Your Week In Pin Up, Issue 58: The You Know We’re Hot Edition

10 July 2017

We’re Not Talking About the Weather


The I-Doc is Getting Closer

The initial release will have a series of features on global pin ups plus some never-bef0re-seen footage from our film.


Slips Sales are Slipping

It’s a sign of the times… Via USA Today.


So We’re Taking a Poll: To Slip or Not to Slip?

C’mon ladies –  do you wear slips? And gents, what do you think of slips?


Turning On, Tuning In, and Dropping Out

Via VICE

Or, the real life version of The Beach. Ah, kids these days.


This. GIF.

Well, we ARE slip-obsessed this week.

*SWAK*

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Production Update

I’ve been working on the interactive documentary the last several weeks (and not blogging about the process, which deserves a slap on the wrist to me). The project is complicated.

The back end of the pages and media files for the interactive online documentary for Pin Up! The Movie.

Ya think?

Yeah, that’s a screenshot of the i-doc pages in progress. You can see how everything is interconnected through all of the lines.

Keep in mind that I’m just starting the connections. It’s likely that each of these pages will be connected eventually to far more of the others, and additional pages will be added with updated content. This is just the first step.

My producer, a production assistant and myself are all in pretty heavy editing mode. At the moment, I have the audio edited for 13 of what will eventually be 25 stories of pin ups new to the film story. My producer and production assistant are both working on reworking stories that appeared in the feature film.

We’re using this “Coming Soon” card for pages that are under construction.

We’re planning on starting with about 1/3 of the planned video stories, and I’m hoping to have the launch in the next two weeks. Best laid plans and whatnot. The issue the the complexity of i-doc production. Even with a content management system that’s relatively user friendly, such as the one we’re using, there are still glitches. For instance, racontr’s documentation is all based in French. Even with subtitles for video tutorials, there is a language barrier. This is frustrating.

I’m also concerned about downloading the HTML package for my web site. There are always glitches when these things get uploaded, and I’m worried that the transfer won’t be smooth. Initially, I may just launch with an embed code, which means that the site will have a watermark burned into all transitions. This isn’t ideal, but may be the best temporary solution until I can download the entire package.

There is also a level of frustration. My vision for the i-doc won’t be what’s seen on the screen. Part of this is a lack of communication from racontr, who was supposed to provide me with a sign in mechanism. The sign in isn’t a part of the current system. But that hasn’t happened to date, which means that I’m figuring out work arounds.

The reality is I’m moving into production on my next project and just need to get this project completed. So a scaled back plan may make the most sense.

More to come.

 

Your Week in Pin Up, Issue 46: The Coming in Like a Lion Edition

ywipu

6 March 2017

You Know What They Say About March, Right?

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Putting Men in Touch with Their Femmeselves

 Miss Julia slipping stockings on Bianca. Allyee Whaley/Miss Vera's Academy


Miss Julia slipping stockings on Bianca. Allyee Whaley/Miss Vera’s Academy

This NPR Story gave us all the feels.


From Black History Month…..

1944-pin-up-girls

Via thirstyroots.com


…To Women’s History Month

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Woman’s Ambulance Transport Corps. San Diego, California c. 1943

Via the US National Archives.


Cheers!

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Via Getty Images


This. GIF.

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Ah, Tempest Storm.

*SWAK*

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Your Week In Pin Up Issue 38: The “We’re Back” Edition

ywipu9 January 2017

Here’s to Recommitting and New Year’s Resolutions

Yeah, last year got a bit away from me. But this year will be better. #swear


Remembering a Hot Rod Legend

I went to school with Nick and Carmen, the children of Nick Arias Junior. Their father died this week. Nick Arias Junior’s love of dry lake racing led him to be a giant in the hot rod world, making pistons that would transform the industry. RIP.


That Day Simone Biles Liked Our Tweet.

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Yes, that Simone Biles.


Man-Eating Singing Mermaids.

“We won’t eat you, my dear.”


We’ve Been Busy Busy Busy.

Interactive documentary production going full steam. Oh, and if you hashtag #bewbs you’re guaranteed to get a lot of attention over on Instagram.


This GIF.

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Well, it WAS officially January 1st here when I posted it.

#SWAK

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What is an I-Doc?

Play me a story….

We’re getting a lot of questions about what is an interactive documentary, or i-doc, since we’re in post production.

What is an Interactive Documentary? from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

So we’ve made a couple of different videos.

