Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Clocked?

This project was started by the prodding of a friend at the Transgender Leadership Summit in February of 2006. Gayle R. asked me about ethnographies and oral histories in response to some of the great stories told by the elders at the summit. When I got home, I hit the street and talked to everyone I could about doing an oral history project about the trans community. At the time I was on a fundraising committee for the film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria and that gave me the opportunity to talk with Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman about filmmaking. Both thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if the communities were given a voice.

First I needed a camera, and I couldn't use my old VHS-C. Being a working poor student pushed me to get inventive with funding and I applied for some extra financial aid. For the price of a budget 3 chip camera, 10 MiniDV tapes and 20 DVD-R's I got started. I took my love of ethnography and started writing questions for my academic advisor to approve. Once the legal and academic needs were met I grabbed my camera and started filming my first subject, Zion Johnson. His interview was a great experience and when he talked about Clocking T, I asked if I could use the word in the title of the film. Thus the film Clocked: An Oral History was born.