As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
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The Critic

The Rivera Murals

The Casa Azul


Festival Screening

The Trotsky Museum


Profound Mexico


Rain on canvas

The Jury

The Anthropological Museum


Political Correctness

Two Houses

False Virtue

Life is a miracle

Weird Roots

The Meeting

Turtles Can Fly

The Oscars

Luis Barragans house

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False Virtue

At lunch the next day with Michael Fitzgerald, who I hold in increasingly high regard following some early combative discussions, we talk about low-budget filmmaking.  He is somewhat shocked by the YES shooting schedule (an excruciatingly short six weeks, given that we filmed in four countries), its minimal budget, and the total deferment of director and producer fees (four years on and no payment yet).  In response to my pride and stoicism – all that matters is that the film was made, I say -  he states that low-budget filmmaking is a “false virtue”. Over the coming days he develops this thesis.  If you become a cottage industry, feverishly multi-tasking by necessity if you cannot pay a team and delegate many of the tasks that drag on for months long after the film is apparently ‘finished’, you risk missing the new opportunities sailing by.  Your head is down when you need to keep it up.

I ask him how many films he has produced.  He seems embarrassed by the number nine (including two with John Huston); which seems an excellently respectable number to me, but also makes me feel a little better about my mere five features.  I frequently grumble that I ‘could have’ made at least twice that number – I have certainly had no lack of energy, ideas or motivation; it’s always been the long, torturous slog of raising money that has held me back.  But why?  We discuss the ‘problem’ of always taking new risks.  On the whole, financiers are ‘risk-averse’ – a phrase they actually use.  They want you to repeat yourself.  (Before ‘Orlando’, they said it could not, should not, be done.  Afterwards they wanted me to make another costume drama, preferably involving a sex-change.)

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Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated