Adapted from the Virgil Women in Film Questionnaire.
- Tell us your overall experience working in the film industry. Have you experienced any challenges? If so, how did you overcome/manage to solve the problems/issues?
Future Weather was the first feature film I produced, so I had the good fortune of not knowing what I didn’t know. It was also Jenny’s first feature, so together we embarked on the journey of making the film without being saddled with the feelings of “that never works” or “that’s impossible.” Every roadblock we encountered - and there were countless - we found a way around. I’ve tried to bring this moxie and relentless problem-solving spirit to the subsequent productions I’ve worked on.
- What lessons/experiences you have learned that ultimately helped you succeed in the film industry?
Trust your gut. Don’t be a jerk. Show up for people. Be trustworthy. These are valuable rules to follow in life, and certainly in order to succeed in the film business. Show business feels enormous, but it’s ultimately a close community. Good reputations precede you just like the not-so-good ones. As a filmmaker you will contribute your creativity, hard work, finances, sweat, tears and endless sacrifices into your work - take seriously the time and talent that everyone else on your team (from the PAs to the lead actors) is giving to your project as well. You will attract intelligent and compassionate collaborators and your work and life will be better for it.
- What advice do you give other aspiring female filmmakers/producers?
Be fearless about getting your work out into the world. Lean In and other similar sources share the oft-quoted statistic that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. I’m guilty of this and I’ve also seen it many times with insanely gifted female filmmakers. I do believe there is a wave of change brewing that is buoyed by women inspiring and empowering other women with bold work, but we still have much work to do. My advice for aspiring female filmmakers is to try to silence the voices urging them to chase perfection, or that 100% qualification mark. Know that you have skills to offer and put yourself out there in ways that push outside your comfort zone. Take the reins of your career - work hard, create, shoot, collaborate with people that inspire you and don’t take no for an answer.