Interesting things can happen when you leave home.
Julie Akeret (Film & Video Finalist ’11) has made documentary films for over 25 years, but to tell the story she wants to tell next, she’s exploring new ground: narrative film. She’s running a fundraising campaign on USA Projects to complete the short, fictional film The Haircut.
Here, she offers a peek into the work space where she’s completing her latest tale of transformation.
I share my studio with a painter and, depending on what I am working on, work in different parts of the studio. If I am working on a grant proposal or logging tapes, I work at a desk in the corner of the studio. I need a smaller more confined space with fewer distractions for this work.
If I need to do more creative thinking – coming up with an idea for an introduction to a film or designing a DVD cover – I usually find myself in this aqua chair in the middle of the room. The open space feels right for experimentation.
The idea for The Haircut started as I was getting a haircut last fall. Blame it on a full moon or perhaps the alignment of the planets, but around me were women and men requesting major hairstyle changes to accompany major lifestyle changes. “I want a haircut that will make me look professional,” a woman with a long scraggly pony tail and a crying baby in a nearby stroller said. “I like pirates,” a kid with a pale complexion and crew cut confided. “Can you make me look like Jack Sparrow?” I had never really thought about it before, but the idea of the hair salon as a place of transformation seemed intriguing.
Then, as I was driving home past a school where a recent incident of bullying had taken place, I began thinking about appearance and the role it plays in who gets bullied. That night I wrote the script for The Haircut. In addition to getting the film into the festival circuit, another goal for The Haircut is to be an educational tool for schools to help spark discussion on the topic of bullying.
Julie Akeret’s USA Projects campaign for THE HAIRCUT runs through May 30, 2012.