Community building

The contacts are already under-way to build a community surrounding the possible 72 project in Derry. I’ve made links to the University of Ulster and everyone seems keen to be involved. I’ve also had positive vibes from the students in Dublin and Stafford too, who are keen to experience the craziness of the project. It’s not easy articulating exactly how it feels, and it is often James Arneman and Katie Mitchell’s documentary that inspires people to get involved. I notice that the film is growing in popularity on IMDB, where I have the dubious privilege of it being the most successful film that I have ever been involved in, despite the fact that it is nothing to do with me. Hmm…

Building a community around a project like this is critical. It is far more than the cynical ‘audience building’ which encourages you to participate by offering your eyeballs and money only. This project is meant to be an empowering process, where we are made to recognise the potential of a community engaging in film. Unlike other ‘race against the clock’ film challenges, which encourage individualism and competition amongst creative people, this project is about a collective achievement. It cannot be achieved by anyone person alone, so the full value of the team is recognised.

A big part of that community building is transparency, and I hate to admit that we’re currently struggling with that a bit this time around. The inevitable process of up-sizing the project and ‘taking it to the next level’ means that some of the nitty-gritty of production goes under a cloak of clandestine wheeler-dealing. This frustrates me a bit, and I admire the drive by Barack Obama to get supporters to fund his campaign so that corporations don’t have to. I can assure you that nothing has been formalised, hence the impression of a lack of movement. Once we are in full-flow, I’m sure the usual service will be resumed.

James x

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