There are many moral and ethical considerations to think about when approaching a project like this one.
Trust & Misrepresentation of People
People will expect to be represented truthfully without being misrepresented. This could potentially be an issue as Bill Nichols expresses that:
“Filmmakers who set out to represent people whom they do not initially know but who typify or have special knowledge of a problem or issue of interest run the risk of exploiting them. Filmmakers who choose to observe others but not to intervene overtly in their affairs run the risk of altering behaviour and events and of having their own human responsiveness called into question.” (Nichols 2001, p. 9)
Hopefully, this won’t be too much of an issue within this project as one half of the project relies on user-generated content and submitted knowing what they have provided.
The role of truth and authenticity
This should definitely be considered especially when structuring the footage collected from the interviews. Given the editorial nature of the documentary process, this should be exercised with caution.
Participants of the project and interviewees will need to be informed of the possible consequences of their participation. Privacy and voyeurism may provide access and exhibit intimate details of a participant from revealing stories. Therefore, this should be explained on the release forms in terms of what rights they have or do not have.
User-generated content may include offensive and inappropriate content and therefore, some may not be published.
Nichols, B. 2001, Introduction to Documentary, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana.