Lovers In Their Right Mind has begun its social media campaign.
Janice has done more than the lion’s share of the work—setting up various accounts like (Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter) and finding, creating and feeding them the constant flow of “content” we’ve been told is required to ultimately break through the white noise of people’s lives. Experts have told us that a good pace for posting on Tumblr is four times a day during the week and twice each day on weekends, which seems overwhelming. As soon as I heard that, I began to see the Tumblr as an insatiable monster. In Olympian style, Janice has fed the Tumblr monster news articles, quotes, opinion pieces, photographs of food she’s cooked, people she’s met, events large and small. Her ability to do this I think is in part because she’s a journalist, and in part because she’s a naturally a bright soul, but mostly because she cares so damn much about this film.
However, even with her talent and drive, after a several weeks she is exhausted, and I have done little to help shoulder the burden. From the beginning we’ve been in agreement with general wisdom that a social media is a necessary component to getting an independent film made. I never mentioned to her, the resistance I feel to it. I think I assumed that when the time came–once the script was written–my misgivings would naturally disappear. They have not, and I’ve been forced to consider the roots of my feelings.
On the surface, there is the simple fact that I haven’t cultivated the skill for quickly creating quick content. I come from people who forget to take photos for months, if not years: Only sporadically does someone remember: we should have taken a picture! Thus our family history is largely preserved in biannual photographs of everyone awkwardly crowded around a Thanksgiving turkey, or squinting into the sun as we depart on the last day of a vacation visit. Until last week I had no Instagram, no Tumblr. Their interfaces are unfamiliar.
But simple lack of practice doesn’t explain the tight feeling I get in my belly when I think of “feeding the monster” day after day. It’s an anxious feeling, bordering–not to be dramatic–on repulsion.
Why would this be? I use Facebook. I love the instant Rolodex it gives me, I like the usefulness of how it tracks events and birthdays. There are days when the majority of my knowledge of the outside world is comes through Facebook (thankfully I have friends on both sides of various fences to curate). I like seeing my friend’s lives. And yet…
I instinctively feel I have to keep my distance. Something about it is a little “too much.” Each time I dive into that endless river of images and arguments and ego-pulls and information, I emerge scattered. My ability to find the right words—even to connect my thoughts—is diminished. Some writers might be able to transition quickly–to talk on the phone, hang up and write, dash off an email and then write. Some writers must be able to create social media content and then write. I’m not that gifted, and I fear engaging in behaviors that might erode what gifts I have.
But it doesn’t change the fact that, if we want to make our movie, social media is going to be crucial in getting that opportunity. It doesn’t change the fact that at a core level I want to share our story. I’ve been mulling this over, thinking “what can I contribute?” “What can I share that I can feel good about while I’m working on it, and good about giving to people?”
After a decade of blogging the answer seemed too obvious and easy… and it somehow seemed not enough, but it’s what I wish for when I read, click on certain articles, go to industry panels: I wish someone would bring me into their world. I wish I could see underneath the polish and witness more of their path, things they’ve learned and who they actually are. I can try to do that. I’ve devoted—continue to devote–a lot of my life to learning about film: writing film and making film and producing film. I can give that–some information, some experience, some honest and occasionally some unvarnished responses to that experience. I can give you a little bit of me.
So that’s the plan. For Lovers In Their Right Mind purposes, we’re calling these “process posts” because, in concept, they’ll talk about our process and our progress. So that will be a lot of what I’m writing upcoming. It’s along the lines of what I’ve always written, but edited and used on these new platforms it will become my content. My contribution. I’ll do my best. We’ll see how it goes.
PS: If you’d like to see versions of these posts, along with photos and recipes and discussion of cultural issues related to our film, you can find us at on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr; and on Twitter @LoversITRM.