Wicked Women

Japser Layouts – Wicked Women

At the end of last year, I had the privilege of being chosen as one of 10 filmmakers to be part of an ABC Arts and Screen Australia initiative, Love Bites.  Film Victoria came on board too! The films were part of the 40-year celebrations of Mardi Gras.

 

I had pitched the idea of a film about a lesbian sex magazine, called Wicked Women, that ran from the late 1980s until the mid 1990s.  For me this film was about highlighting the pioneering women who were brave and broke away from conventions around sexual and gender expression, and who ultimate made it easier for me and many other to explore our sexual expression.

 

I’d like to give a massive thanks to all at the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, who without their amazing resources this would not have been possible.  Especially to Nick Henderson and Kathy Sports for the generosity of their time and knowledge.

 

Making a film is a collaborative effort, so I would also like to thank Stitch Williams for letting me cover her hands in makeup, Felicia Smith for her beautiful images, Hannah Palmer for making magic with lights, Troy Mauri for his sound design, Tony Stevens for his editing and being a creative collaborator, Jo Chichester at the ABC for her wisdom and assistance in guiding me through this process, Alicia Brown at Film Victoria for helping out this underground indie filmmaker make sense of funding processes, Alyssa Orvis  from Screen Australia, Kate Pappas for being a wise owl, Shaun Miller for providing reason at stressful times, DJ Gemma and Mystery Carnage for music, and Glitta SuperNova for the extra stories!

 

There would be no film without the Jasper Laybutts, Lisa Salmon and Kimberley O’Sullivan.  Thank you to you all from your time and stories from that era, and for trusting me to upholding your legacy.

 

If you are in Australia, you can check the film out here.

 

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my crafty heart!

Here’s a very blurry picture of myself at home just before “Making it Handmade” premiered on ABC2. As you can see I lead a glamorous life, in my tracksuit pants, slippers, the washing drying in the back ground and a knitted nanna rug on my knees (yes I did make it myself) and of course a glass of bubbly in hand.

It was strange to watch it,as I have seen it so many times, so it was very surreal, but I did enjoy the bottle of bubbly…maybe a little too much as I struggled teaching the next day!

Thank you to all 33,000 of you who tuned in to watch it and to the 9000 odd of you who watched it on iview. I was astounded by the numbers considering nearly all of the publicity was done through social media sites of those involved in the film!

The film stirred up some passionate discussion online:

On the films facebook page comments varied from:

Quoting Cheryl Rabe
“Thought the documentary was very disappointing. Not all crafters are activists. I’d like to think the majority of us make tasteful and useful things for others to enjoy, without sending any sort of political message.”

We then proceed to engage in a debate about if the act of making is political in itself!

To:
Quoting KrÌstíÑã Gréeñwõod
Loved it. It’s re-ignited a spark in me. Chronic Illness has taken away a lot of things from me. I have a creative mind and a bit of a wicked sense of humour. This is right up my ally. 😀

Searching online I found so many different response so of them that caught my eye talked about:

– the craft demonstrated was of low quality.
This I find interesting as often craft can be elitist and not inclusive. I liked the idea that in the doco, its about giving it a go. After all even if you are now highly skilled, you started off this way and its just been practice that has enabled you to make amazing work that is technically perfect!

– that the documentary was anti making money from craft.
To be straight, no I’m not. I actually think that it is amazing that something so lovingly crafted can make you money, especially as in the past it was seen to have no commercial value. I guess I wanted to show that it is a hard road, that its not easy and there is a lot of work involved. Also in my research I was finding lots of women who were experiencing burn out from trying to make a full time living from crafting and giving up on it. However, if you can make a full time living from craft, I think you are amazing and I take my hat off to you all and bow down low in respect of your brilliance!

– Offense. This happened for may reasons, Casey’s work was obvious but that I had left out so many women who make beautiful practical things has come up a few times. I wish I had the money and time to make a whole series on the women and the men I meet, spoke to, interviewed and read about online who are making wonderful, amazing stuff, who are from all walks of life and ages. When I was researching for this film it just kept on growing and growing, but I was restricted by the fact, I had no money to make this doco. I had no funding, it was made in my holidays with the money I’d managed to save from teaching. I shot it over 2 years and then edited it over about 9 months. Thus I had to keep it simple and that’s why all the women are from Melbourne ( which is where I live). I wanted to challenge the idea of how society perceived crafters. I was drawn to women who were using traditional craft but subverting it in someways. From embracing the idea that it was about spirit and giving it a go, not making it perfect, to being craftivists.

– Inspiration This of course is my favorite reaction. I loved receiving posts and email from people who aren’t crafty feeling inspired to give it go, or others who are lapsed crafters wanting to make again.

If you missed it, you can order your own copy on DVD here.

Also there will be screenings happening in Radelaide on Saturday Oct 8th at 6:00pm at the Reading Room as part of the Festival of Unpopular Culture . Check it out the screening and there is a radical craft workshop beforehand.

Or if you are in Western Australia you can check it out at the Soul Highway “Wave Rock Weekender” on from Friday 28th Oct til 30th Oct.

Thanks once again to all wonderful people who helped make the film and also to all the wonderful people who have watched it. Keep crafting.

Rough Cutting “Making it Handmade!”


Knickers Making Day from a Kaotic Kraft Kuties Gathering.

Last week, after an extremely unproductive and frustrating week, I have decided to take a rest from writing “Talk to Me”. It was driving me nuts and I kept trying to do everything else to avoid writing. As one of my music teachers said when I was a child “procrastination is the robber of time and thief of opportunity!” So rather than continue the torture I have put the script aside until I’m once again ready to face it and make a more concerted and positive go of it!

In the meantime, my hands have not been still and I have begun rough cutting “Making it Handmade!” This is bringing me considerable joy and after three days I’m nearly half way through it! Why is making films so much more fun than writing them!!!??

“Making it Handmade!” is the first real documentary I have attempted. I’ve been shooting it for about a year now and the editing skills I learnt while working as an editing assistant under the brilliant Tony Stevens last year has been invaluable. Thanks Tony you rock!

I’m hoping to have a rough cut finished by the end of Feburary, so I must return to FCP and continue.

No doubt I will write again before the end of march….but if not keep an out for an article I wrote on the Berlin Porn Film Festival in Metro Magazine.