Showing posts with label yarn bombing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yarn bombing. Show all posts

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tamale Cup

Went down to SA to hang out and shoot with the Yarn Dawgz... again. They were doing an installation at the Tamale Festival in the Pearl Brewery. I was a little unclear on exactly what Dino, Billy and Sasha had in store but I was game.

One thing to know about San Antonio (and Austin to a certain degree) is that San Antonio loves having street festivals. Sometimes it feels like there's a street festival every weekend during the nice seasons of Texas. Even though it's December, it's still pretty nice outside in Central Texas. The Tamale Festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The fest celebrates local traditions associated with the holidays and feature cooking demonstrations, food from the roasting spit, and more than 30 vendors boasting traditional, sweet, vegetarian and other tamale varieties. The festival concludes with the River of Lights celebration, caroling, and music and entertainment for the entire family. (All proceeds benefit the Culinary Institute of America and local charities.) Why not have a festival celebrating tamales.

The Yarn Dawgz was going to be doing a public installation of a table, chairs, and dining set inspired by Mexican Serape blankets
that would later be sold at the Melissa Guerra Tienda de Cocina. It was pretty relaxed shoot. I was mostly interested in film the Yarn Dawgz just hanging out and knitting. Dino had some work to do back at Jump Star so it was just Billy and I for most of the morning and early afternoon. After several hours, it became obvious the the installation was not progressing fast enough. Once Dino and Sasha showed up, I took a small break and walked around the festival. I am a people watcher so I relished in walking around all the fest's activity. I was super hungy but was completely overwhelmed by all the options. I honestly didn't even know what line I was in but I ended up getting two Tamale Cups, which is a tamale in a cup. I brought one back to Billy and we joked about the concept of tamale cup. He even dubbed "Tamale Cup" as my new nickname. I can't remember why.

As the afternoon progressed on, Dino and Sasha worked diligently on the table and chairs. I felt a little bad filming instead of helping so I decided to help out a little bit. I'm not sure where most documentary filmmakers feel about the relationship between the filmmaker and the subjects. I'm starting to think I'm too close to the Yarn Dawgz. I'm fine with it but I wonder what others think. I personally have never yarn bombed. I knit like a madman but I don't bomb. I'm trying to stay an observer in that world. So all I did for the Yarn Dawgz was knit. I didn't do the actual installation.

In the end, they didn't finish the installation but I got some great footage.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I just spent the weekend filming with the Yarn Dawgz of San Antonio and I am filled with filmmaking adrenalin. I even called John on Friday night at like 3:30 am which means it was technically Saturday morning and said "I LOVE DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING! I want to do this FOREVER" on his voicemail. I vaguely remember this, he had to remind me.

One rule of documentary filmmaking is that nothing ever goes as planned so be prepared.
The plan was:
* Friday night film B Roll of the Yarn Dawgz, shoot Dino and Billy doing stuff for JumpStart at First Friday.
* Saturday film the installation at Blue Star and shoot one interview.
* Sunday film the other interview and get pick up shots. If time get scenic B Roll of San Antonio

I was a little nervous about the Friday shoot because I would be filming on my own in a very crowded area. John is in Portugal, Spencer is busy with school and Taylor is working. First Friday is an awesome San Antonio South Town tradition where all the art galleries and local shops open their doors to the city and have a big party on the First Friday of the month. It was going to be hard to be a one woman crew but I was up for the challenge.

I got to Jump Start around 4pm because of all the traffic on I-35 from Austin, thankfully before all crowds showed up on South Alamo Street in the Blue Star Art complex. I put mics on Dino and Billy and just started filming them in their natural element. Jump Start was preparing for a window performance of a graffiti artist taggin' a boxcar. I wasn't really sure what I was in for but was excited by whatever it was going to be. The guys also took me around the complex to show me an old installation that they wanted to take down. It was great to see the decay of an installation. It was faded and kind of gross, (which is awesome). I'm starting to think that the rot of an old installation can somehow be an ending to the documentary itself. I shot the guys deinstalling the piece before getting swallowed by the twilight Blue Star crowd.

The guys got back to work while I absorbed the environment. When it was show time everyone in Jump Star was running around like crazy. Thankfully they were doing two shows so that I should get different shots of the performance. I was blown away by the show. It starred Cros, the other initial Yarn Dawg (who actually lives next door to Billy and Dino). It was about a graffiti artist sneaking around and tagging a boxcar and then being chased by the cops, only to have one of the cops tag a bench herself. It was really beautiful and powerful. I love live performances and theater. Nothing I could write or film could really capture just being there.

