My Fifteen Minutes

As many of you may know, Washington-based filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake is working on a documentary about the indie film blogger scene, appropriately called The Indie Film Bloggers: A Portrait of a Community. It’s a worthwhile subject, and I think I’d say that even if I hadn’t been blogging about indies and documentaries for the last few years. And yesterday, Sujewa was kind enough to swing through Fayetteville on his way to Atlanta to spend a few hours interviewing me for the film, which is actually a little out of the way.

I think it’ll be an interesting project, not only because Sujewa has assembled an interesting bunch of bloggers, including Brandon Harris, Tambay Obenson, and Brian Gelden of the Film Panel Note Taker, who can talk about indie film from a variety of perspectives, but also because blogging itself seems to have become an important part of the indie film scene. In addition, given all of the recent discussion of the “independent film crisis,” the concept of indie itself is in the process of be redefined, and if Sujewa’s documentary can make an entrance into that conversation, I think that could be pretty productive.

Like Tambay, I found the experience of being interviewed surprisingly invigorating. Sujewa was basically a one-man film crew, setting up lights, arranging shots, and lugging heavy equipment up into my apartment. And even though I haven’t been interviewed on camera that often (my biggest claim to fame is getting corralled at the recycling center by the local news), because I’d met Sujewa in D.C., we settled into a comfortable discussion relatively quickly. We spent much of the afternoon and early evening hanging out and filming, and by the time we were done, Sujewa had about ninety minutes worth of footage. Because I’ve been a hermit most of the summer, I hadn’t spoken that much in a long time, so the conversation left me feeling a bit wired but really happy that I participated (and that Sujewa invited me).

I have no idea what will make it into the final cut of the film and have little doubt that I will cringe at half of what I said (and I certainly cringed a little after I realized how much I move my hands when I talk), but it was interesting to reflect on the role of blogging in the independent film community and whether blogs have helped independent and DIY films find a wider audience. Because I’m not a filmmaker, I found some of those questions a little more difficult to answer. I’m usually happy to comment on screeners when I can and I hope that my reviews help (although I’m kind of busy right now with the book), but as I old Sujewa, my main reason for continuing the blog has been the fact that it allows me to participate in some really interesting conversations about a subject that I find valuable.

Update: By the way, I just wanted to thank Lance for naming me The Mannionville Gazette’s Favorite Blog of the Day and for bringing quite a bit of traffic to my humble blog. It’s always nice to get some appreciation from fellow bloggers, and Lance is one of the most entertaining and insightful bloggers out there on popular culture, politics, and all sorts of stuff.

Update 2: Here’s Noralil Ryan Fores of ShortEnd Magazine interviewing Sujewa about the documentary. I get a brief little mention or two. Interesting to hear Sujewa compare D.C.’s diversity to the strip malls here in Fayetteville (among other things).

5 Comments »

  1. Sujewa Said,

    July 16, 2008 @ 2:32 pm

    Hey Chuck,

    To be fair to Fayetteville, I barely had any time to explore all that the city has to offer, and there are plenty of stip malls in the DC area. The F-ville town center area that I briefly glimpsed looked interesting – w/ the art theater, etc. Also, like NYC, DC is a very unique place – only place in the country that houses the instiutions of the federal gov & all the support institutions, industries & businesses that go w/ it – so it would not be fair to compare DC area to other areas in the country. Next time I am at F-ville, will allow for more time to check it out fully. But the stop there this past weekend was very useful for the doc – thanks for having us over & taking the time out to talk about your blogging & other work.

    - Sujewa

  2. Chuck Said,

    July 16, 2008 @ 2:53 pm

    Sorry about that. Didn’t mean to imply that you were dissing Fayetteville. There is a lot more going on here than I implied, and you’re right that it’s hard to see that from the interstate or even an apartment complex on the edge of town. I enjoyed the interview process and am looking forward to seeing the finished documentary.

  3. The Chutry Experiment » Behind the Blog Said,

    July 22, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

    [...] to point out that between the FIF interview and Sujewa’s documentary, I’ve found myself thinking about blogging and community quite a bit [...]

  4. The Chutry Experiment » Indie Film Blogger Road Trip Said,

    November 16, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

    [...] few months ago, just as I was finishing the manuscript of my book, Sujewa Ekanayake swung through Fayetteville to interview me for his forthcoming documentary, Indie Film Blogger Road Trip (IFBRT).  Now, just [...]

  5. On the Road With ‘Jack’ Ekanayake Said,

    August 4, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

    [...] Magazine (who has a really great podcast interview with Sujewa & Amanda), Chuck Tryon of The Chutry Experiment and Atlanta Film Fest’s Gabe Wardell & Paula Martinez. Also previously interviewed on [...]

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