Sunday, October 30, 2011
Dear LOST IN LIVING Supporters and Followers:
As I was sitting at my computer watching scenes from the documentary and organizing the material into what will soon be a feature film, it occurred to me that many of you might have a lot to say about this subject of being a Mom and an Artist. My guess is that you too are feeling the challenges and struggles of trying to balance family commitment and personal work. What are the themes that you’d like to see in a film that focuses on this idea? I’d like to hear from you, what are your struggles and achievements as a mother and a parent, what are the stories you’d like to see represented in LOST IN LIVING? Maybe you’re not a mother or an artist but you know someone who is. Possibly your own mother, grandmother, sister, aunt or friend knows the conflict of competing compassions. I want to make a film that resonates with my supporters and audience. Your participation, your voice will help me understand what is important to you.
Below are a few questions to get you started but feel free to completely abandon them and share anything. Just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) a response when you can or post your comments on this blog. I’m interested in how you feel about being a parent and how you achieve or don’t achieve the delicate balance between work and home.
Please feel free to be open and honest. I will not be using your specific responses or names in the film (except in the ending thank you credits). With your permission I would like to share some of your experiences on my blog or in another newsletter. I want to hear your personal stories so I can make a better film and a film you can personally relate to. Your help and participation will inspire me and give me direction for this very important issue.
• Why do you need to be creative?
• Do you feel pressure to provide an income for the family? How does that influence your creative life?
• What are the rewards and challenges of having more than one child? Or just one?
• How has being a parent changed your friendships?
• How has being a parent changed your creative expression or not?
• Do you carve out time to be creative? How?
• When asked what you do, what do you say?
• How has being a parent changed your relationship with your significant other?
• Describe your typical day.
• Does your significant other support your creative work? How?
• Do you feel satisfied with the recognition you are getting for your work?
• How did you feel about your creative output after children arrived?
• Were your parents creative? What was that like?
• Are you the parent you want to be?
Coming soon will be a youtube channel dedicated solely to LOST IN LIVING. On it will be very short clips from the film that you can comment on, respond to, start a conversation and share with your friends and family.
About the film:
LOST IN LIVING follows four remarkable women, all artists as well as mothers. Through intimate, verite scenes, and in-depth interviews, this film illuminates how the choice of being a mother can affect one’s art and approach to creativity. Further, the film explores parenting expectations and failures, issues of friendship and marriage, the monotony of domestic routines, and most importantly who we are in the world and how we all struggle with the balance of family commitment and personal work. www.maandpafilms.com/lostinliving/
Thank you for taking the time to share your personal stories and for your amazing support.
All the very best,
P.S. Please like the facebook page here if you haven't already and feel free to share with friends. Thank you!
Monday, October 17, 2011
LOST IN LIVING Documentary Film Newsletter www.maandpafilms.com/lostinliving/
Post-production for LOST IN LIVING is well under way thanks to your amazing support and belief in the project. With your help we have raised enough money to hire an editor to do the final cut for the film. She will begin working in the next couple of months. I have meticulously prepared the material and will have a rough cut for her to work with. I am thrilled and excited that you will see the completed film as soon as next Spring.
In the meantime we hope to continue raising funds to pay for a composer, DVD duplication, publicity and distribution. Thank you for continuing to spread the word about this project.
About the film:
LOST IN LIVING follows four remarkable women, all artists as well as mothers. Through intimate, verite scenes, and in-depth interviews, this film illuminates how the choice of being a mother can affect one’s art and approach to creativity. Further, the film explores parenting expectations and failures, issues of friendship and marriage, the monotony of domestic routines, and most importantly who we are in the world and how we all struggle with the balance of family commitment and personal work.
As part of the campaign I am introducing each one of the remarkable women from the film. This newsletter is all about Merrill Joan Gerber, an insightful writer, a loyal friend and a person who rarely has time for “small talk.”
“I’m a writer, novelist and short story writer. I started writing when I was seven. I always thought it was my job to tell things the way they were because people didn’t often tell me the truth as a child. I had my vision, I would experience things and write about them and how they felt.”
Facts about Merrill:
•Lives in Sierra Madre, CA.
•Mother of three daughters and five grandchildren.
•Published more than 25 books.
•Awarded the Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford.
•Winner of the Ribalow Prize for her book “The Kingdom of Brooklyn.”
•Short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Redbook.
•Teaches fiction writing at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA.
A link to Merrill’s website here.
From J Rank Articles:
"Merrill Joan Gerber is not one to be pushed into a corner," wrote Lisa See Kendall in Publishers Weekly. Gerber has published collections of short stories, novels, and young-adult titles, as well as guides for writers, a travel memoir, and personal essays. She began writing stories and essays when she was seven years old, and her first published piece of work, a poem, appeared in The Writer when she was eighteen. She began selling stories to magazines such as the New Yorker and Redbook. Over the course of her career, Gerber published more short stories in Redbook than any other contributor to that magazine. However, her publication record has not always won her recognition. Gerber is a "seriously underrated and often-overlooked writer," according to Booklist reviewer Margaret Flanagan in her review of This Is a Voice from Your Past: New and Selected Stories.
Gerber's early stories and novels described daily life of American women who accepted their roles as wives and mothers. In 1990 she published King of the World, a book she felt was "her best work to date," according to Kendall. "You can only tell some of the story in teen books or Redbook," Gerber told Kendall. "But you get to a point where you say you're going to tell all you know. You're going to reveal certain pains, resentments, and angers." It took Gerber years to find a publisher, but when the book was finally published by Pushcart Press, it received the Pushcart's Editor's Book Award. A Booklist reviewer called it "a powerful, sad, and haunting tale of love and madness."
After King of the World, Gerber published three books with Longstreet Press: Chattering Man: Stories and a Novella (stories), This Old Heart of Mine: The Best of Merrill Joan Gerber's Redbook Stories, and The Kingdom of Brooklyn, a novel that tells the story of Issa, who grows up during and just after World War II. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the last-named work "a brutally candid, semiautobiographical novel" and praised Gerber's writing, noting that "her wry purity of style packs psychological dynamite."
Gerber describes her fiction writing processes in Gut Feelings: A Writer's Truths and Minute Inventions. Denise J. Stankovics, writing in Library Journal, praised Gerber's ability to "cleverly blend … memoir and invention to illustrate how an author's life influences her literary output." A critic for Kirkus Reviews called the entries in the collection "refined concise, often emotionally wringing vignettes."
To read more about Merrill from J Rank Articles, please click here.
Information on how to contribute to the film:
Tax deductible contributions to LOST IN LIVING can be made on-line by visiting the website here and clicking on the “donate” tab. or you can mail a check written out to my non-profit 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor:
1218 East Palm Street
Altadena, CA 91001
(with LOST IN LIVING in the subject line of the check). Tax I.D. #95-4449125
To view a ten-minute excerpt of the film, please go here or here.
Like the Facebook Page here.
No contribution is too small and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. In addition to a financial contribution one of the most valuable ways you can support me is to forward this e-mail to as many people as possible. I know many of you, like me, are also trying to raise money for your own projects and contributing will be a burden to you, as it would for me. What I hope is that we can help each other stay aware of our projects, so we can bring them up in conversation, spread the word and make sure our worthy projects get made.
By making a contribution of $50 or more your name will be included in the film’s closing credits.
Thank you again for your help and support.
All the best,