After a crazy long day I was exhausted but my adrenaline was still pumping through my veins. Billy and Dino invited me out to the Strip. Now I'm from San Antonio but I haven't lived there for 8 years so I didn't know what the Strip was. There's a delightful area of Main Street in San Antonio, called the Strip, that has become populated by gay clubs. It was awesome. I'll leave out the details of the night but it included some food at Luther's Cafe accompanied by a Drag Queen singing Adele (actually better than Adele sings), some drinks and dancing at a place everyone refers to as Gay Bennigans. I was feeling good. I logged my footage and was in bed by 4am.

Saturday I met up with Dino and Billy at Blue Star to shoot their installation. I suited up (put my equipment on) and the guys got ready. As we're filming, Billy and Dino notice that their knitted pieces don't fit the poles like they thought. They discussed the options. They looked around the complex to see if their pieces could fit anywhere else. In the end it started to rain and they decided that they would not do a project that they didn't feel 100% proud of. I went back to the guy's place which turned out to be a yarn bombed sanctuary. Billy even walked me down their street to show me all the stop sign posts he's done. We were running out of time because Dino and Billy were going to perform a song for their friend's birthday later that night. We called it a day and planned to meet on Sunday.

On Sunday I got a call from the guys who had to cancel because of family stuff. I was feeling so good from the stuff I got on Friday and Saturday that I didn't even feel sad about it. I could always get their interviews another time. Plus I can come back to shoot the finished installation.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Indiegogo is over

Well our online fundraising campaign is over. We had a good run. We raised $5,640 of a $15,000 goal by 112 different funders made up of friends, family, colleagues, knitters and strangers. I got 65 comments including favorites like, "Sarah Gonzalez has a true vision and I am glad o even have a small part in her success! All the best!", "Who knew that knit one, pearl two could unite the world. I look foward to seeing more.", "I am very impressed with your vision and the powerful message I know your film will send. Every action people take to make the world a better place is a worthy action. Congratulations in advance for this great work." and many many more.

Even though we didn't hit the goal, there is no doubt that this campaign was a huge success. Many people have found out about the documentary and are generally excited. We got enough money to travel to the Pacific Northwest to films some more yarn bombers. I'm excited. This is another beginning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's the Final Countdown!

Well there is only 5 days left in the online fundraiser on Indiegogo. I've been blasting everyone I knew on the internet and I'm sure a lot of people are getting annoyed with me and will be happy when my campaign is over too. We've already raised a little over $5,100 by 101 different funders which is amazing but isn't as much as I would have hoped for. I'm feeling really good though about the campaign, even though we are no where near the $15,000 goal. I'm glad we finally hit the $5,000 because it feels like a lot more than $4,000 which doesn't make sense. I'll also be glad when this whole campaign is over because it's been really stressful. Thankfully I'm not measuring my self worth by the success of this campaign.

Other exciting things that are happening: I'm working on the ITVS application even though I probably won't get it. I've been pulling my hair out trying to finish it. Both my producers, John Moore and Spencer Stoner, are too busy doing their own project to help me. (John is working on his MFA graduate thesis documentary and Spencer is working for the Discovery channel, producing a show in South America.) ITVS would be the dream grant if I get it because they help secure exhibition through PBS.

Redseven Entertainment GmbH, a German company is currently working on a TV-show named "Galileo Big Picture" for German national free TV broadcaster ProSieben is wants to use some of my footage for a segment about new fads in art and graffiti. We're still working out the logistics but it's pretty neat that I'm getting their attention.

I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to write about but I've been filming some things with Magda Sayeg lately.
I'm not going to name anything but she's been directing a commercial that has a lot of knitted/crocheted stop-motion animation. I've been shooting the behind-the-scenes of the making-of which has been really exciting. I'm going to share my footage with this ad adgency and in return they are going to share some of their behind-the-scenes footage of Magda and give me access to the finished commercial for my documentary. Because everything has been really last minute, I couldn't get anyone to help me shoot. I was running both sound and camera. I'm a little afraid that the ad company isn't going to like my footage as much as they would've hoped.

Tomorrow I'm suppose to be interviewed for
K&L Media in Bellingham, Washington, which is always exciting. Yay for more press.

As you can tell, it's been busy around here in yarn bombing documentary central. After the indiegogo campaign is over, I'll be planning a trip to Seattle and Vancouver.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

International Yarn Bombing Day

2011 has been a big year so far; a lot of great things have happened, especially for the fiber arts. Saturday June 11th, 2011 was the first International Yarn Bombing Day. It started off as a half-hearted idea to help spread the joy of yarn graffiti but became a huge world-wide sensation. It's really amazing. Thank goodness for the internet.

