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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.

In the meantime, it's entertaining for us to share some virtual travel with other filmmakers. An adventure. I love watching the side of this page and seeing new posts from film bloggers I enjoy, and going CLICK. And love getting all kinds of useful and entertaining tweets day and night, feeling part of a much bigger world. And getting responses, wherever they arrive. If you're a woman director, or want to direct, and you're reading this, please consider joining in the discussion on our Facebook page, started by our US marketing co-ordinator, Kyna Morgan. We'd love to hear from you. After reading a recent Yasmin Alibhai-Brown article, I'd especially like to hear from young women (we can organise something anonymous via wellywoodwoman(at)gmail.com). Here's an extract. Is this really your reality, I wondered? Or just the reality for some of you?
Women now make up 34 per cent of those admitted to British film schools and academies. So I found two of them – one who finished in 2008 and another who is mid-course. They were both smart and personable, wore short skirts and haircuts. You meet them and think, yes they can, this generation will do what Campion called out for.* Only, five minutes into the spritzers, I realised that they were really scared of doing anything that could stop them going places. Don't use our name, don't describe what we look like, or where we met. 'A' said: "It is whimsical, the business. The people have your life in their hands. I would never sleep with them and have never been pressured, but they tell you all the time that they can make or break you." 'B' did unpaid work experience with a director who said that young women film-makers were "like here today, gone tomorrow, hopefully. Where are the great women painters? Where are the composers? They can't hack it. You'll go off and have babies before you have learnt the graft."…These…women…said they would not have children because that would sap their creativity.
What role does fear play, in knowing our audiences and chatting with our potential audiences? And what about love?


* Last year, Jane Campion said at Cannes: "We represent half the population and give birth to the whole world. Without [female directors] the world is not getting to know the whole story. They must put on their coats of armour and get going."


PS And now in a further little coincidence, while I've been writing this, power has been out in a whole lot of other nearby buildings, people trapped in lifts. Only found out when I checked how to spell Eyjafjallajokull.

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