Where is She Now?

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Chainletter Filmmakers:

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Emily Richardson, Prosthetic Aesthetics
March 17, 2013

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I honestly can’t remember now how I found out about Joanie 4 Jackie but I was 25 and living in San Francisco studying filmmaking at SFAI.

What interested you about the project?
I liked the fact it was for women filmmakers and that it had a zine that went with the tape!

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I had just started making films then. I’d made a lot of Super 8 films and this was my first attempt at making something on 16mm and hand processing it. Part of the reason the film looks the way it does is because one roll of film all stuck together in the tank when I was processing it and created some fantastic effects.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with the project?
I remember at the time living in a leaky warehouse on 6th St in San Francisco and spending a lot of time watching films with friends at Total Mobile Home Microcinema.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
There’s something so solid, yet ephemeral about VHS tape and at the time it was great to receive. Stranger now that I no longer have a VHS deck and everyone is sharing work online in so many different ways.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I remember coming to a screening, either in San Francisco or New York. I remember sitting on the floor and I remember Miranda’s big curly hair! Other than that it’s pretty sketchy!

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
I was a student at SFAI so watching a lot of experimental film and video work, taught by Ernie Gehr, George Kuchar and others. Total Mobile Home Microcimena was the best education in film I ever got though really. Rebecca Barten and David Sherman were like surrogate parents to me! (I’d come from London and didn’t know anyone in the city and they took me under their wing)

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am still making films and showing them at festivals, in galleries and museums internationally. I have a website with some info on my projects at http://www.emilyrichardson.org.uk and have a blog set up for my current film project at http://www.3churchwalk.blogspot.co.uk.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
No – it looks great.

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Fiona (Fingerface) (Saunders) Helmsley, Best Friends (also Princess and Lois on Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever and The Silence of the Barettes on U-Matic Chainletter)
September 3, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill. We met her after a show at Gilman Street. My boyfriend at the time had recorded Bikini Kill playing and wanted to give them a copy of the tape. When we told Kathleen we also made short films, she said we should contact Miranda and gave us her address. I was 19.

What interested you about the project?
My boyfriend and I had a public access show, and had making been a bunch of short films with friends. (He was much more technologically savvy than I was, and still works in film.) I did a zine then, and the project seemed really similar to that: sending off something I had made to a person I didn’t know, but suspected I had something in common with, living in an unfamiliar destination. I also loved Kathleen Hanna, and since the project had her blessing, I was curious.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I considered myself a writer. My boyfriend at the time had been making short unscripted films for years, but the films we made together always had some kind of script (whether or not it was actually honored), or at least some loose idea of plot and theme. My magic is not spontaneous. My magic benefits from both forethought and planning.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
Associations I make with the movies: Silence of the Barettes (the spelling error was not intentional) was made in Berkeley; we were staying there at the time. Before the internet, writing letters was really important. So were classified ads in the back of magazines. It was how you made connections with people who shared your interests in the outside world. My boyfriend and I were really into punk rock, and most of the cast were people from bands we liked who we came into contact with through writing letters, trading zines, and buying records. Princess and Lois was filmed at my mom’s house. There is a scene in my old bedroom; you can see my posters on the wall. I think one of them is a Big Miss Moviola poster. The scene on the railroad tracks is down the street from my mother’s house, we had done a lot of the graffiti you see.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I thought it was awesome. I still think it’s awesome.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
Oh gosh, I’m pretty sure I went to more than one, but the one I remember most clearly was at CBGB. Maybe it was 1996? Miranda had set up a video camera in a little closet and there was a question people were supposed to answer and their answers were recorded, and played back to the audience. It was the first time I met Miranda. We had been writing letters back and forth. I still have some of them! I was about to move to New York City and she gave me a lot of advice about different things and people to look into. She was always really supportive. I had a crush on her for sure.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Punk rock and riot grrl. Maximumrocknroll was huge, in part, because of their classified ads. Erick Lyle did a great zine called SCAM (it’s actually still around–he just released a 25th anniversary issue.) I loved Film Threat magazine: In the 1990s, they were a great resource for learning about underground films. I was a big John Waters fan. I was also interested in the films Lydia Lunch was making with Richard Kern (though that influence might not be so obvious. I think the John Waters influence is pretty obvious).

