Abraham Ravett Redux or Who Would Be an Indie Filmmaker?

Got an e-mail a little while ago from my friend and colleague Daryl Chin (whose excellent blog is here) about my posting on Abraham Ravett. Daryl, who is very involved in the indie film scene, offered the following observations:


I'm sorry i didn't get to see Abraham Ravett's new work, but i've seen it in progress. One problem is that the whole Boston/New England film scene has just about disintegrated. A lot of the organizations (Boston Film/Video Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, etc.) were faced with severe cutbacks, and a number of them closed. The same thing is happening in NYC, of course. But over the years, i was a panelist for BF/VF, for the Massachusetts Arts Council, the Mass Cultural Council, etc. (Once you're on these lists, you get called a lot; also, i was the "anomaly", i was the nonwhite person who knew about avantgarde film.) One year, i was on the Media Arts panel for the Massachusetts Arts Council, and part of the deal was that i got to make two trips to the area to spend a day investigating two of the media organizations. (The ones i was assigned: the Boston Jewish Film Festival and New England Women in Television and Film.) And it was fascinating, because it taught me a lot about the network of support that there was for "independent" film in the area.
But as the economic crunch has set in (though the economy is on an "upswing" as many people have noted, it's for the top 1% of the country; the rest are floundering), a lot of these organizations have closed.
So it's going to be interesting to see how someone like Abraham Ravett is able to continue, because so many of the organizations which provided his network of support. Not just money, but things like access to archival materials, sound equipment, etc.

Many thanks to Daryl.
Of course, I am reminded of the famous words of Dr. Johnson: "Who, sir, but a blockhead ever wrote but for money?" If only he and Boswell had known about film.

Or blogs, come to that.

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