Culture Days - Retiring the Jacket

We’ve been trying to put together a local screening of ‘Measuring Tape Girl’ but it’s taken us a while. We finally have one thanks to Culture Days. Our screening of ‘Measuring Tape Girl’ is on Sunday, October 2nd at 3pm and 4pm. It will screen at National Film Board of Canada in Toronto.(150 John Street Toronto, Ontario).

Over the last year and a half I’ve worn a Measuring Tape Jacket at film festivals to help promote our film ‘Measuring Tape Girl’. It’s been a crazy adventure in marketing and blatant self-promotion in a few different places around the world but I think it maybe time to retire the measuring tape jacket. I’m pretty sure this is the craziest thing that I’ve done and I don’t regret it but it’s time to move on. There’s been a big learning curve for me when it comes to marketing and I’m still only at the beginning of understanding how much I don’t know about many things but I’ve learn a few things. The most important thing I’ve learned is that you can’t do what everyone else is doing and that you have to have a story to tell. What I end up doing with that knowledge still remains to be seen. A clear sign that we’ve done at least some web marketing for ‘Measuring Tape Girl’ is that a distributor of measuring tapes from China has sent me a several sales emails because they have somehow been convinced that I am involved in Measuring Tape distribution in North America. It makes me smile whenever I receive an sales email about a chinese companies wide variety of measuring tape.

I was never really comfortable in the Measuring Tape Jacket. It make me feel like I didn’t belong. I felt like everyone might be looking at me and judging me. Which was the whole point. I was asking to be judged. I was asking people to walk up to me and give me strange looks. Becoming a visual metaphor for one of my films was a challenge. It forced me to stop hiding in the shadows and become a sales person instead of a filmmaker. It is difficult for a filmmaker, a painter, a photographer or any artist to become a sales person. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that how you market and promote your art form is just as important, if not more important than your actually art form. I know many artists will disagree but if no one knows you’ve made a film, who’s going to show up to see it? I struggle with this any time I have to talk to a group of people about my films. The difference between now and several years ago is that I can almost stand in front of a group of people and not sound quite as nervous as I used to. Maybe that was the whole point of my Measuring Tape Marco adventure. The difference between the old me and this newer version, is that I can now take off the Measuring Tape jacket and feel comfortable in my own skin. I accept myself for who I am and I’m ready and willing to continue learning and growing as the years go by. The whole point of ‘Measuring Tape Girl’ was to make a film that had no camera tricks, no fancy transitions. Just words, one person talking to the audience with no where to hide. Last year I was hiding behind the Measuring Tape jacket and I let it speak for me. I’m going to have to stop finding places to hide, though I may end up hiding behind the seats at the screening.

I would like to thank Culture Days for making a this event possible. It’s amazing that volunteers have created this movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. If it was up to me every day would be Culture Day.