Monday, September 22, 2014

Touching Home in China Crowdfunding Launch!

My colleague Melissa Ludtke, a journalist with a lifelong passion for women's and girls' issues, just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for our transmedia project Touching Home in China.  The project uses an interactive iBook, Youtube channel, and social media to explore girlhood in rural China through the eyes of two American adoptees - Melissa's daughter Maya and her friend and former crib neighbor Jennie.

I've thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with Melissa on this groundbreaking project, including working with media in this new way.  We have produced a pilot chapter for the iPad (available free on the iBooks store)

Melissa is hoping to raise $40,000 through the indiegogo campaign.  If we raise $7,000 in the first three days (byWednesday night), a donor has offered to pitch in $3,000 to bring it up to $10,000 - which could earn us a coveted spot on the Indiegogo "Trending" list.

Check it out here, and please support us if you can!  Donations are tax deductible.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

MassArt Low-Residency MFA Show

This summer I am teaching for the first time in MassArt's Low-Residency MFA program, which is structured pretty similarly to the program I attended at San Francisco Art Institute: 60 credits over three summers, culminating in a big show at the end.

Teaching Experimental Video is fun because I get to see how painters, sculptors, designers, and performers approach videomaking.  And last night I was blown away by their thesis show, which is up in Bakalar Gallery all next week.  Several of my students had very strong work, from Adam Mastoon's meticulous, heartfelt photographs, collages, and installations (including a light installation on walls related to my 60.30.1 piece) exploring identity and personal experience:

Brack Morrow's intriguing multimedia work involving a "rover" constructed of musical instrument parts that roams the landscapes of the American West gathering environmental readings:

and Robert Maloney's striking installation about memory and urban landscape (of which I especially loved the tiny video projection hidden as a gem within the larger construction):

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monkey Dance in Lowell

My documentary film Monkey Dance will be screening on September 23 at 7:30pm at the new Luna Theatre in Lowell, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend, but I hope that some members of Lowell's vibrant Cambodian community (featured in the film) can make it.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Restorative Justice in the NYT

By Talking, Inmates and Victims Make Things ‘More Right’
A process called restorative justice is being tried to bring healing to crime victims and their families as well as to their imprisoned perpetrators seeking rehabilitation.

Janet Connors, my film subject for Hurt People Hurt People, is featured in a great article in the New York Times today about her and her collaborators' restorative justice work at Norfolk Prison!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Editing at MassArt

Today's the last day of my one-week intensive Editing the Documentary course at MassArt's Summer Film School.  It's been a great week, though always a challenge to balance the technical and the theoretical, the different experience levels, and the four different editing platforms students are using!

After several days spent talking about building scenes, working with interviews, and sound design, today we'll get to back up to the big picture and talk about documentary film structure.  Hopefully they've read some of the great excerpts I gave them from Robert McKee's Story and Michael Rabinger's Directing the Documentary.  I love watching a full feature film and then breaking it down scene by scene, line by line, to see what the narrative skeleton is.

But I'm also looking forward to grabbing a beer with everyone after class ends.  One of the great things about the Summer Film School is the people we meet... many of them setting off on first, second, or third careers as documentary filmmakers.  Thanks for a meaningful week!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Radcliffe Day

This year's Radcliffe Day on May 30 celebrated 15 years of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and 135 of Radcliffe (starting with the founding of Radcliffe College). Although I was away on a shoot and couldn't attend, it was extra meaningful for me since I attended Harvard/Radcliffe before the merger, my mom was a 'Cliffie, and I spent a good part of the year making 10 videos for the Radcliffe Institute.

The project initially began with the inspiration of Jane Rainie Opel, who ran the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association from 1978 to 1994. Her family provided funding for three of the videos, including one about The Radcliffe College Legacy.  Jane passed away in April 2013 and was sadly unable to see the finished products. It was an honor to get to know her lively spirit.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Noam Chomsky Award

I'm on a shoot in the Baltimore area now - travelled up here with my film subject Janet Connors, who is winning the Noam Chomsky Peace & Justice Award from the Justice Studies Association.  Congratulations, Janet!