Vicci Ho is a writer, film programmer and producer. She has written for Variety and worked for film festivals across the globe, including Toronto International Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival and directed the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.  She is the President of Janitor Interactive: a production company specializing in games.

This is her personal page.

Research Part 2

Research route: Approached a more philosophical and mythological route in discovering more about archery: there are a lot of stories of gods and heroes in ancient mythologies, both East and West. (East: Houyi, Yue Fei, possibly the most respected warrior in Chinese history; and Korea's King Dongmyeong of Goguryeo, whose birth name Jumong means "skilled archer". West: Apollo, Cupid, and Artemis).

I was also curious to get into the mind-sets of current day archers, and decided to post a questionnaire on Reddit to see what responses I would get. I received 19 responses, with people being involved with archery from 6 months to over 20 years. Some more interesting responses I received are as follows:

What made you fall in love with it?

  • It makes me feel a connection with nature, and with the ancient people.
  • The simplicity. It's me, the equipment, and the target. Technology improves, but at the core, its the Archer, the Bow, and the Target. I like that.
  • Any fault lies with me, and the accuracy you can reach with it. [emphasis was mine, also echos what I learned at the archery range: every commercial bow is perfect, meaning IF a machine shoots it, it will hit the bulls eye every time. Every error is caused by the archer]
  • Some of the names archers have given their bows: Icemaker, Kór, Precious (after LoTR), Ygritte (a longbow made out of PVC pipe!), Cinder. One respondent would only named bows he made (and he had made over 30).

    Something that most people do not know about archery:

  • There is a whole subculture of bow makers most people probably don't know about, we have large meet-ups in different places throughout the year. There is a flight bow competition in the Salt Flats where people try to break records with the traditional bows they build.
  • Archery isn't just pullback, release, bullseye, like Robin Hood portrays it. It's a lot about mentality. ie conquering target panic.
  • Most modern adults would only be able to handle a bow with a draw weight of around 30lbs. The medieval English archers used bows with draw weights of 100-150lbs.
  • I think what I find most interesting is how much archery is about conquering the self: the focus on the self conquering one's limitation, the ability to conquer the target, The meditative qualities...I believe that the reason why archery, as depicted by cultures, has always been given an elevated status is because of the skill and discipline one must take to master the art. It is not about defeating the target, it is about overcoming oneself's limitations.

    Have started reading Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery and will hope to glean more wisdom from it.

    I have started making a bow. I bought some red oak (no Yew at Prince Lumber) and am trying to figure out how best to proceed. I had to cut the 8 feet wood down to carry, so am currently aiming to make one that is 48 inches long. Have some pictures on the progress, will need more tools to proceed.

    Here are a few photos with my bow-making attempt, still a long way to go

    A phone interview this week with Sam Harper, who created Poor Folk Bows, a webpage that teaches people how to make their own bow. Will also try and contact the Gotham Archery coach again and also the folks at the Grayson Archery Collection: the person I hoped to interview is on vacation and will not be back in time for this project.

    archery song lyrics

    first telephone game