It wasn’t until 1991 that an a film directed by an African American woman was granted a general theatrical release in the United States. The director was Julie Dash. Her film was Daughters of the Dust.
So, I figured I’d put this here. Currently everyone working on our short film is hustlin’ to make it work for our premiere, but we ran into an issue. While burning the Blu-ray, the film kind of quit working on us. It stops. I’ll post what has been written about it between us currently. If anyone can hand out advice, that’d be cool.
So I’m in the audio labs with _________ and trying to burn the Blu Ray. Every single file works and imported to the burner fine, except the actual film. We checked the info on the film file compared to the other files and they’re all identical except that the film file carries time code, but I dont know if that even effects it. In the burner it works only as an audio file, and when we tried to open the file on the lab computer, and ___’s laptop, it opened and worked in VLC, which is great, cuz now we know it works and is there, but every other program, handbreak, quicktime, final cut, all read it only as either missing audio, missing video, or both. We’re currently trying to export is out of VLC and see if that somehow relink them but I’ve never seen a finalized .mov file that doesn’t carry audio and video together in every place. (it didn’t.)
2 questions. 1, has anyone EVER seen something like this and what can we do to fix it, and 2, if this doesn’t work, the only thing I can think is to re-export from the original final cut timeline and try again. Of course that means tomorrow is almost a no go. Lemme know.
Jeff Wray, a Michigan State professor and filmmaker, joins Matt & I as our first guest on the podcast. We discuss a Barry Jenkins film about a one night stand between two strangers and the dynamics between the two as they spend the day after together. A lovely indie film (whatever that means) and an excellent ending. Watch it on Netflix, it’s a good watch.
I brought up a story while we were discussing one night one day stands. Matt thought I should elaborate on it after hearing more details after we finished recording.
Cleanflix, the film I co-directed with Joshua Ligairi, that premiered at TIFF three years ago, is finally available for any and all to consume. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon Instant, and Vudu for the time being. You can also pre-order the DVD on our new website or get it on Pay-Per-View. Look for it on Hulu and Netflix in the coming weeks!
FeministFilm points out a very important issue with the show:
Think about other prominent characters of color we’ve seen so far: Hollis, Carla, Paul’s girlfriend Sheila from Season 2 (and, to a lesser extent, Lane’s girlfriend in Season 4). Sure, they are all given lines and technically have voices in that sense, but let’s be real. None of these characters are written into the show for their own sake. They are there primarily—here I’m actually tempted to say exclusively—for white characters to interact with, to treat poorly (or not), to be inspired by (or not), to set the tone or feel of an episode because they cause white people to experience just so many emotions!
This notion of representation was the default representation for people of color throughout film during the first half of the 20th century and has persisted as time goes on. While Mad Men insists that it’s trying to simultaneously claim to be a well-drawn drama detailing what America was, it is apart of the culture of what American is today.
While Mad Men may be correct in replicating the way in which people of color were represented at this time, people of color continue to lose because, whether it’s tongue-in-cheek or not, people of color are still screwed over.
In lieu my inability to make posts lately, here’s the update I just posted on Indiegogo about the films I’m working on!
Principal shooting on “One Night Stand” is now complete! Two rehearsals, three nights of rehearsals, and after piles upon piles of pizza, the film is now officially in the post-production phase. The almost 25 page script was completed in an absurd 18 hours, which is beyond quick.
Our editor, Emily Liles, is already hard at work on editing the film. She’s already done rough cuts on the first three scenes that we shot weeks ago. There’s a possibility that this film may be finished within the month! But, that’s a maybe.
(Music is currently also being composed.)
Now, our focus shifts entirely towards “Sharing of the Domestic Burden,” which has already been cast and one rehearsal has taken place. A shooting schedule is currently being organized, props and set decoration is underway, and the hopes of a similarly speedy shoot is on our minds.
The second film is more Tumblr-focused on crew (and probably in construction.) Folks involved:
As per usual, I cannot attend this year’s Ann Arbor Film Festival, in its 50th year of my home state. It only goes through tomorrow, but I feel it’s worth noting, especially because there are some great looking films showing tomorrow, including Jafar Panahi’s This is Not a Film.
