We did it! Or, rather, you did it!

100pc_fundedYes, we made it over 100% funded! As the clock ticked down to the deadline, we finally made it to our target at about 11pm (local time) on Friday evening. Exhausted after a day of non-stop tweeting, Stephen decided not to set a further target to try and push towards £6,000 and just let the last few donations take care of themselves. In the end we raised £5,105!

After commission paid to Indiegogo and PayPal this should leave us with just under £5,000 which we can take forward into the rest of the shoot. That should be enough to cover most of our expenses, and we can manage the rest between ourselves (just about).

This is very exciting, for two reasons. First, of course, it means The Ditch is going to be finished! Second, though, it means we have a community of people who are interested in the film, and with whom we can open up a dialogue. We hope this will go beyond just sending people project updates – we want to invite feedback at every stage, by posting photos/videos and encouraging responses (through this blog and our Twitter and Facebook accounts). For example, we have a whole section at the start of the film which hasn’t been shot yet and won’t be covered in this next shoot (it’ll be done on a third, as yet unscheduled, day) – we’ll be inviting people to look at our story, already outlined in two posts (here and here) and asking them for input into the early section, through asking a few precise questions of our audience.

And many people in this community will be among the first people to see the film! Anyone who donated £10 or more automatically qualifies to receive a preview screener. This will be the completed film, so it probably won’t be ready for the best part of a year (apart from finishing the shoot, we have to cut it, grade it, add the music, mix the sound, put the titles on and basically put all the stuff together that you don’t get to see). But every one of these donors will be able to access a password-protected video online; and people who gave £20 or more will receive their own digital download of the film! Even more generous donors will get the DVD (with extras!) but they’ll also be able to access the online versions, so as not to have to wait for the postman.

So it’s very exciting times here at Ditch headquarters! Now comes the really hard bit of getting it all together…

“I’m a woman, I’m a filmmaker, I love horror films – I can’t be the only one”

Alice Guy portrait picture Italiano: Foto di A...

Alice Guy, cinema’s first horror film director

I mentioned in my post about women horror film directors that Sheena had also written an article, from a personal perspective. This goes together with my interview with her, which I posted a couple of days ago. You can find Sheena’s article in its entirety here, but I wanted to take some of the things she said and match them up with points from my article, to try and get an overall perspective of the problem (if it is a problem – and Sheena and I both think it is).

After describing her background as a consumer of horror in many forms of media (books, films, theatre, TV) Sheena states quite simply that to her mind being a woman who likes horror is simply No Big Deal:

Throughout my life I have never really thought anything of it. I am a fan of horror, I am a filmmaker and I am aspiring to make a horror feature film. The fact that I am female doesn’t mean a thing.

Yet she contrasts this fact with the fact that representation of women both in front of and behind the camera in the horror genre is limited. After noting the limited number of films directed by women on show at last year’s FrightFest and Abertoir (something I also noted in my post), Sheena picks up on a list of the greatest horror films in Time Out:

Time Out compiled a list of the 100 best ever horror films, in their words “as chosen by those who write in, direct, star in and celebrate the genre.”

So a list compiled by a collection of people who are really passionate about the genre. Out of one hundred films listed guess how many were directed by a woman??

ZERO.

I spent some time in my article questioning why this was the case, and there may be good reasons why it is – if we’re looking backwards at the history of horror cinema. But when it comes to looking forward, I observed that there is a lot of output by women in the genre and that it needed light shone on it.

One thing that needs correcting is the prejudice that women can’t make horror films, or can’t make good ones. When I tweeted a few weeks ago that I thought women had a lot to offer to the horror genre, the first response I got was from a man who simply replied, “Nah.” I suppose he thought he was being funny – when I challenged him to elaborate on that, he went silent. Yesterday I posted a selection of comments made by both men and women when confronted with the proposition that ” I just don’t think [female directors] can make horror movies as dark or disturbing as male directors can.” They served to refute the accusation. But I can’t help feeling there’s still a stubborn prejudice that women can’t make serious horror films. A lot of this is doubtless confined to the sort of male horror fan who is stuck in the seventies/eighties, when lesbian vampire films were the rage, or zombie and slasher movies inevitably worked in a few female nude scenes with barely a tangential relationship to the plot. The stereotype of the overweight, long-haired young man, whose relationship with women in horror goes no further than an interest in eye candy, is a stereotype and I doubt it represents a majority. But there’s no doubt there are plenty of these guys around.*

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