Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
I'm still uncertain about Twittering. I like sending little messages when I can't manage a full blog post. But other people's tweets frustrate me. What about cooktips' fondued leeks? What was he eating them with? What's the best bread for his Sunday chicken and mayo sandwich? What about melsil's dog Duke? What does he look like? Do people in New York ever have big dogs? And what about all those voorgreen messages about Standing Woman? If I send emails every time I wonder at a tweet, I'll be emailing for ever.
The Standing Woman is positioned in UCLA's Murphy Garden which has become the crown jewel of the campus. She remains in vigil at the base of the footbridge, which means virtually every person who walks through campus must pass her. She has become the Patron Saint of Screenwriters. So when our writing students walk past her, they tap or touch her for luck. It is a ritual of membership. Only the writers do it. We think it gives us courage. And we think she has deep and profound secrets to share with us.
The Standing Woman was sculpted in the 30s by a French artist named Gaston Lechaise.
Yes, there were French & Saunders, and yes, there was a major award for Jane Tranter, but it isn’t really about the very few who stand out, is it? It’s so much more about the fact that at every level, but primarily at the level that MAKES DECISIONS, that BUYS WORK, that ACTUALLY EMPLOYS, the people making those decisions are men, blokes, male-identified-black-suit-(or kilt)-wearing chaps.
If every time a group of people get up to receive an award and 75-80% of those people standing up there are men, what does that say about the state of our film and tv industries? Does it say we are in a place of equality where women are as likely to be producing/creating work? I think not.
If the people who are producing and creating the work are men is it any wonder that they then employ men writers to write more work about men? What we know from publishing is that men readers prefer to read men writers and are primarily interested in male protagonists, while women readers will read both men and women, and will also engage with male protagonists (yes, there are always exceptions, this is though, what current statistics tell us) - I see no reason to assume that men producers/commissioning editors are any different to the rest of the male readership. And so it makes perfect sense that we see, time after time, men producers and then men writers associated with them.
Audiences flocked to all events, nearly 11,000 of you altogether. Our box office stats show an average of around 90% capacity - the majority of events through festival week selling out. The average audience rating across all films and events was 4.5 out of 5. And, demonstrating fresh outreach, 83% of the audience were new to Birds Eye View this year, 98% said they would come again. This is a huge compliment to Birds Eye View, to the strength of our programming, the appeal of the brand and the success of our grass-roots marketing campaign. Three cheers to team BEV! It is also a huge vote of confidence in female talent. There is a clearly strong and ever-increasing market demand for a better balance of content on our screens.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sally Potter's last blog entry was her stunning Barefoot Filmmaking manifesto. I'm not going to quote from it. It deserves to be read as a whole.
Massify and Killer Films (Boys Don't Cry, Kids, Far From Heaven ) have joined forces to create a provocative and humorous short film developed entirely through the Massify production network. At the forefront of independent cinema, Killer is looking for an outsider's story, the kind you don't normally hear about. But this project really belongs to you, because you're going to make it happen - from the concept, through production, cast, crew, and post - everything will be done by members of the Massify community. And before production begins, we need to find someone to take the reins. So if you're a filmmaker with a great story, pitch your concept now.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
My turnips are like white balls of black pepper. Wilt the greens too, gloss with extra virgin and taste the time of year. alexmackay.com
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
"...but it's not always a wonderful job to wake up every morning and face a computer, and there's nobody to talk to, and there's nobody around. It's not always the cheeriest job in the world. It's an odd job when the work's not going well, which happens to me quite a lot. Then, it's just a lot of sitting around and sadness... When I'm writing properly, that's my life every day. You forget to eat, you forget to do anything. And it doesn't feel completely healthy.
Q (Camille Dodero) : After those periods of isolation, do you find it hard to relate to people?
A: Yes. If I'm let out to go to a party, say, and I haven't been out for three or four weeks, I don't realise that most people have colleagues and they know how to smooth things over [in conversation]. You don't always have to tell the truth, for instance, about how you're feeling every second of the day.
When I finished White Teeth and had to start doing press, I would always say the wrong thing. I didn't know how to be a person with other people. And there's all kinds of linguistic things, tics, to make a conversation smooth and natural, and I really didn't know what I was doing because I never saw anybody... I think [writing] sometimes has a bad effect on your social skills."I never forget to eat. I enjoy it too much, and my brain fails if it's not well fed. But when I'm writing most of the time, I do sometimes forget how to be a person with other people. I say the wrong thing. I do the wrong thing. So I've learned to make sure that I sit at a kitchen table with a real live person or two, and a cup of tea, regularly. And I cook for a friend twice a week, who's very understanding when, sometimes, I can't sustain a conversation. Twitter, like email and txting, takes time from being with people-in-the-flesh. On the other hand it's a great way to stay in touch with people like Linda who live far away.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
When I talk to people and I listen to other filmmakers or students talking about themselves trying to get work together, the thing that I constantly hear and recognize is that what's really difficult for people is dealing with the fear that they have about their work. Quite often that feeling is so great, it completely obscures them; they kind of lose themselves in their fear and they can't really do the work... Whereas I have got some kind of capacity that when I'm engaged in a project or an idea, I have enough sense of love and charm for it, that I don't think about what could go wrong. So when I get excited about an idea I can't think negatively. I just think it's only going to work out well; of course it's going to work out... I can be critical as well but on the whole I think, yes, I've got to fix this and that but it will work out. And then it's not till it's really completed that I start to freak and be able to see the other sides or the negative positions that people could take on it. What I've said doesn't sound like very much, but it's probably the single best quality I've got.I went "AH", because Greta, one of my filmmaker characters in Development spends a lot of time talking about her fear to Jasmine-the-shrink. And she overcomes her fear. And as I've said, there are days when I'm pretty scared myself, especially when I'm about to take a script to pieces.
Common sense is also very underestimated. the very word makes it sound like it's just hanging around everywhere, but it's quite rare; that sort of practical ability to find a middle line. The quality of my enthusiasm being greater than my fear and my common sense are the two only real qualities that I have that distinguishes myself as someone who can have an ongoing career as a filmmaker. And to know what's achievable. All those sort of very dull things. I'm really practical. I'm very, very deeply practical and have great capacity to work out what can fit into what size box. I think so many people are creative; everybody is and I'm just only as creative as anybody else, but just with those different qualities of being fearless at the right time and having lots of common sense.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Today's the day.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Waiting for some quinces to heat. They drop to the ground outside my window: THUMP. It seems no time since they and my poppies were in full bloom.