In this early stage of the documentary, this new holiday snuck up on me but I did not lose hope. John (my producer) and I got together to figure out this best way to utilize our resources. We were only going to be able to be in one place to film. I had to be in San Antonio for the weekend for another obligation so we found some San Antonio knitters/yarn bombers to follow. Brandy B.Link Garcia had contacted me a couple weeks ago about a project was doing with a Texas flag she was knitting that she was going to put over the Riverwalk. The Yarn Dawgz, which is a male knitting group, were also doing a project that they were inviting us to film. After our shoot was pretty scheduled, we decided we needed more: We did a call for footage which is a crazy idea that craft groups around the world could submit there home footage of their projects to us for the documentary. As the day comes to a close we already have 15 submission! I'm sure we'll get more.

Any excuse to come to San Antonio for a weekend is a good excuse but it's especially nice when I'm coming to SA-town for yarn graffiti. Friday was a long, productive day. John and I recruited friend and fellow filmmaker David Bukstein to help us film this weekend. We left Austin around 1:30 and got to San Antonio with just enough time to eat, regroup and leave to meet up with the Yarn Dawgz at the Pearl Brewery. We were greeted with hugs and smiles. Dino Foxx, Billy Munoz, Sasha Zeilig and Karen Arredondo were already busy installing there knitted piece. John miked them and David and I hopped on shooting all the activity and color. We were instantly at home with this group.
We couldn't stay with the Yarn Dawgz all night because we needed to me
et up with B.Link but we could have easily done so; they were a lot of fun. After lots of whip stitches, interviews, yarn, anecdotes, and Dino doing a quick freestyle while Billy keeps the beat with the knitting needles on the pipe (see photo on right), we left the Yarn Dawgz.

Our next destination was to meet Brandy at the DIY Factory. The DIY Factory is a wonderful little store and community craft education center. They were having a party of Etsy's Birthday which created a bundle of activity. We were a little more relaxed with our shooting since Brandy was just preparing for her late night installations. We charged some batteries, got some footage of Brandy getting ready, did an interview and got ready to go out on the Riverwalk with Brandy to install her knitted and crocheted pieces. John and I had a little trouble finding parking near where she was going to install the knitted Texas flag, so David came to the rescue and popped out to capture the moment while it was happening. We found parking and met up with David and Brandy and started doing our thing. Because Brandy was installing her pieces after midnight, in the shadows, on the Riverwalk, near the Pearl, she was a little nervous. As filmmakers, we respected this and backed off and took extra steps to not draw attention to what she was doing. We didn't have any problems other than some sprinklers and some drunk passerbys. After a long day, we got some late-night sustenance from Mi Terra.

Today we met back up with Dino and Billy from the Yarn Dawgz and just hang out and knit. We got some shots of all the pieces, including Brandy's, in the daylight, and just hung out. Overall I had a really amazing International Yarn Bombing Day. We learned a lot and had a good time.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Give us your International Yarn Bombing Day footage!

Hi! Sarah here, director of the feature length Yarn Graffiti Documentary. As many of you know, This Saturday, June 11, is International Yarn Bombing Day (Woo Hoo!). All around the world, hundreds of crews will simultaneously carry out knitted and crocheted projects. I'm so excited, as a knitter and as a filmmaker.

My crew will be in San Antonio, TX filming a group as they knit a giant Texas flag over the River Walk. While we're really excited about this my producer, John Moore, and I have been trying to figure out how we can best utilize our resources to capture this awesome event.

WE WANT YOUR IYBD FOOTAGE! My crew and I can only be in one place at a time, but we want to gather as much footage as possible for an elaborate montage of bombers around the world. If you plan on taking part of any project and plan to have video, pictures, or any other documentation, please send it to us. Use your IPhone, old Handicam, Flipcam, 16mm, MiniDV, or whatever. We know that most of you are not professional filmmakers or camera-people but that's okay. We just want to make sure we get this world wide event captured! This is an imperative part of the film because it will show the international community of yarn bombers.

Here's how it works:

-- You can upload any materials you have to (up to 2 GB) or (up to 5GB).
-- When upload is complete it will give a link to the file.
-- Email this link to

PLEASE NOTE that even though you retain ownership of all media uploaded, by submitting materials you give the filmmakers full permission to use the media in the film, without compensation. Though we can not pay you for your footage, credit will be given for the work done in the end credits of the film.

Again, this is a call to ANYONE doing some sort of fiber art project on this day. This is your chance to feature your work to the world!

Thanks and keep crafting!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


It's been busy here at Yarn Graffiti documentary production central. John and I have been busy working on promoting our Indiegogo campaign and working on the Texas Filmmaker Production Fund, Cinereach, along with ITVS grant applications. I feel like we have a better chance at TFPF than ITVS but we are guaranteed to not get anything if we don't apply.

