Scott has been talking for a couple of years about a Film
Arts Society, an organization that will advance and
support those of us who try to survive outside the
marketplace, while treating film as an art form, rather
than a commercial medium. He’s been obsessed with the
idea. The initial concept, while appealing, seems to me
somewhat flowery, and I suggest that we might focus on
pooling our resources to buy a flatbed-editing machine,
something none of us can afford alone.
Since few of us are making verite’ documentaries, none
of us has really needed one, but I rented one to finish
World's Fastest Hippie, and I know that I am moving
towards shooting and editing sync sound material. We
have some boring meetings, usually enlivened by a bottle
of wine and a joint, as Scott pushes the idea of Film Arts
around. It is a small group: Scott, Michael Wiese, Howard
Rheingold, Michael Lytle, Kent Hodgetts and me. We are
all friends and don’t mind having an excuse to get
together, though it begins to seem like a hopeless dream
that will never 99 come to anything. I want it to happen
primarily to help us buy a Steenbeck editing machine, so
I put the first fifty dollars in the till to buy envelopes and
Scott keeps it alive from a cardboard box of files in his
space. At some point the Society became a Foundation. I
think when we realize that with a tax exempt status we
can ask individuals and corporations for money, offering
the inducement that if they fund us as generously as
possible they can pat themselves on the back with a tax
deduction. When lawyer, Richard Lee, succeeds in
getting the exempt status the ball is rolling. Stephanie
Rick, and then Julienne Bair, do some very effective
organizing. Then Gail Silva takes on the burden and the
FAF is growing rapidly under her skilled guidance.