Where is She Now?

Chainletter Filmmakers:

The Velvet Chainletter

Elina Shatkin, The Date
January 23, 2017

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I think I heard about it a punk show where Miranda July performed or maybe I read about it in a zine (that I probably bought at a show). I was 19 or 20.

What interested you about the project?
I was a student in the undergrad film school at UCLA, feeling isolated since my class was two-thirds men and one-third women. I was hungry to see work from other young, women filmmakers. I was hungry to share my work. I was lonely. I thought maybe I would find pen pals.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
I called myself a filmmaker but I don’t know if I really considered myself a filmmaker. I think I used the label mainly to bolster my confidence and to convince myself I was a filmmaker. Even now, when I use words like “journalist” and “filmmaker” in online bios or on my resume, I feel like an imposter, like I haven’t achieved enough success in either realm to have earned those labels.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
This was the first project I made on my own in film school. I think it was for my cinematography class. I have always loved black-and-white, both for still photography and for movies. I shot this on Super 16 and I had the workprint duped and reduped 3 or 4 times (it was called a “dirty dupe”), at first because I lost some of the negative (oh, the perils of sharing flatbeds and editing bays!) and then because I liked the look: the degraded quality, the increased contrast, the splotches and marks on the film.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I thought it was an amazing idea and totally in keeping with the DIY, community-based punk ethos that first inspired me to think I could be a filmmaker or any sort of creative person.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am a journalist, radio producer and filmmaker. These days, I work in public radio covering breaking news. I’ve also written for a variety of online and print outlets, mostly about arts and culture or food but I’ve also done hard news. In my spare time, I’m working on securing funding for a feature-length documentary that will try to unravel an art world mystery — a cache of paintings that might be brilliant fakes or hidden treasures.