In the last month or so my documentary has gotten a little bit of attention, specifically in the blog world. All this attention makes me feel amazing. It's as if the bloggers has given me their stamp of approval.

Check out...

Modern Knitting

Laughing Squid

Tree Hugger


Arts Media Lab
Fashion at Liberty
Penn Alternative Fuels
Cool Craft Sites
Green Dump
Design Talk
Knitta Please

and many more. I've been noticing that a lot of the blogs like to repost from each other. Tree Hugger seems to be a trend setting in the blog world. It's crazy but it feels really good.
I won't say too much more but there have been talks with TrendStop, The Guardian, and Time Magazine about doing a story about the documentary.

Many many people have tweeted about the doc and I really appreciate everything. Thanks to @KnittingNews, @ModernKnitting, @LaughingSquid, @knittyattitude, @knittaporfavor, @emperorsclothes, @CrochetBlogger, @StitchLily, @StreetBandits, @KnitoriousMEG, @deadlyknitshade @KnitsforLife @laidbackknitter and many more.

On top of all the blogs and tweets, I've been on Austin's KOOP Radio FM91.7 talking about my documentary. Unfortunately they don't archive their shows otherwise I would have shared my part here. It was really fun and since, I've been invited on Sherry Mills's show every week since to kind of keep her company.

Long story short, things are good for the documentary. Thanks for all the support.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ready, Set, Go - Launch!

We did it - we launched our online fundraising campaign on indiegogo for the Yarn Graffiti Documentary. Here goes nothing. It's been online for 24 hours and we've already raised $1,110! It's crazy.

The second I published it, I felt a little remorse because I know I could have tightened the edit on the video, and I started to think that maybe $15,000 is too much to ask for in only 110 days. What's done is done. This whole thing is very nerve racking. I keep looking at the Indiegogo account and refreshing the page to see if anyone else has donated and every time someone new has donated, I'm hit with this wave of amazement like, "wow, I can't believe someone just gave us $20!" I've been getting really emotional and sentimental and it's only been a day. I can't imagine how the rest of the next 3 and half months are going to go. I think I need to pace myself.

If you don't know, online fundraisers like Indiegogo are all about allowing anybody to raise money for any idea. The sites structure allows users to create a page for their funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, make a list of "perks" for different levels of donation, then create a social media-based publicity effort. Users publicize the projects themselves through Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms. The site levies a 4% fee for successful campaigns, and 9% for campaigns that fail to reach their target amount. Unlike similar sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo disburses the funds immediately. According to the Wall Street Journal, 10% of Indiegogo projects raise their requested amount, while 40% of projects raise at least $500. Indiegogo is also used by already-funded projects to create publicity or find distributors.

We have a lot of money to raise so I hope that this campaign will get us going on being able to shoot more of our subjects. We desperately need to travel and cover more ground. Watch the video, you'll get the idea. It's been a long day.

If you want to be added our production newsletter

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's in a name?

Believe it or not but I feel like one of the hardest things in filmmaking is coming up with a good title. Titles can make or break your movie. If you have a good title, it might entice someone to be curious enough to go see it. A good title should be catchy, yet leave you wanting more. If it's too long people don't say or don't say it right. Plus if it's long then the font will be smaller on a movie poster or post card. If it's too short or obscure people won't have any idea what your movie is about. "There exist single-pronoun films that are considered classic. Two come immediately to mind: Them and It (The Terror from Beyond Space). Somehow those two titles inspire a sense of dread. On the other hand, They conveys nothing—and is only marginally better than its clunky alternate title, Wes Craven Presents: They." (06.28.10 | Jason Marcewicz ) There is obviously a happy medium but I'm not sure if there is a good criteria.

I'm struggling with giving my movie a title. I've honestly just been calling it Yarn Graffiti Documentary but that is very long and not exciting at all. John likes
City in Stitches or Cities in Stitches. He also thinks that Yarn Bombers or Yarn Bomb would be ideal. I'm not sure if Leane and Mandy have that term trademarked or whatever. Some people I met at the Knitted Wonderland installation came up with City Stitchers but John pointed out that sounds silly and almost cartoony. There are a lot of puns with knitting lingo but I don't want to exclude crocheting. I like the term "Fiber Artists" because it includes everyone but I'm not sure if that's a title and it sounds more arty and less graffiti thug-y. I'm working on my treatment and I keep referring to my doc as "Untitled Yarn Graffiti Documentary" which is clunky and not working for me. I'm frustrated. I need help. Any ideas?

The other thing is that it's still early to glue myself to a title. For example, if the documentary takes on a heavy feminist element I could call it Femiknitist. How can I come up with a great title when I've only filmed like 1/6 of the material?

Please give me some of your suggestions!