Let me tell you about one of the scarier moments of my life. It involved my credit card, an amount of money that was a whole number with three zeroes, and an opportunity.
At the time I was still finishing up my masters thesis. I hadn’t defended yet and I didn’t know when I would start working. My husband had already moved to Texas ahead of me, draining a significant amount of our bank account in the process. Money is a frightening specter when you’re a graduate student. You are simultaneously terrified of spending even a cent, and hemorrhaging the green stuff at prodigious rates.
Logic told me I should play it safe and let the chance pass me by. My heart told me otherwise. The only other time my heart has had any kind of opinion about money was when it convinced me, while unemployed and with no job prospects, to drain most of my savings and go to England in pursuit of a man whom I’d met only once before (and six years later would marry).
I went with my heart this time too. I decided to put my faith in a film project that called to my imagination, and invested the money to become an Executive Producer for The Reel Britain.
I’m glad that I did.
There are a lot of reasons I could give for making such an outwardly reckless decision. As an American, I’ve got a long and glorious history with British cinema. I’d be willing to bet you do as well, you just may not realize it. We import far more from the UK than villains for our action movies; British cinema is not just period pieces and people with nice accents. I want to know more about the artistic force that shaped my childhood and later creative life with Day of the Triffids, Henry V, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Lawrence of Arabia. This documentary promises to help me gain greater understanding of art that I fell in love with at first sight.
I value new voices in the arts, which is why I support independent cinema when I can. The most interesting and difficult questions are asked by people who decide worthwhile answers are more important than achieving a safe result. Some of the best genre films (which are near and dear to my heart as someone who writes speculative fiction) of the last decade have been independent. (And some, like Moon, have been both independent and British.) Independent film, while a difficult playing field, is where new questions can be asked and new voices may be heard.
Particularly the voices of women. The number of women directors is dishearteningly small. I want to support women in the arts. I want to see what they will create. I want to see them fall and soar, because that is the meat of being an artist. And I certainly couldn’t ask for a better team of artists than the one on this project.
I was already peripherally acquainted with both Seraphina and Lindsey before this project began, thanks to the magic of Twitter. We’ve chatted back and forth, sharing silly links, bad puns, and the inevitable youtube clip. Since then, I’ve gotten to know the entire team of talented, smart, creative women. Knowing them has enriched my life. More importantly, I have come to trust them, both as people and as artists.
That scary moment I had with my bank account back in March ultimately wasn’t about me investing in a film. It was me investing in both the dream and the tangible work of another artist, and I’m glad that I did.
Executive Producer, The Reel Britain