If you’re able to make a day trip, I’m sure it’ll be worth it.
Now back to prepping for a marathon film shoot tonight.
The 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival presents 50 SCREENS, a city-wide series of free film, video and moving image installations. Throughout film festival week local, national and international artists will illuminate more than fifty screens in galleries, theaters, shops, outdoor locations and non-traditional screening spaces in Ann Arbor. The intention of this expansion beyond traditional cinema screenings is to more widely engage the public with film as an art form in celebration of the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival, taking place March 27 – April 1, 2012.
I am subjected to judgement of my skillset, character, and performance based simply because I have a vagina. I work in an industry that still reinforces old stereotypes and waters down modern feminist concepts.
EVERYDAY. MY WORKPLACE TELLS ME WHAT WOMEN ARE. Here is a wonderful list of things movies (even independent ones) have taught me about women:
-women only love shopping and gossiping
-women always want the bad dude over the nice guy and always hurt nice guys and overlook them
-all women want to be mothers
-women of a certain age who are not mothers or married or both are portrayed as uptight, controlling, and cold hearted
-women should never stray from the established fashion industry body types that hollywood seamstresses are programmed to design and fit for
-women should not enjoy that which compromises their image of being graceful, dainty, and submissive
-women are usually saved by men in some capacity from major life crisis
-lesbians are always counterculture, crazy, and probaby abused as children
-women who betray men are justifiably beaten down both emotionally and physically, meanwhile men who betray women are often glamorized, idolized, or their behavior is swept under the rug
-women are either crazy rebellious punks with ripped fishnets and lots of boyfriends or they are sweet, chaste, and waiting for marriage.
-women who wear sexy clothing, do anything alone, get drunk or high, or have any sort of sin present in their lives WILL BE and deserve to be violated and raped.
-women will always choose keeping the baby despite financial hardship or logistical place in life over having an abortion or giving it up for adoption. Women who do not come to the conclusion of keeping the child clearly end up doomed to a life of drugs and psycho therapy.
-women should always wear makeup and look their best, even when it’s not logistically possible to do so
-women are always dieting, talking of dieting, or making some stupid comment about a cupcake going to their thighs even if they weigh 90 pounds soaking wet.
-fat women are always the funny sidekick, no matter what.
-weird/subculture/nerdy/ugly/socially awkward/etc. women will always have some popular friends willing to make them over and completely erase their personalities in trade for the chance to look pretty and be liked by popular boys.
-black women are always sassy. they clearly are not layered, emotional humans with a capacity for any other type of personality.
-women are happiest when they’ve found their man, who always will teach women the right way to love
-strong, independent women always wear cute sexy outfits when they are out on their ass-kicking adventures.
-these same strong, independent women in cute sexy outfits will always end up falling for the alpha male that pursues them.
-feminist women are always man hating, jealous, and end up needing a man’s help anyway.
THE LIST GOES ON.
As independent filmmakers, we have the torch to create interesting, unique, and strong female characters who represent the run of society. Our women can be of the stereotypes above (since there are these women who do exist in real life), but they also need to be layered, complex, and not just playing off pre-conceived notions of femininity. We need a healthy mix to represent everything women are and not just repackage what old standards of what women should be.
I often come across too many scripts completely regurgitating the list above and perpetuating this gender normative idea of women vs. men. And I can tell you it’s… boring. No, really, it is. To continue to come across the cardboard cut out personalities of what men think women are from 1952 is boring. We are everything all at once. We have many flaws and strengths, interests and fears, dreams and failures and they are not universal. Your female characters should be as profound as your male ones. Do not create another women who is a generic representation of Hollywood Female unless you intend their arc to take them away from that image.
“Well, I write only strong female characters who kick ass and take names.” That’s great! Now, why the hell are they wearing thongs and have their stomach bared? Why is your strong superhero female character always lamenting about boys, their outfit, and feeling fat? Or why are they always bossy, uptight, sexless, and off putting?
