Walking in Los Angeles

For now, just a quick pointer to one of the more interesting new examples of the do-it-yourself (DIY) film culture that continues to flourish on the web, Lisa Salem’s new blog on building an audience.  Starting in 2005, Salem began making Walk With Me, a project in which she walked the entirety of the city of Los Angeles while pushing a baby stroller with a DV camera mounted to it (here’s a good overview of the project).  The idea of seeing the city of Los Angeles, a notoriously car-oriented city, from the eyes of a pedestrian is a fascinating one, all the more so given that LA is also one of our most mediated cities, one that we invariably see through the various screens of TVs and movies.  Salem also invites others to walk with her, including (among others) an La city councilperson.

Salem is talking about her experiences as part of Lance Weiler’s new Workbook Project, and her plans for talking about how DIY filmmakers can learn to build an audience are pretty impressive.   In general, both Salem and Weiler speak to the ways in which DIY filmmakers can benefit from engaging with their audience and creating an ongoing conversation with them.  Worth noting: Weiler addresses some of these concerns in a recent Filmmaker Magazine article, where he addresses one of the concerns I sort of tap dance around in the book: “Today independent filmmakers find themselves in a wonderfully awkward position. It is the best of times in terms of the ease of making work and the worst of times with regards to seeing profits from your efforts. This paradox creates an interesting opportunity for those willing to experiment with new models.”  I’m very much looking forward to learning from Weiler, Salem, and others to see what new models the new generation of DIYs can create for getting their voices heard.

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