15th Anniversary Spotlight — Micheal Skiff

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Micheal Skiff, Crafting the Story
Project: Kink Crusaders, documentary film

When at a loss for drama in my stories, I ask “What are the stakes for my characters?” This helped me to craft a story for my documentary about a men’s Leather competition.  I didn’t want to go with the tropes of Reality TV and exploit their “freakishness.”  Discovering the stakes – survival during the AIDS crisis in the ’80‘s, negative perceptions by the mainstream – was how I was able to better see characters grow and story deepen.  My reward, as an artist, was to hear audiences laugh and cry during public screenings (and getting distribution!)