 

What is an Interactive Documentary Part 2 from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

Basically, an i-doc is an online video story, which has multiple components and lets the user have a high level of involvement and participation. It’s like a documentary video game. Pin Up! The Movie online will have the following components:

  • A game for first-time users to sort you into various story topics. You’ll be able to reach all of the elements of the film eventually. You’ll just start from different points – and get a log-in so that you can pick up where you left off on multiple visits.
  • Five to six major story arcs, including pin ups and beauty, subcultures, history and more.
  • Planned reveals as users work their way through the i-doc. When you make your way through certain sections, new elements are revealed.
  • A virtual make-up kit, where you can keep track of how far through the story you’ve gotten.

 

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It’s overwhelming – and very exciting. I can’t wait to see how it all develops.

Are Pin Ups Feminist? Why Yes, They Are.

Recently, I was talking about my interactive documentary project with some colleagues at the university where I teach. One of the women (a second-wave feminist generation) said something along the lines of,

Well, you know that many of these images would be considered problematic for women.

Why????, my brain screamed, as I politely attempted to talk with her about individual agency and the need to respect how a woman chooses to represent her body (the colleague is, after all, more senior than me).

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Dapper Dan Doll, in a provocative pose that she designed herself.

Of course, I knew the answer. The women were posing in a sexual manner. They’re provocative and often wearing few – or sometimes no – clothes. The retro poses draw their inspiration an era when women were presumed to be repressed by the patriarchy, being gazed upon by men and taken (or drawn) by men. The kitschy, throwback pin up is clearly a woman repressed.

Oh. My. God.

The problem with this narrative is that it ignores not only the individual wants, motivations and desires of contemporary pin ups (and their often-female artistic collaborators), but it also ignores the feminist history of the pin up herself.

Burlesque postcard from the 1800s.

Burlesque postcard from the 1800s.

In part, I’m drawing from the research done by art historian Maria Elena Buszek, whose wonderful book Pin Up Grrrls traces the feminist and artistic evolution of the genre. According to Buszek, the pin up evolved in the mid-1800s as a type of calling card for burlesque performers, who were using the photographic based carte de visite to not only promote their acts but also to challenge the idea that a woman could only be either the Madonna or the whore. The burlesque artist hovered somewhere in between the two in a state that Buszek calls “awarishness”: consciously inserting their “improper” burlesque identities into the non-theatrical world.

Gibson girls. They're looking at a man under the magnifying glass.

Gibson girls. They’re looking at a man under the magnifying glass.

Buszek argues that subsequent iterations of the pin up would similarly challenge boundaries in a very feminist way. Gibson Girls of the turn of the 20th century? Advocates of the right to vote, whose images were used on both sides of the debate as either an argument for female liberation or an illustration of what would happen when girls go wild. Flappers of the 1920s? Ditto.

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It’s when the 1940s roll around that the pin up begins to make her way into the hands of the average woman. During World War II she is increasingly making her way into the workforce in non-traditional female work, such as in the military or in factories.

George Petty Air Hostess. From VinMag.

George Petty Air Hostess. From VinMag.

Buszek found that these women began experimenting with do-it-yourself pin ups, not to share with boyfriends and husbands but to share with their friends.

They are doing it to capture their own audacity. There was something inherently dangerous and transgressive about what those images must have represented to young women.

Maria Elena Buszek

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By the 1950s, pin up icons like Bettie Page and Marilyn Monroe were using their sexuality as a way to promote their images within popular culture. Yes, Page and Monroe, not necessarily the photographers behind the images. Scholar Kathryn N. Benzel traced how Monroe constructed poses, accessories, costumes and expressions within her images, forcing viewers “to contemplate an aesthetic form rather than a glamourized nude.” Page’s carefully cultivated persona, meanwhile, poked fun at the very genre itself. Buszek sees her as a counterpoint to the Playboy Playmate (who would also emerge during this era), a feminist alternative to the nonthreatening Bunny.

bettie-page-o

During the latter third of the 20th century it would be artists who would reclaim the pin up, often for very pointed commentary on the roles of women in society. But the look was also beginning to percolate in the rockabilly, new wave, and punk rock subcultures, where vintage style was often as much an economic choice as an aesthetic one. Debbie Harry of Blondie, Madonna, and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt (who’s been called “the ultimate 21st-century pin up” by Sefan Lindemann of Grazia magazine, largely due to her individual fashion-forward stylings) all adopted pin up stylings.

gwen

So what about those modern women I’ve been talking to in connection with my project? Well, here’s the interesting rub: the vast majority of them self-identify as feminists. This is fascinating to me because feminism in the mid-2010s often is fraught with a ton of negative baggage (evidence: any internet comment section about any feminist news item ever). And, the women are actively aping the aesthetic aspects of an era when female empowerment wasn’t exactly a buzzphrase. They adopt monikers that promise sexuality and submissiveness, like Delicious Ruckus or Ginger Rose.

