By Jennifer Huang
My niece, who is 14, just told me that she wants to be an entrepreneur. Why?
"Because they're their own bosses!" She said. "And I want to do it all."
"You don't want to do it all," I told her.
"Yes I do!"
I can understand her sentiment --the desire to try it all, learn it all, control it all. But I have learned very well that this is no way to run a business, or a film. The first rule of filmmaking: Get Help. Shooting and editing are just the beginning. Documentary filmmakers need to fundraise, form partnerships, network, bookkeep, maintain a web presence, develop branding, strategize distribution, write grants and scripts, communicate with their subjects, and do dozens of other large and small tasks. It's too much for one person, though many, like me, try to manage on their own.
You may have noticed that one thing I need help with is blogging...! And so I am thrilled to let you know that Treeclimber Media has a new contributing blogger! Claire Dugan is a writer, an artist, and a dancer who has a passion for women's issues. I danced next to her for a year before a mutual friend pointed out that we have a shared interest and might be able to work together. (Thanks, Joyce!) She'll be posting on a variety of topics covering trafficking, women's and girls issues, and whatever she is learning about while she becomes more acquainted with the themes and issues of The Long Rescue. Her first post will bring us back to a basic question that I have neglected to address: what exactly is trafficking, anyway?
I'll let you learn more about Claire in her own words.
Q&A with Claire Dugan
Q: Where are you from?
CD: I was born in SF and raised in the East Bay. Aside from a stint in NYC, I have lived here my whole life.
Q: What's your favorite sandwich?
CD: My favorite sandwich happened one night about ten years ago after a long shift of work. I got home late, and my mom surprised me with a sandwich from Andronico's (RIP). I was so beat and so hungry and it was some mystical combination of mustard, turkey, cheese, and veggies on wheat. Best sandwich I've ever had.
Q: What are your passions in life? What inspires you?
CD: My passions always revolve around creativity. I think the non-verbal communication of art helps us reveal things that can't be shared in conversation. I'm inspired by social progress, and the learning and growth that has taken place in our society, particularly as oppressed groups now have the space to speak up and be heard. I'm inspired to help integrate these changes into a better society, and into myself.
Q: Why are you interested in working on The Long Rescue?
CD: Trafficking is a women's rights violation, and a human rights violation. I'm happy to lend support to the effort of this documentary to educate and spread awareness about what is going on, and how this crime affects it's victims. I'm interested in learning about this issue and excited to be able to share that learning process with others through writing about it.
Q: What books, films, or art have influenced your outlook or how you do your work?
CD: I studied art in college, and was very inspired by the styles surrounding the Impressionist Movement. Now I'm getting into the simplicity of graphic design and the idea of saying a lot in a simple straightforward representation. I'm not as easily inspired by books or movies - anything that makes me laugh or cry is good.
Q: What is the most shocking thing you've learned so far in your first weeks of research?
CD: I'm shocked about what a pulse this issue has all over the world. It's such an underground problem that unfurls into so many different surface issues and symptoms: prostitution, forced labor, child pornography, etc. These scattered issues grow from trafficking, but also obscure it as their root issue.
Q: What other projects are you working on?
CD: I'm currently working on a few certificates at UC Berkeley Extension, completing courses in editing and in graphic design.
Q: What do you do to relax?
CD: Endorphins are always a great way to relax. I love getting a good workout in a dance class. Spending time outdoors being in nature is always centering, too.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
CD: I hope to be working in a more creative capacity to bring about positive progress in the world. How that will manifest, I have no idea, but being involved in projects like The Long Rescue is a great start!
Q: What's your favorite quote or words to live by?
CD: Lately it's been "I am not here for you." It's a reminder to myself to disengage from anyone who uses me or others to fuel their ego. It's something I am still learning.