Doing docs as a one-woman-crew can be challenging. I am grateful to the polite Pittsburgh passersby who – upon encountering a lanky, bespectacled woman clenching a walkie-talkie-style mic receiver in one armpit, sheets of wrinkled interview questions and tangled wires in the other, while balancing a handheld camera, and begging the universe for a steady-yet-dynamic finesse only garnered through years of tai chi (she only had one class, which she dropped mid-semester) – refrain from laughing loudly enough to disrupt the shoot. And oh, the strange expressions that overcome her face as revelations dawn on her in medias res: “Forget the tripod, Imma start lifting weights”, “Did I really just enlist the subjects to help me light that shot?”, and “I think I need another external hard drive/How many terabytes can I share a bedroom with before my head explodes?”
So before the terabytes attack (i.e. – editing commences) it’s extremely heartening to receive a Creative Development Grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation. The grant is brand new and part of a larger initiative called, Investing in Professional Artists, which promises to catalyze artistic activity in the region and propel Pittsburgh to another plane of consciousness (my words, not theirs). I felt well-prepped to apply after attending Flight School last year, a nine-week fellowship focused on bringing some of the diligence with which we artists approach our art to the realm of business skillz. Lesson 1) You shouldn’t substitute an s with a z, unless you want to write the best grant proposal ever! No. Don’t do that.
Just the other night, I attended the finale of this year’s Flight School, which included microbrews and micro-presentations by 16 amazing artists at the Waffle Shop (an eatery/TV production studio/social experiment) and I can’t reiterate enough: PITTSBURGH IS AWESOME! Imagine looking up from your watch as you await an infamously late bus, only to find yourself giddy, rather than bummed, beholding a mischevious creation by Pittsburgh artist and recent Flight School Fellow, Will Schlough.
Some say that Portland is out and Pittsburgh is in. All I know is that I’ve been diggin’ it for the past seven years. Expect to run into David V. Matthews and I around town this summer on our filming adventures for Aspie Seeks Love. David is a writer and artist living in Pittsburgh who was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 40. He’s on a quest to understand his diagnosis and himself, find love, and release his first novel. This still is from our trip to the Carnegie Science Center last fall. To witness David chillin’ in the robot exhibit with the likes of Hal 9000, you’ll have to wait and see the movie.
Exciting things to come in Pittsburgh: 1) Evolver Convergence featuring Daniel Pinchbeck – June 1st-3rd 2) Pittsburgh’s own Girl Talk live on June 9th & 3) Filming of Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land – 2012 ongoing