But these same women tell fans on their social media accounts to unfollow them if they don’t support feminist issues. They post on issues ranging from pay equality to sexual reproductive freedoms. They bemoan injustices such as sexual bigotry or racism.

Evalette Bizou (left) and Coco Soleil by Nightlight Digital.

Evalette Bizou (left) and Coco Soleil by Nightlight Digital.

Evalette Bizou and Coco Soleil are examples of this modern feminist pin up. The two also share a burlesque act, and were photographed together in the image (above) taken by Nightlight Digital.

“We both strongly identify ourselves as feminist,” said Coco.
“Exactly,” Evalette said. “I strongly believe in equality, and have never been anything but a feminist.”
“All my friends, both male or female, are feminists,” Coco added.

Their feminist impulses come out in various ways. Model Delicious Ruckus and photographer Mitzi Valenzuela both consider the pin up community a type of sisterhood, where women support each other regardless of race, ethnicity, body size, sexual orientation or economic background. Both are involved with charity causes (Pinups for Charity for D-Ruck; Bombshells Against Bullying for Valenzuela). And both, like Page and Monroe, tightly controls their shoots, from the posing to the costuming.

Miss Rockwell Di Vil, photographed by Mitzi and Co. Photography.

Miss Rockwell Di Vil, photographed by Mitzi and Co. Photography.

And from this control comes something. The modern pin up looks back. Even in a highly sexualized pose, such as Valenzuela’s image of Miss Rockwell De Vil in a clawfoot tub (which is one of the promotional posters for the film), the model is catching the eye of the camera through almost-closed eyes. She’s aware – and in control – of how she is looked at.

Rockwell is like those burlesque performers from the 1800s. There’s a tension in her control of the image: and it’s empowering.

Housekeeping – and a thank you

Opposite in the title, but the right way here. Thank you so much for your support of our Seed&Spark. While we fell short to make it to the next round in the #UntoldStory challenge, we nonetheless raised more that $25K in cash and in-kind loans, and had 650 followers. That means we qualify for distribution on Seed&Spark. This is HUGE.

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And there are some little housekeeping things we need to do.

We ran two challenges during the Seed&Spark. We asked gals in the film as well as those who are already in the interactive documentary to help us get followers – with each getting a prize depending upon how many invites turned into actual followers. But, uhm, counting? It’s really hard to know who a follower is when the social media names doesn’t match the person’s real name. And then it’s tough to know if the person is just voting for the model, or actually started following because of the pinup.

So we’re asking the gals to take a look at the leader board, and then let us know who they invited….

I-doc stars leaderboard. The pin up with the most invites turned into Seed&Spark followers  wins a full-magazine feature in Il Bellezza

I-doc stars leaderboard. The pin up with the most follows wins a full-magazine feature in Il Bellezza

 

#iwannabeastar runner up leader board. The pin up with the most accepted invites on Seed&Spark wins a role in the i-doc.

#iwannabeastar runner up leader board. The pin up with the most accepted invites on Seed&Spark wins a role in the i-doc.

Results will be posted by July 31st.

We Did It (Almost)

First,  the good news. We’re fully funded at 101% of our goal on Seed& Spark. and we have 600 followers. This is fabulous. I am overwhelmed.  It means we can approach Seed&Spark and seek distribution.

Painted pin up of interactive online documentary star Kitty Mansfield, by Seed&Spark follower Petja Heiskanen, aka PinUpDrawings.

But for the bad news: unless we reach at least 250 more followers between now and 9pm PT tonight (July 1st), it’s not looking good for us to advance to the finals of the Untold Story crowdfund challenge.

 

The Millie Michelle, on location in Las Vegas. She’s one of the new models featured in our interactive documentary. We’re hoping to shoot on location with all of our i-doc stars.

When I first started working on this story, I never dreamed I’d still be immersed in all things pin up three years later. But what I found was simply following the fabulous ladies I met in Los Angeles and California wouldn’t fully tell the story of the modern pin up. So I began finding women in the Pacific Northwest, South and Midwest of the United States. Models from Canada, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, and Singapore. This is a global culture, and in the online interactive documentary I’m hoping to tell that story.