Dear Indie directors and writers: leave the genre characters behind. Genre writing can be made one hundred times more interesting if your characters don’t fall within the same cut outs always well used ahead of you. Look at your mother, your girlfriends, your sisters, aunts, and cousins. Look at coworkers, bosses, the chick looking at her cellphone on the bus. We are all very different. REFLECT THAT. It’s far more interesting and relatable to audiences when you start to build layered characters than looking at the same stereotype over and over and over and over and over and over… repeat ad nauseum.
“If I see myself on screen, I know that I exist.”—
gabourey sidibe, the 84th annual academy awards (via ohonestly)
In the end, this is what I think about most now that the Oscars have ended. This is a pretty important quote. Seems like something the Oscars kind of, maybe, actually don’t pay attention to. Especially when they do stuff like this.
Greetings, everybody! We’re now seven days away from the campaign coming to a close and I felt that it was a good time to post an update on what is ahead for these two projects over the next seven days:
-Second rehearsal for “One Night Stand” tomorrow night. -Auditioning for the final lead in “Sharing of the Domestic Burden” on Thursday night. -Begin shooting “One Night Stand” on Saturday!!!
There was a little bit of a pre-production meeting between Maggie and I last night. We discussed edits on the script to “One Night Stand” following last week’s rehearsal. The script has really come a long way since its original creation. While watching “The Times of Harvey Milk,” and some episodes of “Community” we talked about concerns for our own script that came from watching what “Harvey Milk” and “Community” (so bizarre connecting those in ANY way…) and we’re both feeling very, very good about where this project is.
Once again, it’s thanks to you folks. Considering we had to bump up production for “One Night Stand,” we may very well need to rent more equipment than previously expected. Keep spreading the word and thanks for all you’ve done!
More specifically, we were talking about my issues with the character Abed on Community. Abed has Asperger’s, and it’s handled well, mostly. However, Community still perpetuates the trope of any person with some sort of disability being a lesson giver to those around them. This not only makes Abed a kind of magical, untouchable figure, but it makes his issues more about those around him; we can all learn from that character!
On some level, considering “One Night Stand” is, specifically, about two people talking about queerness and sexual fluidity after they have sex for the first time, I didn’t want it to be voyeuristic. I don’t want it to be a lesson giving script. This is what we discussed, and I think, hope, and do believe on most levels that our script isn’t some insightful thing for straight folks to say “Isn’t that great! I feel good.”
As I wrote above, I do want to thank ya’ll for your support. It’s been really nice. I hope you all can enjoy what we put together. I’m excited to get started.
Both The Help and Pariah featured black actresses demonstrating once again that race doesn’t play a factor when it comes to talent or range, yet only one film featured a plethora of Black talent behind the lens and portrayed a multidimensional, portrayal of oft-ignored Black experiences. Thus, it isn’t such a surprise that the one with the Black maids in the South came up a winner with the Academy.
“Seriously, re-watch some episodes from the past year or two. Pay attention to how many sketches Sudeikis is in (all of them), divide that by the number of different characters Sudeikis is capable of playing (1 unless it’s a Biden night). Multiply by the number of times some dude laughs during a sketch. Then compare to Vanessa Bayer doing LITERALLY ANYTHING, LITERALLY ANYTHING and then cry into your Southern Comfort because Jesus Christ sexism is pervasive.”—
A professor I had wrote this brief article on The Descendants that I think is worth reading. I have heard inklings of how Hawai’i is presented within The Descendants in problematic ways. Here, Jason Sperb complicates the reading somewhat, but doesn’t appear to be convinced by the film.
While the colonial gaze is always important to discuss (I personally think it’s pretty rampant within cinema), with The Descendants being an Oscar contender, I think its especially important to keep in mind.
“I can go into an audition with my makeup and my hair and my lashes and come out with these roles…. Which goes into the area of perception, and how people perceive black women of a certain hue, and when I say certain hue, I mean black women who are darker than a paper bag. And I’m a dark-skinned black woman who is 46 years old. And I don’t know about you, but when I go to see movies, I don’t see a lot of women like me in glamorous roles. Not in any mainstream movies, and inevitably when I say that people mention one person — but usually just one. I don’t see a lot of narratives written … where a woman who looks like me gets to be beautiful and sexualized and upwardly mobile, middle-class, funny, quirky. They’re very seldom written.”—Viola Davis on how people perceive her. (via nprfreshair)