I’ll be super honest, as is my way. The spirit hasn’t moved me lately, to blog about Outlander, (which is unusual for me). What’s going on? Am I changing? Is it changing? Probably some of both.
The reason I started this blog in the first place, was to provide deeper, more satisfying content to intelligent, informed, passionate Outlander fans, about the making of Outlander, the visual adaptation. I’ve always said I’ll keep doing it, as long as doors keep opening. I can’t speak for other bloggers, but I, myself, was not invited to participate in the S4 premiere this year, despite conveying my willingness. My impression is that from the perspective of Starz and Sony, bloggers were needed in the beginning, to help get this new show with its mostly unknown cast, on its feet. I remember standing behind a sweet older lady from Canada with her notebook and pen, as she asked Sam questions in the press line for the Season 2 premiere. Times have changed. It’s no longer a new show, and the cast is becoming very well known. And bloggers have been replaced with mainstream media outlets in the press lines. I am thrilled for the hard working producers, cast and crew, for their well deserved success, and especially for the outcome of leading more people to Diana’s masterpiece. And, at the same time, I feel a sense of loss.
The ultimate goal of making a TV adaptation, for the companies involved, is making money, it’s a business. But, because of who Diana is, and what her work is, and all the people it has attracted, Outlander feels like so much more than a money making machine to me (and to many), it’s personal. For that reason perhaps, I find the cattle call fan conventions and the mainstream media coverage to be not only unsatisfying fluff, but dare I say, insulting? (especially considering the demographic of this fandom).
I’d like to pay tribute to my husband’s longtime friend Chip Chace, whom we lost to pancreatic cancer recently, by quoting him. Chip was a world renown TCM practitioner and solo climber. He once said:
“Practice is a life-orienting discipline, in which the process itself is the goal.” — Chip Chace
The journey is the point, not some end point called “success;” that’s my perspective, anyway. Following the people and the process of the making of these four seasons of Outlander has been a joyful, special experience for many of us. Recently it has felt less personal, more removed, and therefore less satisfying and compelling (to me). What does all this mean? Heck if I know. I do know this: the term “success” can (and should be) defined by more than just monetary gain, even in big business. The world would be a much better place if this were so. Is it possible? Is it possible to retain what Outlander has been, while also becoming a Hollywood success? Outlander is a miraculous force, and I look forward to seeing how it handles this challenge.
I was really going back and forth today, about whether I should post something, as I didn’t feel like reposting what’s floating around out there right now, and I don’t want to put a damper on people’s excitement for the start of Season 4. I had pretty much decided to skip it, when I saw a tweet from Jason Maza, which said, “Earlier this year I directed my first short film ‘The Little Princess’. I’m super proud of it and I hope it touches your heart…”
And I thought, there it is. The juxtaposition.
This is the long awaited short film written and performed by Steven Cree. It’s all heart. I watched, reminded (again), what a great actor Steven is, and while I was certainly touched by the film, what really grabbed my attention today were the credits. In particular, the Special thanks section, where I saw all the familiar names roll by. The names of people I have met through this experience, who have supported the making of Outlander, the show, since the beginning, as bloggers, youtubers, graphic artists, jewelry makers, fans, convention organizers, cast handlers, you name it. We have supported Sam in MPC, Cahonas Scotland, his marathons, Cait with World Child Cancer, and her marathon, Steven and Jason in making this film, Graham in his new directorial debut, Stephen Walters and Andrew Gower for their film, supported each other, attended fan conventions, signings etc. This is the heart. You are the heart.
I interviewed Steven after he made The Little Princess, before anyone had seen it, and I have included that segment of our interview below.
I am excited to see episode 401 (I saw it at NYCC, but honestly could not hear the dialogue due to the room acoustics), and I will no doubt appreciate Season 4, so much. So, here’s my 11th hour promo… Here’s to Steven, Jason and team for this beautiful art, and here’s to us guys, who’ve been on this ride since the beginning. Cheers to you! Bring on Season 4!!! ?