 

Bang Bang Von Loola and director Kathleen Ryan on why the interactive documentary is so important.

But here’s the problem. We have 600 followers as of right now. The top five films each have more than 900 followers. We’re not in the top ten. And Seed&Spark and Project Greenlight Digital are only advancing the top 10 films to the next round, based on followers.

We’re followers of most of these other films. We want them to do well. But also we want our fair shot.  And the potential $20K in matching funds would help me pay for music licensing for distribution, and travel to all these locations (domestic and abroad) to tell the story of the pin up.

Miss Mozzy Dee explains what Pin Up! The Movie means to her. She’s hoping for a role in the online documentary.

If each person who reads this blog followed the campaign and then helped us to find just ONE new follower, we would be well on our way to the finals. So please, in these last few hours before the Untold Story challenge ends, help us out. Any followers who join between now and 9pm PT tonight will count. And we have some great free gifts as a thanks.

*SWAK*

Kathleen Ryan

Director

Your Week in Pin Up Issue 37: One More Week and We’ll Be Done Crowdfunding Edition

ywipu27 June 2016

89% Funded. 400-ish Followers. This is Giving Me (more) Grey Hair.


The Burlesque Performer Who Got Turned Away at the Border

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It’s a whole big story. I went through immigration and they thought I was a prostitute and that my partner was my pimp. My boyfriend was stopped and they couldn’t find anything on him, so they googled me. They found the connection between my stage name and my real name, and that started a whole five-hour process

-Agatha Frisky, Australian Burlesque performer to The West Australian

Because Burlesque and sex worker just go hand in hand.

BTW Frisky holds a Ph.D. in psychology.

#notgettingit


Car Show Craziness

Girls Like That (Pin Up 6) Teaser (the Car Show Version) from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

Our top video of the week.


The Return of the Goof Troop

Girls Like That (Pin Up 6) Teaser (the Kitty Mansfield version) from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

Because, faces.


Twitter Trends

Screenshot 2016-06-26 18.30.37

It’s fascinating to see what you like.


This GIF.

giphy

#SWAK

 

 

Want More of This???

The Millie Michelle from TaylorCatProductions on Vimeo.

Meet The Millie Michelle. She’s one of our new i-doc stars. We had a bunch of fun following her to her favorite places in Las Vegas earlier this year. And we want to do something similar with all of the ladies featured in our online interactive documentary.

But we’re in big trouble. Big big trouble.

 

In this Seed&Spark crowdfunding challenge, we’ve only made it to 400+/- followers so far. We need to get to at least 500 to qualify for potential distribution and get that filmmaker gift box.

And 500 is the minimum number we need to reach to qualify for the next round of the Untold Story challenge.

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However, they’re only taking the films with the greenlight (80% of funding goal reached) who also have at least 500 followers. We’re currently sitting at number 15. That means if nothing changes we won’t qualify for the chance to win $20K in matching funds. And that means our distribution is in jeopardy, at least how the film is conceived right now, because we won’t be able to afford music licensing.

This is the current list (as of 9:22pm MT 7/25):

  1. A Punk Daydream, 733 followers
  2. A Horse of a Different Color, 704 followers (hasn’t met the minimum funding requirement yet)
  3. Inner U Destroyed, 685 followers
  4. Hearts of Glass, 682 followers
  5. The Great Flip Off, 653 followers
  6. Don’t Talk About the Baby, 648 followers
  7. Shadows of the Valley, 648 followers
  8. A Queen for the People, 633 followers
  9. Love, Hate, Church & State, 624 followers
  10. Risking Light, 622 followers
  11. Time Well Spent, 618 followers
  12. Rideout, 583 followers
  13. The Ties That Bind, 580 followers
  14. Devoti Tutti, 533 followers
  15. Pin Up! The Movie, 386 followers
  16. Anti Poaching: Coastal Mozambique, 302 followers

So to be competitive? We really need at least 300 more followers. In five days.

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You’ve stepped up to the plate. We’ve seen our follower numbers jump by at least 100 over the past 36 hours. But we need more.

I don’t want to slag on these other films. They’re all great stories which should be told. We’ve been promoting some of these stories. I think they’ll make great films. But so is Pin Up! The Movie. And we have a follower base on social media that’s large enough to be able to get the numbers to be not just at #10, but at #1 in the list.

Follow. Share. Help. Please.