Welcome To Sheila In The Modern World!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

So this week has been largely devoted to the fun and challenging task of getting that last little "oomph" I need in terms of start-up funds for this project. In addition to asking all my friends to kick in a buck or two (a HUGE thanks to the wonderful non-strangers who contributed) I've been contacting local businesses to see if any were interested in donating/small-scale sponsorship in exchange for marketing love. I thought that this was primarily going to be an exercise in form. I was wrong. 

People pretty much rock.  

More on this later, but a have definitely learned a couple of things this week.
1. If you have weird/outside the box ideas don't be afraid to try them. You may waste a little time, but you may get some results.  And any results are great results.

2. If you are going to do fundraising at all, give yourself enough time to do it. I didn't give myself quite enough time. It's a bit of a bummer. 

Moral of this story: I am extremely grateful to everyone who is contributing to this project, be it through talent, generosity, or simple well-wishes. Without your support I would just be sitting alone in room with a camcorder filming my toes and trying to call it "art."   

Thanks to all the beautiful people spreading the love!

Peace Out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ask me about the gender binary...

Or really, ask Tommy. Because to some extent I'm worried that I pretty much failed at addressing that part of my story... This is a mistake that I tend to make a lot in story telling, I forget to give my readers or viewers the context that I assume but they might not be familiar with. I don't want to be obvious or to beat people over the head with points, I really do try to be subtle. But when I'm not careful, "subtle" becomes "lost."

For example, what the heck am I talking about right now? My second primary character, Tommy, is supposed to be a "gender anarchist"... or at least a subverter. He cross-dresses for political not fetishistic reasons. He isn't transgendered, just a little gender-queer. 

Well, isn't transgendered depends on your definition of the word... Tommy does not identify as female, so he isn't trans in that sense of the word. Authors such as Riki Wilchins have encouraged people to look at transgendered to mean transgressively gendered, a rather broad and provocative paradigm. 

Gender as a binary - male/female - is a deep and important part of our culture. We hold it to be a self-evident truism, when in my opinion it deserves some very heavy scrutiny. On some levels this is starting to be deconstructed in a major way - for example most people have started to differentiate between "sex" and "gender." On the other hand I wonder if ways in which we are deconstructing is always useful. To take the above example, people tend to think that "sex" is a biological reality, "gender" is a more flexible cultural construct. While I'm not convinced that I completely disagree with this perspective, it is an over-simplification at best. When we say that sex is biological and binary what part of biology are we referring to? Anatomy? Hormones? DNA? These different aspects of biology don't always match up. At best a biological binary is a human likelyhood, not an absolute. 

Okay, I'm pretty much rambling now. Long story short, I believe in a multitude of gender experiences, from biology on up.  Tommy as a character is designed to challenge some of the "trappings" of gender through visual juxtaposition, and political camp. But as I said at the beginning, he isn't quite where he needs to be for this notion to be clear on camera.

If anyone has any favorite drag/camp/gender subverting movies or art I can hit up for inspiration I'd love to hear them. : )

If you are interested in an actually coherent version of what I was talking about above please check out Kate Bornstein http://www.katebornstein.com/KatePages/indexkb.htm, or Riki Wilchins, http://books.google.com/books?id=RysbAAAAYAAJ&dq=inauthor:Riki+inauthor:Anne+inauthor:Wilchins&ei=j-QmSrDVHZCGkAT2sLTaCg&pgis=1 in my opinion two of the most accessibly intelligent authors writing in this area.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Things that you remember

I am make a rough draft of a shooting schedule! I am alarmed at the size of this freaking thing! I am listening to Sounds of Silence and pretending to be Benjamin Braddock! Minimum of 7 different 10 hour days to film, and probably somewhat more...

Soooo, I'm just not thinking about that anymore today. Here is some random concept-y ish images I'm jes pulling off of ze internets... These are the things that you remember/know about the 60's/70's. If any of these images are remotely foreign to you  I would seriously reevaluate what you are doing with your life ; )