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Posts Tagged ‘women in hollywood’

My featured Guest Blogger is Cady McClain.  I met Cady through a mutual friend from my childhood and boy am I glad that she reached out!  We connected through our shared interest and passion for women’s voices and representation in the field of arts, both visual and performing.  My video post on balancing the genders in the arts connected us online and I am so inspired and excited about the powerfully awesome documentary film that Cady is directing, writing, and producing along with Kate Super.  I promise, you will feel inspired and like me, looking forward to the release of her film.  Thank you Cady for being you and sharing your inspiration here and with the world!
Cady’s Blog Post:
For the past five months, I’ve had the honor and privilege of getting to interview women who direct film, television, and theater for a documentary I am working on called Seeing Is Believing: Women Direct. I’d like to share with you a little bit about a couple of women I’ve spoken to in order to give you a bit of the inspiration I’m enjoying!
Leah Meyerhoff is the founder of a group called “Film Fatales,” and graduated from NYU Film School with an amazing film called I Believe in Unicorns, a coming of age story filmed so sensitively, so creatively, I practically felt like she was whispering to my inner teenager. Film Fatales consists of female filmmakers who create “peer-to-peer mentorship” by meeting once a month at each others’ houses and participating in conversations that help each host with a topic related to the project on which she is currently working. This organization is also making a mark on the Independent film scene with its outreach programs and support of filmmakers on the circuit. I admire Leah so much I was practically shaking when I met her, but by the end of our conversation I felt quite at ease. She’s that kind of person. Incredibly well-spoken and clear, thoughtful and kind, super organized (which I loved), and without the slightest tinge of bitterness for the gender bias that is so rampant in our industry. She says that she “took the script and flipped it,” and I love that expression. Instead of identifying herself as being at the hand of gender discrimination, she proudly took on the label of “woman director” and created a whole movement of creative women who are now all owning their gender status and creating flourishing careers. I am proud to say I am now a fellow fatale!
 
Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 8.02
 (This is Leah Meyerhoff with a traveling coffee mug that looks like a camera lens. A gift from me to her as a “thank you” for her wise words and journey!)
I also got to interview Deborah Kampmeier  whose first film, Virgin, had a huge run on the festival circuit, and whose second film, Hounddog, caused an international scandal due to its subject matter: the rape of a child. Honestly, I was very concerned myself about watching the film, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a beautiful film and nothing like what it was made out to be. Sensitively done, considerate and respectful to the issue of sexuality in a developing girl, and surprisingly insightful into female sexuality. Deborah works with a passionate authenticity and a deep respect of her and others “womanhood.” She understands things about being a woman that I never heard anyone say, or even suggest. Listening to her talk I was brought to tears by her commitment to her artistry, and her passion for her unique vision. Her work is daring, original, and important, and reminded me that I must take risks in my own work, despite everything.
Deborah
(This is a shot of my interview with Deborah, taken while playing back on my big screen TV!)
I think that is what really inspires me the most: women committing to their unique vision, despite all. No matter what anyone says, no matter what the statistics are, they persevere, the drive forward. Sure, everybody gets afraid sometimes. But these women (and many more) don’t submit to the fear. They continue to stay above water and true to themselves. There’s no being shut down by “the business” and all that talk about how you “have to compromise.” No mam. They talk about being clear about who they are, what they love, and how to work in spite of the obstacles.
And that’s inspiring stuff!
Here’s a link to a promo about the film: https://vimeo.com/145945236
And to the films’ FB page: https://www.facebook.com/WomenDirectors
Cady
(And this is me with Mr. Peanut, my loyal and loving super buddy.)
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When I met Courtney at a dinner party last year, I instantly knew that I had met a true soul sister.  We chatted about some of my most valued and favorite topics: our dogs, art and painting, writing and living an examined life.  I have always admired women writers, women screenwriters and women directors~ especially women writer-directors breaking down barriers in Hollywood~ all heroines in my book!  Here’s to Courtney’s Top 10 things that she is grateful for: it’s honest, real and amazing! Thank you Courtney, you rock sister!  Cheers!

CourtneyDanielsshootingondrivewayCourtney directing on set.

  1. Jimmy, my husband. He believes in me, and when he gets excited about my writing, it gets me excited about my writing.
  2. Working with friends. Shooting with people you know and enjoy, that you have a history with, makes every step of the process more fun.
  3. My dogs. As with all animals, each is a character. I like taking breaks from work to pet them and hang out with them.
  4. Others’ feedback. It’s helpful to hear which parts of my writing resonate with readers/viewers and which don’t.
  5. The things other people make—paintings, music, books, movies. When Steven Soderbergh was accepting an award for one of his films, he commented, “Art makes life worth living.” Trying to imagine life without the arts is like trying to imagine the planet without trees.
  6. Doing a mix of things makes me happier than spending too much time and energy on only one thing or another.
  7. Iced matcha lattes. I drink two a day. I’m so addicted to this healthy ‘treat,’ and the matcha powder is so expensive, that I lick any undissolved grains of it off the bamboo whisk and glass the way people in movies rub grains of leftover cocaine into their gums.
  8. The wisdom of others. Reading books like “The War of Art” and “The Alchemist,” and clipping interviews of successful people talking about the lessons they learned on their journey helps me feel less alone and it fortifies me to keep working. Current favorite bit of wisdom: “Do not look back. And do not dream about the future, either. It will neither give you back the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams. Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now.” (Dag Hammarskjold, “Markings”)
  9. Tracy Anderson. I’ve done a lot of different types of workouts and I think hers are the most efficient way to get in the best shape of your life. I will probably never do anyone else’s workouts. They make me feel great, and energized, and better able to tackle film production, which is draining.
  10. I’m grateful to God. Obviously I don’t know if there really is a God, but I choose to have faith, because I would rather have the comfort it provides than not. Some people don’t need it, which I get and respect. But it has helped me a lot, having God to talk to when I need strength or courage to keep taking risks. I feel like everything is a risk—even the smallest step can make you feel vulnerable and exposed to rejection and disappointment. To keep taking small and big steps every day… well, I think this is why L.A. people are famously “woo-woo.” Most of us need a lot of faith (or other coping strategies, like meditation, yoga, etc.) to keep moving forward.

CourtneyDanielspicforIMDBCourtney Daniels grew up in Houston, attended the University of Texas at Austin, and lives in Los Angeles. After writing feature screenplays on spec for several years, she wrote and directed a short film that premiered at LA Shorts Fest. She then made a feature, “What Other Couples Do,” which premiered at the Pasadena film festival. Courtney writes about people, books and things on her site, Sugarinsixtyseconds.com, and is currently shooting the pilot episode of a web series she’s writing. Her film, “What Other Couples Do,” can be streamed on Amazon and on the indie film subscription site, Fandor.com.

   www.Sugarinsixtyseconds.com

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