Where is She Now?

Chainletter Filmmakers:

2001: A Chainletter

Vanessa Renwick, The Yodeling Lesson (also Toxic Shock on The Cherry Cherry Chainletter)
February 19, 2016

How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
I lived in Portland and heard of Miranda and Joanie 4 Jackie. I was 36 years old.

What interested you about the project?
That I would get to see other lady made movies. I had made work, but had hardly ever shown it. I was still making work and not really showing it. To get my work seen by others, and see others work was a good idea to me.

At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
It was just at the beginning point of myself identifying as a filmmaker, even though I had been making films since the early ’80s. My relationship to my films was more as a journal, documenting, recording. Even though there were edited stories, I did not start sharing them a lot until I moved to Portland.

Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
The Yodeling Lesson: We shot Moe riding her bike naked downhill with no hands 3 times. The first time a car followed her all the way down. The second time my camera work was off. The third time was the charm. It was Easter morning and really cold out. When I watch the movie now I can hear my voice, in my head, yelling at the person who was driving the truck that I was in the back of to slow down or speed up. When I went over to Donovan Skirvin’s house to pick up the score, he was still making it. He had a hard on while composing.

Toxic Shock: There are 6 different people’s hands in that film. At the time I made it I was fucking 5 of them. Tampons do not expand in gasoline, so they in facet, are not a good object to use when you make a molotov cocktail.

I also shot a few intros for the Joanie4Jackie tapes. My daughter Montana is in one of them, in a bathtub talking on a walkie talkie.

What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
Any time you get snail mail, then or now, it is the cherry on top.

What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
Matt McCormick had started doing screenings every two months in Portland at that time. Having a deadline every two months to show something publicly really cranked up the prolific dial in me. There were also one day art shows in Portland, The History Show, the Map Show…a large group of people, all sorts of art in em. Super inspiring. I was running the small press and journals section at Powell’s Books. I had a reading series there once a month. People writing and creating their own zines and chapbooks were a huge source of my news. Craig Baldwin’s Other Cinema screening series continues to blow my mind to this day. Such a wealth of films with excellent curation.

What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I am an artist. I make films, video installations, sculptures and photography. I write, both for my films, as well as for publication. I am a lifer.