Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Knowing your audience

In a lovely bit of serendipity, just after I admired this Lisa Gornick drawing, A conundrum on knowing your audience, I read a Sally Potter post about her relationships with audiences. Today's treats, from directors who are far far away from here,  the ninth floor of the Rutherford Building by Wellington's railway station.


I hate coming to this building, worry always that the big earthquake (well overdue) will come as I am in the lift. I hope it comes when I am digging the garden at home, and able to enjoy nature shaking her tail (which is what some little earthquakes feel like). And am envious today of Sally Potter working away in her hut in the snow, pictured in her post, smoke twirling out the chimney. She also writes about volcano ash, and seeing that smoke plume as I read makes me think: What would it be like here if one of those volcanoes up the road erupted as intensely as Eyjafjallajokull: Ngaruahoe; Ruapehu; Tongariro; Taranaki?
I like it that Sally Potter writes about an alternative to physical travel:
Virtual travel: deeper communication with people who write in to this site, for example, may be part of a solution. And of course writing itself--
So in today's virtual travel, right here, a great wee tweet from CampbellX, another director, about the Eyjafjallajokull eruption & flight disruption:  "Mother Nature: 1 Man-Made Technology: 0 (and that is due to an own goal)".
Knowing the audience, so many dimensions to that. I've learned that Development's potential audience that follows devt on Twitter has very little overlap with the potential audience that likes our Facebook page. I have a feeling that the people who read this blog are a different potential audience again,  but don't know. And I've been surprised that some feminist friends who love movies appear have no interest at all in Development or the context we're working in. Who knows if they'll become part of our audience once the film's made? We're now working on some Development products. Maybe they'll attract another audience altogether, eager to buy virtual tickets and useful, fun, things.

Christine Vachon comes to Auckland; & my washing machine and laptop die


Christine Vachon's giving a one-day seminar in Auckland tomorrow, thanks to Script to Screen. I want want want to go. Asked to interview her.  But the washing machine died. And then my laptop died. Not just another of its recent small deaths. Dead beyond resuscitation.

I love Christine Vachon's books. In Shooting to Kill  published twelve years ago, she identified financing entities’ gender—and image-oriented—beliefs as problematic:

[They scrutinize] your project for marketable elements that will distinguish it from the morass of independent films…they want a director about whom good copy can be written… It helps if they’re attractive. And it helps if they’re male. I’m usually reluctant to spout stuff like: “If you’re a female it’s so much harder, if you’re a male it’s so much easier” —I hope it’s a little more complicated than that. But I do think that the machine works better with boys. People are more familiar with the whole idea of a male director, especially when he’s a maverick who’s kicking the system. We did, however, get lots of ink for Rose and Guin from Go Fish because they are extremely presentable and very articulate.
One reason I'd like to interview her is to find out whether she thinks anything has changed.

And I love many of the films Christine Vachon produces, including Go Fish. I watched Go Fish, long ago, in a women's audience in Toulouse. The audience gasped now and then, at places that surprised me. Then I realised that these strange gasps were at the 'bad' language. Taught me something about French women at that time; things may be different now. (And am now waiting impatiently to see a new film, The OWLS, written by Sarah Schulman and directed by Cheryl Dunye. In my mind The OWLS is a kind of successor to Go Fish, though not produced by Killer Films. It features Go Fish actors Guin Turner and V.S. Brodie. And Lisa Gornick, whose drawings I include here now and then. And I enjoyed this blog entry about its making.)