Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sensible Shoes, Crazy Fangirl Writings

I like to think I am, for the most part, a practical person. I try to pay my bills on time, remember to turn off lights in the house when I'm not around, go vote on election days, work hard every day, treat people as I would want to be treated (I fully believe in the whole karma, what goes around comes around philosophy), remember birthdays, and try to say please and thank you, always remember to bring an umbrella, and have a closet full of practical shoes (and never ever wear white before Easter, a left over curse of being Southernese)...all of which makes me terribly normal and a terribly boring person I should think. Why then would a person such as this want to write about people I've never met and will probably never meet, think about a place I've never been, ponder on a world of filmmaking that I am not part of, nor probably ever will be and generally put my private thoughts on these things out there for the public to stumble over and read?

Good question.

No real good answer.

There are a plethora of independent filmmakers and films out there that are wonderful and have achieved many good things, especially here in the US. Many of these films and film companies do not get the attention (nor blogs writing about them) that they deserve, this is true. There are scores and scores of wonderful actors and directors and writers committed to the indy spirit, here in the US and in the UK and frankly all around the world. The actors who champion these films are numerous, as witnessed by the large contingent alone who show up at Sundance and at the recent Indy Spirit awards before the Oscars-all of them surely are worth writing about. (Jamie Bell is one such actor, he having worked with huge mainstream people also chose Hallam Foe, yay!)

Furthermore, its easy enough to swoon over and dream about the wonderful Scottish men, but that is nothing new. Archeology is a hobby of mine, and I fully admit to my longing to go to Scotland and explore all those places that have captured my imagination, but it's not just the past that fascinates me, it's the present, and I think the things that are happening there are largely overlooked by the mainstream press. Why this is, I do not understand, but for example its just about impossible to see photos from any event happening in Scotland, sooo frustrating! I don't know if there is some sort of wacked out agreement within various press agencies, but the way info gets out is always about a day or three late and lacking imo. Of COURSE there are many very good pieces of film coming out of Scotland, and not just Sigma! My son and I simply adored a film we saw over the holidays called The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep and I paid attention to the movie blog on that as well. I also recently saw SEACHD, and found it to be so well done, moving, and I don't understand why it was excluded from the awards. (but then again the over site against recognizing Hallam Foe and Jamie Bell at the Baftas irks me too lol). Being interested in the history side of Scotland too, and I am also keen a new movie coming out called Stone of Destiny (and YES it WAS filmed in part at Film City Glasgow) regarding a legendary piece of Scottish history with a modern twist. So if all of these things are true, why this blog, it seem so illogical as Spock would say

I guess its because I admire the commitment to try and better things. Yea I guess its that irritating optimist in me but I like this about that company. No I do not think they walk on water or any such thing lol, but I actually think there is a real commitment to being original fresh in their productions, and trying to make a good Scottish film scene. I read in an interview a long time before I started reading the Hallam Foe blog that Gillian Berrie founded Sigma Films and Film City Glasgow because they hoped to help created a self-sustaining film industry in Scotland. The more I read about her and learned that she had been through things the hard way (as I had), but was determined to try and make films that she and her partners the Mackenzie brothers had wanted and help stem the tide of the Scottish film community fleeing to Hollywood or England, the more this impressed me. Quite simply, I was impressed by what seemed to me to be a fairly high bar and an impossible thing, and yet there they were and there she went and there were these great films that people should see. I also started watching David's films with greater interest, went looking for information about him (and Jamie Sives, a Scottish actor who is really good) ,stumbled over the blog which I clearly adore, and here I remain.

I've read quite a few blogs about movie making, but not that many about films in Scotland and this puzzles me. I've also read some very disrespectful and very unkind comments about David and Sigma, so I am not oblivious to the critics and different opinions that are out there. I also fail to understand the entire UK film lottery system and how a relatively small country such as Scotland but one with a fair amount of talent and creativity ) is supposed to get the word out, attract the investors, film makers and more importantly the film going audiences and attention it deserves. While I have some English roots somewhere and truly adore many things British, it seems to me so many years after the various treaties, England is still rather pissing on Scotland in this sense regarding the film industry. I gather change is underway to try and improve things so more opportunities and funding is accessible -and AGAIN I know and understand very little about this whole process and intend no offense to the English film industry, but as someone looking in from the outside, it seems very convoluted and things could certainly be better.

I am certain that at glance I must seem like a crazed fangirl or freak for even doing this blog, pathetic or completely pitiful I guess, but I genuinely love the world I've discovered there, and never ever mean to embarrass them or what they are trying to do! I was involved in another group involving a Sigma film and got a few emails saying very hurtful things to me, telling me I'm such a big loser an embarrassment to the blog team and that the Sigma people would hope I would shut up go away they dont care what I think etc. It wasn't until another long time hf reader (ted) convinced me not to throw in the towel, but I never posted there anymore-was just too horrible and hurtful, but those words still linger in the back of my head and its easy not to get discouraged now and then.

Anyway I write my thoughts on the things coming out of that tiny company in lovely Scotland because the hf blog gave me an escape at at time when I needed, taught me more about film making and opened my eyes to other parts and ideas on movies and other things. NO I do not think much of any one reads this nor particularly much cares what I think, and I suppose I could have easily called this-Blog by someone who thinks Scottish films deserve a serious look, but that didnt quite work for me lol. If you have to worry though about what everyone will think or it becomes 'uncool' to have a passion or interest in something at all any more, then I dont want to be part of that world with out joy of any sort. Maybe one day I will give up and change the title or delete this all together so I wont be an embarrassment! For now though I'm still sweet on whats happening there, so I'll keep on with my writings, and perhaps I should indulge in the fun more often without the worry and enjoy the illogical nature of it and wear a pair of impractical shoes more often too


  1. For what it's worth - I read your blog. As you read mine - another little blog. I consider mine to be not much more than a piece of plankton in the blogosphere ocean. It's how I rationalize keeping my blog going when I REALLY should be doing something else more "productive" - but that's another story . . . Every ocean needs plankton!

    And it is hard when it seems like you don't have any readers. My readership comes & goes in waves (nothing like overusing a metaphor!). And when the tide is out (ha!) I chide myself for not doing something else more "worthwhile" . . .

    So what my rambling is trying to say is - if you have something you feel strongly about & want to explore, express it - then go for it.

  2. Hi Anna!
    Thank you so much...for reading and for this comment! (and don't worry about overusing metaphors, especially water-Im a Pisces and an old hippie I think so Im hip to use of water/earth/ nature references lol)

    I honestly appreciate that you both take time out to write your excellent blog, but also to read mine. This was just to be a place to try and sort out all these thoughts I have; that anyone would read these things and comment is a bonus and unexpected honor, so thanks! I still waver every day and think I've truly snapped or I've said too much yet again, but I learned a long time ago, if you don't seize the moment it wont be there again. Thanks for the words of encouragement!