Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Making Documentaries in the Digital Age: A Chat With "Autumn Gem" Co-Producers


At the seventh D: All Things Digital conference, besides interviewing a lot of tech and media muckety-mucks, the All Things Digital staff and friends also got a terrific screening of a new documentary–“Autumn Gem”–by our Webmaster, Adam Tow, and his wife, Rae Chang.

The pair co-produced the project, which explores the extraordinary life of the Chinese revolutionary heroine and women’s rights activist, Qiu Jin (1875 – 1907).

As Tow and Chang wrote on their Web site for “Autumn Gem”:

“During the reign of the last dynasty in China, Qiu Jin boldly challenged traditional gender roles and demanded equal rights and opportunities for women. At a time when women’s lives were often marked by repressive practices such as footbinding, arranged marriages, and denial of education, she envisioned a future where women would free themselves from the confines of tradition and emerge as strong and active citizens of a new and modern nation.”

Even more interesting is what it is like to get an indie film made and distributed in the digital age, which I talked about with Tow and Chang last week.

Here’s the video with my interview with Tow and Chang (and, below it, a preview of “Autumn Gem”) :

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work