Call for Participants

Preempting Dissent: Open Sourcing Secrecy

An Open Source Documentary Film Project
Call for Videos, Testimonials, Photographs, and other Audio Visual Materials

This project examines new forms of social control including the proliferation of Tasers and the rise of “no-fly” and watch-lists. We are seeking contributions to this project in the form of video, still images, and testimonials. This content will be made available for others to mix and remix into their own documentaries.

How to Contribute:

We are seeking video content from those of you who have experienced and/or captured on video new forms of surveillance and social control. Have you been Tasered by police, security guards, or other citizens? Did you witness someone being Tasered and record it on video? Has your name been placed on a “no-fly” list – or similar exclusionary watch-list? If so, we invite you to submit your video footage, personal video testimonials, audio testimonials, photographs, news footage, cell phone videos, mash-ups, and any other audio-visual medium which will convey your story.

To participate in this project, please go to


Greg Elmer of Ryerson University and Andy Opel of Florida State University are working with Open Source Cinema, to create a collaborative, open-source documentary film based on Elmer and Opel’s book, Preempting Dissent. Using the Open Source Cinema platform - a collaborative website which serves as a repository for user-generated content - the audience will be encouraged to submit their own media as well as to remix media uploaded by the filmmakers and other users. By publishing a “road map” of production, this project will encourage participation through all stages of production. The project will produce a feature length documentary, as well as enable a non-linear open source cinematic database that will evolve over time through the collaborative contributions of users. The documentary, the producer's video clips, and user-generated contributions will all be available for remixing.


This project is based on the 2008 book Preempting Dissent that critically examines new forms of surveillance and social control. This new logic encourages the suppression of public dissent and mobilizes both “fear” of the unknown and “faith” in government leadership. Elmer and Opel show that this new logic stretches well beyond the realm of airport security and international relations into everyday police techniques, including the use of Tasers, the deployment of “stealth” crowd control, the zoning of protestors and the suppression of public dissent. Drawing on social theories and media analyses, this book reveals the underlying”logic of preemption“whereby threats must be eliminated before they materialize. By addressing the implications of this new logic, Elmer and Opel lay the groundwork for more effective resistance.


Greg Elmer is Bell Globemedia Research Chair and Director of the Infoscape research lab, Ryerson University, Toronto. He also teaches in the graduate programme in Communication and Culture, York & Ryerson Universities and the School of Radio, TV Arts. Andy Opel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Florida State University, where he teaches documentary video production and critical media studies.

Greg Elmer, PhD
Bell Globemedia Research Chair, Ryerson University
Director, Infoscape Research Lab,
Columnist, The Hill Times,