Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's in a name?

Believe it or not but I feel like one of the hardest things in filmmaking is coming up with a good title. Titles can make or break your movie. If you have a good title, it might entice someone to be curious enough to go see it. A good title should be catchy, yet leave you wanting more. If it's too long people don't say or don't say it right. Plus if it's long then the font will be smaller on a movie poster or post card. If it's too short or obscure people won't have any idea what your movie is about. "There exist single-pronoun films that are considered classic. Two come immediately to mind: Them and It (The Terror from Beyond Space). Somehow those two titles inspire a sense of dread. On the other hand, They conveys nothing—and is only marginally better than its clunky alternate title, Wes Craven Presents: They." (06.28.10 | Jason Marcewicz ) There is obviously a happy medium but I'm not sure if there is a good criteria.

I'm struggling with giving my movie a title. I've honestly just been calling it Yarn Graffiti Documentary but that is very long and not exciting at all. John likes
City in Stitches or Cities in Stitches. He also thinks that Yarn Bombers or Yarn Bomb would be ideal. I'm not sure if Leane and Mandy have that term trademarked or whatever. Some people I met at the Knitted Wonderland installation came up with City Stitchers but John pointed out that sounds silly and almost cartoony. There are a lot of puns with knitting lingo but I don't want to exclude crocheting. I like the term "Fiber Artists" because it includes everyone but I'm not sure if that's a title and it sounds more arty and less graffiti thug-y. I'm working on my treatment and I keep referring to my doc as "Untitled Yarn Graffiti Documentary" which is clunky and not working for me. I'm frustrated. I need help. Any ideas?

The other thing is that it's still early to glue myself to a title. For example, if the documentary takes on a heavy feminist element I could call it Femiknitist. How can I come up with a great title when I've only filmed like 1/6 of the material?

Please give me some of your suggestions!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Knitta' SXSW

So we're about half way through SXSW Film and I've had an unbelievable amount of positive response to the Knitta Doc Bumper that plays before 1/5 of the movies at SXSW. It's exciting to know that people like this small little preview of a my documentary. Joe Nicolosi did an amazing job cutting this together, even though he spelled my last name G-o-n-z-o-l-a-s, and Steven Quinlan's music was perfectly composed for this teaser.

Unfortunately I have been so busy with SXSW I haven't been focusing on what Magda has been doing. She was on one of the SXSW panels (which I hope to get some footage from) and has a knitted "exhibit" of knitted yoga balls somewhere in the convention center, apparently near the Green Room, as a part of SXSW Interactive. I still haven't found it but I have been finding pictures...

Also during SXSW week, Magda knitted the stairs of the GSDM building, an Austin-based ad company that’s teaming up with Google to sponsor The Industry Party on Monday night building for their The Industry Party.

Now that SXSW is coming over the mid week hump, I'm ready to start getting back to my documentary in a serious way. I will definitely be working more on my budget & proposals and will be starting an IndieGoGo very soon to get some initial funding started, on top of contacting over potential knitting, yarn bombing subjects. I hope to travel with Magda and her crew to NYC the last week in March to capture her knitting the inside of the Etsy Building.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Knitted Wonderland

What a weekend. After all the permit drama, all the stress and heartache, everything happened smoothly.

I woke up early, got to campus, signed the contract, and got my permit. John got us some audio equipment from the IMC and we were ready. We got to the Blanton early to get some "before shots" of the trees. Once 4pm hit all the volunteers seemed to show up at once and start installing their piece on their tree. I had borrowed my friend, Mike Rose's, Canon 7d so that John and I could cover more ground. We split up with our two cameras and shot around.
It was really relaxed. Eventually we shot out the 7D, which I only had one card for, and turned our focus on miking Magda and shooting her experience with the volunteers and the Knitted Wonderland. We got some amazing footage and audio of her talking to people.

We stayed through dark capturing Wonderland being created. It was so amazing being a part of this process. As we were driving home I just felt great. I got what I wanted to get. It was definitely all worth it. We got up the next day to finish up shooting around. Magda help a lecture about the project and about what she does. Saturday was the icing on the cake. Everything was very rewarding. Magda even invited John and I to come by her house and shoot her knitting some yoga balls for SXSW but we took a rain-check to review footage and decompress. Filming other people working hard and being creative, really take it out of you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doing things the "right" way

I don't want to say too much but I thought it was worth mentioning: John and I have been working very hard at making this documentary the "right way" meaning getting release forms, contracts and permits etc. For the last two months we have been working with the Blanton Art Museum preparing for the Knitted Wonderland Project that Magda Sayeg is heading. They have been beyond kind in helping us stay organized. They even went so far to get all the participants to sign release forms to be filmed before the event even takes place. I love them. They were the ones helping us get a permit to film on the University campus for the event. I don't want to name names or point fingers but getting the permit has been hell. I'm not even sure if we'll be filming the event tomorrow and Saturday. It's been a long couple weeks.