Online/nonline

Recently on Twitter I posed the question – should I create a new account for my latest film? Already I juggle three accounts @MayMilesThomas, @deilsplantin and @VoyageuseFilm so a fourth is probably overdoing it. The jury’s verdict – stick to my main account – seems only logical so in future I’ll restrict myself to posting here – and linking there.

This, I realise, could easily turn into a full-time job but it’s a necessary one when so much of one’s life and identity is paraded on the conveyor belt of social media. Long before revelations of mass data harvesting, fake posts and dodgy algorithms, the wisdom accrued from years of posting on Facebook (deleted) LinkedIn (inactive) and Instagram (lapsed temporarily) led me to limit my exposure. Thankfully I never strayed into Friends Again or MySpace and so far I’ve avoided WhatsApp, Snapchat and their derivatives. However I admit to having YouTube, Vimeo Pro and IMDB accounts though I’ve failed to exploit them.

It’s hard to imagine anyone, especially those freelance artists, musicians, authors, filmmakers, journalists etc. trying to establish or maintain a career without a social media profile. While the obligation to self-promote seems unavoidable, for some, myself included, it doesn’t come easily. To get hired was once a matter of access to a landline, a decent Rolodex and a brass neck. Or a pushy agent. These days I’m struck how even the smallest business needs an online presence or social media account. For instance, the eggs I bought recently, supplied by a small local farm, carry the blue F of Facebook, which b(egg)s the question – do they have more followers than me?

Every cloud… By updating the Elemental website and adding this blog I’ve saved myself the chore of creating a standalone site for my next film, which I’ll blog about here soon. As for the existing sites, I only maintain The Devil’s Plantation 11 years on because it still attracts traffic and comments, usually of the ‘my late uncle lived in Sussex Street in 1962’ stripe. The Voyageuse website is very much active since the film’s screening at the Glasgow Film Theatre from August 24-26th, with a Q&A on the 26th, hosted by the journalist and broadcaster, Siobhan Synnot.

I can also confirm V’s first London outing takes place on September 14th at Picturehouse Central where I’m doing a special Q&A with the amazing Siân Phillips, an event I’m very much looking forward to, if only because she promised to give me an elaborate hat she once wore to a – as she texted me along with photos of said hat – ‘a funeral’ – no doubt courtesy of the costume department on some film. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, so if you’re in London it would be great to see you. I’m also planning to screen the film in venues across the UK, so fingers crossed. I’ll post everywhere as soon as I know.

The above image is a frame grab from Voyageuse showing a pair of Erica’s Bengalese finches.

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