Where is She Now?

Chainletter Filmmakers:

Perfect 10: The Chainletter

Maigin Blank, Chalkumentary
February 8, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I remember buying one of the Chainletter videos via a mail order catalog through Kill Rock Stars or K Records (I can’t remember which one now), and being inspired to participate when I read the insert asking other girls to share their videos. I had bought a camcorder when I was in high school (a VHS one – very ‘old school’ even back in the 90’s!) with money I saved up from working at Walgreens, and my friends and I would film stuff all the time.

What interested you about the project?
I was very inspired by all of the Riot Grrl stuff as a teenager, and really just interested in anything creative women were doing back then. My future dreams sat somewhere between music and film, so I seeked to find women that would inspire me in those fields. Not that I had/have anything against men! But I think it’s easier to seek people similar to you if you want to find inspiration in them, or be able to motivate yourself. And with the Riot Grrl movement (in the idea that you didn’t have to be “the best” to create or share), it was easy to find women in the 90’s that were extremely inspiring to me as a teenager.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I wouldn’t have considered myself a filmmaker on a professional level, but definitely an amateur one. I even debated taking a film course, but ended up staying with audio (then). My friends and I had been making short films and little bits for years in high school. If I had been able to have access to a video camera when I was a little kid, I’m sure I would have made ‘movies’ back then too. Maybe having been raised watching so many 80’s sitcoms and television led me to believe that there are endless ideas for making movies.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
My best friend Wendy Weihs and I had a band called “Chalko Taco” in high school which was sort of a ‘spoof’ fun band, and we were a duo (which now seems to be very popular in the comedy world). Our friend Zac Davis joined us on bass a few years later and we would all hang out together in Sarasota, Florida looking for things to do. We all had a love for Spinal Tap and Christopher Guest movies so we decided to make our own ‘mockumentary’ highlighting our crazy rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle in Sarasota. The highlight for us was actually getting Brian Johnson of AC/DC (who actually WAS living a crazy rock n’ roll life in Sarasota) on tape. We ran into him at a very small local coffee shop show. He was very kind to us although

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I thought it was such an amazing idea at the time, and there really wasn’t anything like that at the time. To kids growing up today it would seem so crazy, pre-social networking days that people would have to write letters to communicate! It does make me feel very old. I didn’t have a computer in the 90’s, so I really looked to mail order and snail mail for communication to the outside world of people who shared the same taste in things as me.

If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
No screenings sadly. I lived in Florida at the time so wasn’t in the right region.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Riot Grrl, and female musicians and filmmakers in general.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m a veterinary technician at an animal hospital in Chicago. I’m also a musician on the side. I am sadly not doing much filmmaking at the time, but really want to get back into it. Prior to working with animals, I had helped out with a website MedicineFilms.com which was pre-Youtube and one of the first video social networking websites at the time. I believe the founders were inspired by Miranda July’s website. And apparently Youtube was influenced somewhat by Medicine Films. So things stem from each other as life does.

Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
Eventually being able to stream people’s films would be excellent.