violent toward transgender

=>  Supercut of the use of the word freak : Boys don’t cry ( « you’re a fucking freak »), Transamerica ( « you’re a lying freak), Priscilla (« you’re a fucking freak ») and other mistreatments boys don’t cry (« are you a boy or a girl? »), Transamerica « Are a boy or a girl?), Transparent (girl bathroom scene), Laurence Anyways (« mental illness? they are insane. »), Priscilla ( AIDS fucker go home)…

Few director chose transgender actors => All about my mother (Agrado), Orange is the New Black (Sophia).

If movies and TV shows fail most of the time to represent the complexity of transidentity, there are more and more of them which try to give transgender and transexuals more human portrayal and nver transgender as been as present on screens as in 2014.

Credits :

Music: Moderat (or maybe not)

(= Really basic script. I need to watch all the movies and tv shows of my list and adujst the script with the length and my supercut to ad content or not)

Project Proposal

What do you want your project to focus on? (HOW/WHAT/WHY)

I want my project to focus on the evolution of trangender and transexual characters in the cinema. In my opinion, it is an interesting subject because this minority is stereotyped in the majority of movies. Most of movies since the 30’s represent transgender or transexual whether as people who have mental disabilities or as funny characters. They also mainly deal with men who want to be women and few talk about women who feel like men. Some changes appeared from the late 90s and I also want to explore that. I want to treat the subject in a chronological or a thematic order to show the progress in the representation of transgender concluding that this progress stays relative.

What type of video essay will you create?

I would like to create a video essay based on supercuts and a voice over and maybe scenes studies.

What raw materials will you need for the project?

I need to find every movies in good quality in english version or with english subtitles.

Who will be the audience for your project?

The audience should be large because I will explain my arguments with a voice over and illustrate it with film clips to make people understand it easily. Yet I will use a lot of foreign movies, so maybe it will be more enjoyable for people interested in international cinema or the trangender cause.

What skills/software do you expect to use? Which skills and software tools would you like to have a better handle on?

I expect to use the software Premiere if I succeed to work with it. I would like to have a better handle on this software because I don’t really know how to use it.

Coming weeks:

  • March the 31th: Script/ Storyboard and selection of movies
  • April the 2nd: Last changes for the script and Storyboard and beginning of editing the video
  • April the 9th and the 16th : Editing the video and recording the voice over
  • April the 23th: Finalize everything, coordinate the voice over and the video.