Heidi is an actor, director and producer, and is currently releasing her feature film called “Darcy,” that is making its rounds on the film festival circuit and will be screening at the Socially Relevant Film Festival in NYC as the Closing Night Film on Thursday, March 22nd, 8 p.m.
Heidi has a very interesting story that takes her to Germany after college, where she got her start in television before coming back to the United States. Now a gentle word of warning. We do talk about adult themes in this episode in the #metoo genre, so if you usually listen in the car with your kids, perhaps you listen with your headphones in.
Lily is a Writer. She started out as an actress in the theatre, is a fellow Violet (NYU) and runs a female writer’s group called Bechdel Babes Writing Partners.
Her group is putting on a FREE industry only showcase welcoming Producers, Directors, Showrunners, and Literary Managers/Agents on March 22nd and 23rd. I’m going, meet me there. Get your ticket here: http://www.bbwritingpartners.com/showcase.
We talk about Lily’s mid-career change (a familiar theme in my circle), a bit about ‘kids these days’ and the importance of keeping arts in schools, and the vital need for women to be front and center in telling the stories.
And this career changing moment: “How are the kids? Pass the salt.”
And I had a big sense memory while I was editing. Voices are distinct.
Lisa is an Actor/Writer/Producer and Amy is a Writer/Producer/Actor and together they are creating a film and multimedia project called “Freelancers Anonymous.” These women are super smart and have their eye on the very big picture. Lisa was in the much-acclaimed web series called Easy Abby and is an accomplished voice over talent, among many other credits. Amy’s credits include CollegeHumor.com, An Emo Bromance, Break In, and a children’s book series called Jenny Morgan: Certified Genius.
They tell us as much as they can about their project and their process. Any more and they’d have to kill me. That’s fair, I guess.
Come listen and have a laugh with us. We cracked up a lot.
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Christina is a Writer, Director, and a Professor. Her latest film The Rainbow Experiment recently debuted at Slamdance to much acclaim. Her first film, 42 Seconds of Happiness won numerous awards, including Best Feature Film at WTxFF in Texas, Best Ensemble Cast at Harlem IFF, Indie Spirit Award and Best Ensemble Cast at Princeton IFF, just to scratch the surface.
She has been teaching at Columbia University’s and Barnard College’s Film Programs since 2011, and is the author of six books, including Creative Screenwriting: Understanding Emotional Structure and Inside the Writers’ Room (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2010 & 2014).
She has a unique perspective on the writing process, actors, and multi-protagonist filmmaking. She has the voice of an artist.
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Lynelle is a Writer and Director, whose first writing job was on Army Wives. Her first actual job was as a pilot in the Air Force. She flew the plane that refuels other planes while IN THE AIR. She is currently one of six participants the Film Independent Episodic Writers Lab.
Originally, she wanted to be a space pirate. Like Han Solo.
She has a BS in Engineering and an MFA in Screenwriting.
She was already a grown up while the rest of us were trying to figure out who we were in our 20s.
Not to brag, but this is a really good conversation.
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Molly is a Songwriter, a Songwriting Consultant, and an Author. She was a staff writer at A&M Records, and has won numerous awards and been nominated for an Emmy for her work on Happy Endings. She also helps songwriters shape their songs and get them to market, and has written books to that end. You can find Molly and her services at songmd.com.
She has a method, and after talking to her I feel like I could write a hit song! I’ll keep you posted…
And this, when your family considers songwriting to be a few steps below being a drug dealer or a prostitute, it is very motivating to be successful.
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Marilyn is a Writer with many TV and Film credits and her most recent book, “How to Live Like a Millionaire When you’re a Million Short.” Her book answers one of the biggest questions of the Universe, “How does Marilyn live?” You can find it here. She has written on Murphy Brown, FAME, Friday the 13th and many others.
She started life as a scientist and then had one lucky break after another. She has a million stories and she cracks me up. Doesn’t everyone book a Broadway show their first week in New York?
Chelsea is a Writer/Director and is currently producing her webseries called Thank You, Come Again. You can find her (NSFW) Indiegogo campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/thank-you-come-again-sex-lgbt#/
Chelsea came up as a film and television writer while also being a sex educator and diversity advocate. While working her day job as the Social Media Manager at The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood, she looked around and realized this was show that writes itself. So, she wrote it and has set out to produce it.
I was admittedly nervous to interview Chelsea, as at heart I am a WASPY girl who grew up in Catholic school and would certainly never discuss sex publicly. But Chelsea is a smart, open, and talented woman who gave a very interesting interview and helped me mature just a little bit more. But, do listen to the episode with your headphones in and don’t play it in the car during carpool.
Shannon and Tia are writing/producing partners under the company Borndreamer. They came up separately through production and comedy, while still making viral videos and other projects together, until they decided to relaunch the company their mother started years ago. Together, they made the film Firm with a Purpose, which was the Audience Favorite at the Women in Comedy Festival in 2017, and screened last night at the Women in Film Annual Shorts event.
We had a funny and thoughtful conversation that ranged from competitions and collaboration, to motherhood and bias. What does success really mean? And if you say, “Well, I guess I’m a badass,” are you?
They are launching a podcast called Sister Stuff soon, where they will be telling stories, talking about their journey in filmmaking and trying to make each other laugh. You can follow them and find out more at borndreamer.com.
