“The bigger picture” was a term I had used rather vaguely throughout the development of Breaking Cinema and often to the bafflement of the other project members.

So, in order to provide clarity on what I was actually talking about, I authored the following explanation that was include in the Vision Document for the Breaking Cinema podcast. 


What is the bigger picture?

The bigger picture.

This is a highly ambiguous term that I love to use all of the time and especially so in my rants while waving my hands all of the place.

However, I want to succinctly define it here because it’s a term I use a lot throughout this document and in other materials related to the project.

Okay, so I think the meaning to this supposedly ambiguous term is actually bloody obvious.

If wilful blindness is the art of ignoring relation, the bigger picture is art of accepting that there is a vaster plain of information and happenstance outside of yours or my limited perspective.

So if I ever say…

“we have to think about the bigger picture here.”

What I am actually saying is…

“let’s ignore what we currently have as centre stage in each of our perspectives and be open-minded, let’s see what we can discover beyond whatever is centre stage in our perspectives in order to build a richer conclusion of what started out as centre stage of our perspective.”

A bit like this…

The Bigger Picture – THAT’S what I want to exlore in Breaking Cinema

On my whiteboard above, I have attempted to illustrate my bigger picture approach to the Breaking Cinema project in regards to when I keep repeatedly saying, “This project is not just about film.”

You’ll also note that I have placed the World Wide Web at the centre and I have done this because I quite logically see this as the current media technology that is connecting all other media technologies and increasingly human beings together.

Throughout this document I refer to the Breaking Cinema project as being concerned with film and media… well, the photo above is a snapshot of what I mean.

So, for example, when you think about film from the perspective of an interconnected web of information (as I do), then you see film as being a smaller component of a much bigger picture of knowledge and exploration.

“All theories, including natural sciences like physics, necessarily involve abstraction and thus cannot capture every aspect of the complexity of the real world. This means that no theory is good at explaining everything. Each theory possess particular strengths and weaknesses, depending on what it highlights and ignores, how it conceptualizes things and how it analyses relationships between them. There is no such thing as one theory that can explain everything better than others – or ‘the one ring to rule them all’, if you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings.”

– Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide, 2014:112.

What I have tried to convey in the mind map above is the perspective that is inside my head whenever I think about the subject of film.

I see it as being interconnected with every other piece of human knowledge and experience that is further growing and coalescing in that that world wide web of information.

There is information everywhere – EVERYWHERE – just stop for one moment and have a look, listen, touch, taste and smell of the bigger picture around you. And just think about what you might be ignoring?

What might you be missing?

Ultimately, that bigger picture provides us with a vast landscape from which a richer understanding of cinema can be obtained and what cinema is to humanity as a whole.

That’s where I am coming from with Breaking Cinema.

I am not coming from the traditional idea of studying films as their own isolated entities in their own isolated field of study

I think that approach is utterly absurd and my Film and Screen Studies dissertation strongly backs up this assertion.

Focusing on film on its own is just like trying to ignore the larger reality that exists beyond your individual perspective.

And I won’t do it!

That is not the reality of it.

That is why this project is not just about films.

It may be called Breaking Cinema, but cinema is only a starting point.

Ultimately, the bigger picture is about embracing reality.

And reality is much vaster than any one perspective can ever hope to fully realise.

This is precisely why I want to involve other points of view in the project.

I want to create a bigger picture tapestry of perspectives.