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am a writer. I’ve written two books. My second book Girls Gone Out just came out in August.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
All of the movies. Maybe we could publish all our old letters to each other?

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(Lucretia) Tye (Jasmine), Daybreak
January 10, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I think it was from an ad in a punk rock zine or punk rock feminist publication. Big Miss Moviola welcomed films made by women. When I first read about the open call, it was sometime around 1995, and I was 29. I was thrilled when one of my films was accepted.

What interested you about the project?
That it was feminist and punk rock.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
Yes, and I still consider myself a filmmaker, though my films are so underground they could be considered buried. I am a director and cinematographer, also a writer and editor. I’ve bankrolled any film I’ve ever made. Crew and actors have been paid with food, beverages, and a copy of the completed work. Also my undying gratitude.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
When I was in my last year of college at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1988, I skipped Narrative I and enrolled in the dauntingly named course, Narrative II, taught by the formidable Boris Frumin. Students talked in awe-struck voices about Boris. He was from another country, he rarely smiled, and he’d made feature-length films.

Each student who wanted to direct gave Boris and classmates copies of the script s/he wanted to direct, and then a week or so later, pitched the story to the entire class and to Boris by standing in front of the classroom, a classroom which was really like a cinema or theater with its elevated seating and low center stage headed by a huge screen. Not everyone was chosen to direct, and not every script was chosen to film.

I knew the story I wanted to write. It took one hour to write the ten-minute script at my mother’s white dining room table.

I’ve always been self-conscious, with low self-esteem. But the night before I presented my pitch, I told myself to pitch it the way I wrote it: clearly, and precisely. My script was among those few chosen to be filmed. Boris said to us all about my writing: “You have the script. Now can you translate it to the screen?”

It took eight days over the course of a year to film, and I don’t remember how long it took to edit. It cost a thousand dollars, not including the cost of flying to NYC. The classmate who had promised his house as a location bailed at the last second. I lost the roll of film of a pivotal scene and had to re-shoot. One of the actors could not ever deliver the key line. And a classmate I’d thought was a friend (who is now a very rich and famous TV writer) refused to help me mix the sound! Someone who worked with me in the film check-out department (we were both work-study students) did the sound mix for me, and is uncredited on the film because the titles were shot before the sound mix was done: Patrick McGuinn. I didn’t know then that he was rock ‘n roll royalty; his dad was a rock star. After I graduated, I shot more footage – with Andy Del Barco on camera for the black and white footage, also not credited in the titles – and edited the footage in for the final cut.

I’m not so sure Boris or the class liked the film I turned in at the end of the semester. I think they thought I had not translated the script to screen. He awarded a ‘B’ to me. Boris also gave me two pieces of great advice during that semester, advice I’ve remembered in all my creative endeavors. Boris told me to never mock my work, and to never let anyone mock my work. Boris also told me to make sure that my messages are accessible to everyone (not just to my friends or to some small group) by making aware artistic choices.

The motivation to finish the film was made more urgent by my being in an abusive relationship. After I graduated from NYU, I returned to my hometown. My first job out of college was as a host at a restaurant. I got involved with the chef. Eventually he hit me. It was hard to leave him. My last night working at the restaurant, he created a dessert for me, and named it after me. By going back to NYC to finish my film, I could force myself to leave a man who was abusive. And it worked. I never stayed in an abusive relationship again. And I finished my film.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
That it was a creative and DIY way to showcase films made by women! In retrospect, I see Joanie 4 Jackie as a cinema-zine that expresses the punk rock feminist zeitgeist then, and now.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
riot grrrl and zines

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m a professor who teaches aesthetics, and creative writing. I make short films on my iPhone, my digital canon that my best friend found on the street, and on my PXL toy camera. I write and make art, including zines. My current projects are zine mixtapes, which are oral histories in zine and mixtape format with women in music, specifically riot grrrls and groupies.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
Films and videos! Interviews with the filmmakers and actors and crew.

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