Thank God That's Not Me

  • Phoenix Hamilton

'Thank God That's Not Me' is a triptych of short films that constructs a discourse around public shaming through the tropes of the spectacle and reality television. Generated from primary interviews and existing transcripts, film scripts are forged to manipulate voices to critically establish new narratives. My three individual films approach the existence of public shaming within television, justice and politics, the overarching link between these three films is the exploration of the relationship between humiliation and entertainment. Using my self-designed methodology I have created a style of film that lies between documentary and reality TV, manipulating voices to expose new narratives. With a committee of MPs beginning an enquiry into whether the duty of care is upheld by production companies, the ethical questions that I have illuminated in my films are already unravelling. However, utilisation of public shaming does not just inhabit reality TV, rather it is embedded within society itself. As such, my project addresses the public directly, to engage a conversation around the nature and ethics of humiliation. This was my final project as part of my BA(Hons) Design course at Goldsmiths.

'Thank God That's Not Me' is the first instalment of 'Thank God That's Not Me'.
Three experts (don’t) meet to (not) talk about the value of shame within the reality television industry.
‘Thank God That’s Not Me’ manipulates the voices of three individuals who occupy the realm of public shaming: Paul, a producer within the TV industry; Peter, a member of the European Antibullying Network; and Emerson, an ex-contestant on Channel 4’s risqué night-time dating show, Naked Attraction.
​Inspired by the wily editing techniques used by reality television production companies in which narratives are constructed through non-consecutive footage, ‘TGTNM’ manipulates a discourse around public shaming and judgement that never really happened and so uses the producers’ approach against them.

Full film available upon request.
Actors: Michael Lipman, Nicholas Benjamin, Ben Meyer.
'Noncebusters' is the second instalment of 'Thank God That's Not Me'.
“You can run but you can’t hide… Who ya gonna call? Noncebusters”.
Scripted from pseudonymous interviews with self-titled ‘predator hunters’ and the associated comments left on their live video ‘stings’, in which potential predators are exposed and transformed into a spectacle upon the digital stage; ‘Noncebusters’ demonstrates the continuing tension between justice and entertainment of public humiliation. By sharing the defendant’s name across social media platforms, these vigilantes perform ‘justice’ for the thousands of people at home sat safely behind their devices - people who enjoy keeping up with the ‘Sting of The Day’, a real reality show inspired by a lack of confidence in current policing systems.

Actors: Tarik Badwan, Michael Lipman, Charlotte Dunnico, Eve Atkinson.
Camera Operator: David Jackson.
'Gov Island' is the final instalment of 'Thank God That's Not Me'.
Generated from an amalgamation of transcripts from both Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign statements and ITV’s high-profile ‘Love Island’ episodes, ‘Gov Island’ functions as a demonstration of Trump’s use of reality television tactics throughout his politick, mastered during his time on the American Apprentice, specifically his skill at belittling his opponents in order to procure power. What emerged was an almost seamless transition between the two inputs, as if they were from one source.

Full film available upon request.
Actors: Callum Guilfoyle.
Camera Operator: David Jackson.