Discover more from The Process
Announcement - The Reformers (2023)
Those of you familiar with my work will recall my involvement in The Grievance Studies Affair.
For my newly found subscribers, the Grievance Studies Affair was an elaborate academic hoax that took aim at identity studies departments to expose the seminary-like qualities that lay beneath their social science veneer. I stumbled into the project during its early conception, became close with the protagonists, and documented the strange journey to completion and beyond.
The plan for the feature film was to leverage proven interest from web audiences to secure post-production funding and distribution within the established documentary industry. Other than the obvious financial incentives, broad distribution, regalia, and free promotion the legacy industry provides, I was motivated to pursue this path because the festival circuit opens up the ability to tour a film and interact with audiences in meatspace.
It’s something that’s missing from the world of digital platforms and I’m eager to do it again.
We were able to find a motivated web audience across YouTube, Twitter, and Patreon, who funded the film to a humble level of completion (TYSM) but we hit years’ worth of dead ends in the next phase of screening to distributors, sales agents, and festivals. Much of the industry was horrified by the film. In some cases, they were outright hostile to it. I got the impression older Gen X and Boomer producers really liked it and were privately enthusiastic about the skulduggery of it all. Younger industry professionals either ran and hid from us or dutifully took meetings with a frightened look as if they were sitting with the devil himself. Either way, a path to the market through that world was never going to happen.
It is possible the film is just a bit shit and I’m unaware. The project was an artistic experiment, and its peculiar themes and format might be an acquired taste. Based on many experiences though, the more likely scenario is that the documentary industry is an extension of the academic landscape we critique in the film.
So this is the announcement. I’ve recently decided to break the film down into four parts and premiere it here starting on Sunday the 7th of May.
Part one will be free to the public on Substack and my YouTube channel. I’m going to paywall the next three episodes until I can square away a development budget for my next film, after which I’ll release it all free and encourage donations.
Any support you can give, whether via paid subscriptions or just sharing the first episode on May 7th, will be greatly appreciated.