Amy wrote on 90210 and Melrose Place (the OG) among many other shows, but those are what made me fangirl. She comes from a Hollywood family - her parents were moved out to Los Angeles by Desilu Studios. (As you do.) And although she resisted joining the family business, she eventually did, going on to write “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
I loved hearing her stories and her journey and I think you will too. She’s a writer, a teacher, a mentor and is deeply into mindfulness. She teaches a mindfulness writing program which helps people, especially women, find their voice. This is the time that we all need to find our voices.
This is a Master Class.
Amanda is an Attorney turned Film Producer, whose first film Magnum Opus is available now on Amazon Prime. Amanda is incredibly determined, and when she puts her mind to something, she gets it done. Everything can be figured out.
And here is something we should impart to all of our children, especially our girls – take opportunities to fail. It is so important. If you are too afraid to fail, you won’t take chances and do the things that really scare you. And that is where the real success lies.
and you can find the trailer here: http://www.magnumopusmovie.com/trailer/ (sharing is caring, and every time a person shares or clicks buy, an attorney saves her soul).
Selyna and Marissa are Show Runners/Executive Producers of their YouTube Red show called Foursome. They sold their first show at 24 and they are going strong, making their unique mark in this business. They are prolific writers, passionate actors, and have just added Directors to their resumes.
And they have warned you, steer clear of the common table at Republic of Pie if you don’t want to get caught in their uproar.
Rachel is a Director and Writer. She has Directed many hours of television as well as films, and is currently developing the Lilly Ledbetter story for a feature film that she will also direct. Having been in this business since she was the voice of Lucy in the Peanuts cartoons, she has an important perspective on this business and where we are headed – for women in particular.
She has been directing television since Doogie Howser. And yet, she is asked to shadow before being hired. The hiring criteria for men and women is still different, and we are still operating under the myth that women in general need more training. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of female directors ready to work right now. No more training required. Let’s shift the focus away from more training and onto the people who hire to insist on more inclusion.
And you can sense an artist when you are talking to them.
Nicole is an Actor who also wrote and produced her webseries called Broken Hearts Division. You can find it here: www.brokenheartsdivision.com. It is hilarious, with a brilliant premise. There is a division of LAPD that prosecutes crimes of the heart. At least, there should be.
She came up through theatre and also advertising and marketing. All of her skills came together in producing the pilot to her series and launching a crowdfunding campaign.
We did this interview as a simulcast facebook live and Instagram live and it now lives on video on YouTube and you can watch it here: http://bit.ly/2zYt8CE
Alexia is a filmmaker, and a serious go-getter. She has made 10 films, including Adventures in Plymptoons!, Ginger Girls: The Secret Lives of Redheads, and Little Fishes. She is currently working on her new film called Fantastic Santa Monaco.
She started an art and film festival while she was still in college. She taught me a lot about social media. She is incredibly generous.
And she has the coolest car in the world.
You can find her and her projects here.
Alexandra is an Actor, Writer and Producer. She has two production companies – Mirror Tree Productions produces Horror Films and Mustard Seed Entertainment produces Faith-based Family Films. Because there is room for both.
She moved to Albuquerque and started producing and distributing independent films, which kept growing in size and budget as she got bigger and better deals.
Alexandra is also a key contributor to Ms in the Biz, which you can have a look at here.
And this – your poster is way more important than you think.
“Sometimes you have to deconstruct your life in order to reconstruct it.”
Jen McGowan is a film Director who directed the shorts Confessions of a Late Bloomer and Touch, and the feature film Kelly and Cal, which is a delicious movie that you can see on the streaming platforms. This film won the Gamechanger award at SXSW. She is currently finishing her next film called Rust Creek.
Jen is also the founder of the amazing group for women in this business called Film Powered – which she tells us all about.
If you are in LA in the film community, you have seen Jen everywhere lately. She has a big online platform, she is speaking on panels, she is doing the work. A somewhat reluctant activist, she is paving the way forward for the women behind her.
And this: As long as women don’t get to tell the stories, we will have no control over our destiny.
You can find Jen here.
Patty Jenkins talks with WIE Co-Founder Gretchen McCourt
On November 2nd, I went to the third annual Women In Entertainment Summit. I love this event.
The day started out with Geena Davis. The Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media Studies has provided a heap of data surrounding women and girls in media. She presented some data on the day, and as usual, representation of women on screen and behind the scenes are still dismally small. There are some very easy fixes however, and this is a point that really resonated with a lot of people.
She told us that Media can actually fix the problem is has created.
There was a also a lot of talk at the conference about the parts that we own - namely, confidence and advocacy.
On the side, we talked about #metoo.
During the lunch break I caught up with McKenna Koon and Dana Kelly who both work at FullScreen, and I talked with Shirley Davis, EVP of Production at Alcon Entertainment.
On this episode I share a lot of the high points and inspiration from the day – from women such as Geena Davis, Victoria Mahoney, Dee Rees, Jordyn Wieber, Christine Simmons, Gabrielle Carteris and Greta Gerwig.
It was a great day, and this is but a tip of the iceberg.
And my must see films list from the summit: LadyBird, Mudbound, Fear Us Women
Allison is the Director of Audience and Social Media at Tribeca Enterprises which runs the Tribeca Film Festival. She came up through social media marketing and communications before landing this, her dream job.
Consuming content is part of her job and she is passionate about it. We are living in these times of a constant national conversation, which is unprecedented, and which we should use for good. She is doing her part for diversity, inclusion, and representation while sometimes being the only person of color in the room.
We spoke during the same week as the tragedy in Charlottesville, so that definitely impacted our conversation.