Monthly Check in – March!

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What is Patronage + Site Tour

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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Taking Advantage of Loved Ones

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What can you do to network and hone skills without COMPLETELY taking advantage of friends and family?— Meg

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Let’s do this as a LISTICLE. Also known as a fucking list. 

  1. Take classes, take classes, take classes. You are a work in progress, always. You have things to learn, forever. So get your ass in a class. I’m currently taking voice lessons, horseback riding lessons, and scene study once a week. I also do workshops periodically for direct feedback from casting directors (I aim for 2-4 a month). I’ve previously maxed out improv at UCB, done comedy study and scene study with a whole LOT of teachers in LA, worked on different methods / styles of acting, and probably a lot more I’m forgetting. Don’t shirk. Do the work.
  2. Make your own stuff. You learn so much by grabbing a camera and pointing it, so do that. Photography helps hone your eye, so practice that too. You aren’t taking advantage of anyone if they want to help! 
  3. Grab books from the library about every disciple of filmmaking you might touch. If you want to be a director, you need to learn about acting, writing, editing, cinematography, etc. If you want to edit, you need to learn about acting, writing, IMPROV AND COMEDY for pacing. If you want… You get the idea. Study it all. Know who everyone else is and what they do, that way you can talk to them in their terms. 
  4. Shadow people. Find a mentor, even if it’s online, and try to connect once a month or so. Get their feedback; if you can show them work, do it. 
  5. Find an online community. Stareable has wonderful forums that are available for people to connect, ask questions, and learn. 
  6. Balance yourself. Allow yourself to be more than just filmmaking too. Have other interests that overlap with your friends’ and family’s interests. This is one piece of you, not the whole thing! Make your balance and protect that.

Audition: Abigail

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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – How to Handle Stress (on set or off)

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Patron Day!

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#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Special Oscar Edition… What Are You Wearing?

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What’s your take on the controversy over whether to ask women what/who they’re wearing in red carpet interviews?

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I think there need to be other questions asked in addition to “who are you wearing”. 

The question comes from a relationship that actors / talent / Hollywood has with designers; designers provide these expensive garments for free for the exposure and the name dropping. It’s an old relationship that Hollywood has used for years and years; it’s not for me to say whether or not I agree with it, it is what it is. 

However.

who cares who we’re wearing!

It is exclusively women who are reduced to questions about their appearance. Men rarely, if ever, have to field “who are you wearing” questions because their persona does not revolve around their appearance. And that’s fucked up. 

Red carpets interviewers receive limited time — sometimes very limited. Stars are ushered from stop to stop and bigger outlets receive more face to face time with bigger stars. So “who are you wearing” tends to be the first question because it’s part of the wardrobe deal — the talent needs to name drop. They need time to do that. If you don’t get it out fast, you’ve missed an opportunity to do your job and if the interviewer doesn’t ask, odds are that the next awards show that celeb is going to be ushered right by that news outlet by her publicist. See the problem?

I personally don’t mind asking about an ensemble; for centuries, women have been limited in their self expression to their dress (if that, in some cultures & places) and fashion absolutely has artistic merit. It is not MY personal art form, but I can appreciate it. But “Who designed this” should be followed by “what do you like about it” or “what drew you to this”… and then (call me radical) THE WORK THE WOMAN ACTUALLY DOES. Or a book she’s reading. Or, or, or. Don’t just pan up & down her body and call it an interview. 

#FemaleFilmmakerFriday – Battle of the Writers

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I suppose it does happen that the director and screenwriter are two different people? In such case, is the writer required on set, or is his job limited to just the writing? — Spidernana93

The director and writer are VERY OFTEN not the same person. And this question has two completely different answers based on whether we are talking about film or television. The golden rule is:

On a film set, the director is king. The writers are either not invited / allowed on set at all or they aren’t really giving much feedback. Their job, at that point, is done. 

On a television set, the writer is king. Writers, on TV shows, are also producers (after a certain level), which means their word is …not law, because they have bosses too, but you get the idea. A TV director is a hired hand and he absolutely has a lot of say in a lot of things, but at the end of the day, Writer = Producer = Big Cheese.

As film & tv get blurrier and blurrier, I imagine there will be a shift, if there hasn’t already been. I think TV writers will start to expect more of a say in film and film directors doing episodes of TV will want more authority over their sets. Years ago, film & tv didn’t really mingle; it was really hard for a TV actor to “make the jump” to film. Big directors didn’t take the step down to work television. But now… everything’s different. I think right now it’s still a “big get” for a television show to invite a film director on, but I don’t think that will be the case forever. TV is big money and it’s prestigious now, so there is ever more competition. I’m curious to see how this winds up shaking out!

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Top Five Reasons to Support Artists

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