So far it's a funny thing crowd funding - as most of you will
hopefully (!) know by now we're currently running an Indiegogo
campaign for our new film The Closer
We Get which centers on Karen's own family. I may come to
regret saying this but the £725 we've raised so far has made me
very happy, it certainly beats writing the many many funding
applications we've previously made for the project!
Why is that? Well it's something about 'connectedness'. I've read other crowd funders comment on this but until you see your own friends and colleagues backing you it's hard to really 'get'. It reminds me in a funny way of the first piece of work Karen and I made together some 18 odd years ago A Hypertext Journal. This work was all about connecting directly to your audience and 'letting them into the studio at the production stage'. The Internet was still a fresh place to us then rather than where we spent most of our admin-heavy lives and I'll never forget just how exciting it was to open up a direct dialogue with other people connected to our journey (following Boswell and Johnson's travels to the Western Isles) and what we were saying and making. Now everyone has a blog and it's hard to return to a time when even conceptualising what this might be was tricky. Anyway, as far as an audience experience goes we still like to feel this connection as we're making work and we're still in fact in touch with many of the people who became the Somewhere audience with that piece.
So to the film ... and getting closer to people. Because with
some of the donations to the film it has really clarified for me
why it's so special and what will really touch many people when
they see it - and has, it seems, already started to make those
When someone you are really close to is ill everything around you shifts, sometimes for a short and shocking time, sometimes - like with Karen's Mum - for some years. Sometimes it's hard to see it shifting but to me it's a falling away of other things that don't matter so much and it leaves you in a space with that person where you can really be together. Often this has to happen in a hospital and this whole experience can feel so brutalised that when it's over all you want to do is forget about it, move on and return to the rest of your world. But in my experience this return can also be hard because to have this close connectedness to another person is undoubtedly a privilege and one that in someways you can miss just as you miss the person. There's something very liberating about cutting out all the unimportant things in life and it can be difficult to return to the world which is all just ticking along as before.
Some of the people who have given to the film maybe have connected to this. Many people experience this feeling of growing closer to someone through a shocking or sad situation - it's just it's hard to bring those feelings out of that world and to re-connect it much more broadly to that of others.
We hope the film can do this and we're very glad that some of you do too.