Booked and Busy – Reflection and Appreciation [Women in Film]

I’m sure Ava Duvernay would approve! #DirectHER

I am super proud of the three projects I worked on during April.  I wrote and Directed one of the projects, Thug Motivation, which is currently in post.  I Produced To Each, Her Throne where we recently completed the shoot for our five-episode series. I was also selected to participate in the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge where I shot Behind-the-Scenes Photo / Video and managed the social media presence of Daughters of Solanas.  

To Each, Her Throne Film Crew – BTS, Post Shoot Group Shot – April 27, 2019.

Two of these projects had an entirely female cast and crew, and one was a culminating project for my Film Production II course at Rowan University.  In May, I’ll be participating in the College of Communication and Creative Arts Showcase and I’ll also be at the New Media Practicum Showcase debuting my Women in TV and Film project. I am scheduled to handle a project with Inspimind as well (details to follow).

This June, I will resume freelancing and I’m currently working out details to document the Veterans film premiere at the Broadway Theater in Pitman, NJ.  Be sure to bookmark this site and keep up on socials.  As always, I appreciate all of the encouragement and support.

BTS from Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference at Fairleigh Dickinson University – Inspimind Project, Dir of Photography

Briana M. Andrews with Inspimind staff at the Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference May 16, 2019

In recent weeks, I worked as the Director of Photography (DP) for the Fifth Annual Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference.  I supervised the interns, camera and light crew for the one-day, multi-cam shoot (currently in post).   This event was co-sponsored by Inspimind and took place at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.  This year’s theme was “Rompiendo Barreras” (breaking through).  The conference was open to high school students of Latino heritage and consisted of workshops about success, overcoming life hurdles, financing college and getting scholarships.

Group photograph at Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference at FDU Madison

Last year, I worked at Inspimind as an intern in Film Production and Multimedia.  In that capacity, I assisted with pre-production, onsite production, and post-production (editing and debrief meetings).  Other responsibilities included recording and editing footage, photography, assisting with the planning & scheduling of production shoots, and collaborating with the Content Development team.  I connected with Inspimind, not only as an employee, but on a personal level because I value their mission and witnessed firsthand all the amazing work they do in the community as an educational services non-profit.  I started out as an intern, but when I received the call to come back this year for a paid freelance opportunity supervising their new 2019 interns at the Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference, I jumped at the chance.  It was an amazing event!  Learn more about Inspimind.

Memorial Day 2019 – Upcoming Event, Veteran Short Film and TV Series – Photo, Video & Design Project

In honor of Memorial Day, I would like to thank all those who gave their lives so that we can live in a country where democracy is the shelter of freedom and peace.

Heroic Episodes – Logo for Short Film by Lisa Regina premiering at Broadway Theater.

I am pleased to introduce you to The Shades and Heroic Episodes, two short films made with our veterans, community members, advocates and survivors. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been extremely busy working in lockstep with the Director of this project, Lisa Regina.  I proudly support our veterans!  Thus far, working on this project commissioned by Regina’s non-profit organization, A Write to Heal 501(c)(3) has been an amazing experience where I learned about the personal stories of heroes who served in our armed forces.

From our pre-production meetings and grassroots marketing to location scouting, shot-list development and working to secure quotes from vendors, this was a multifaceted project that pulled from various skillsets.  I handled graphic design on the 16-page theater program which is finally off to print and I’ll be handling multi-cam videography and event photography at the premiere on June 2, 2019 at Broadway Theatre in Pitman, NJ.  Click here to learn more about the event and buy tickets on Eventbrite. 

The Shades & Heroic Episodes – Veterans short film and television series by Lisa Regina.

Officially a Rowan University Graduate, #RowanPROUD – Dean’s List, Cum Laude

I am officially a graduate of Rowan University!   Earlier this month, I completed my final undergraduate semester with a 3.9 GPA and 3rd consecutive placement on the Dean’s List.  Overall, I secured a degree with cum laude Latin honors.  I also managed to complete my degree in only three years resulting in savings of approximately $30k (not TUH-DAY Sallie Mae).  I received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Radio, Television and Film with a Production concentration, New Media minor and Public Relations and the News certificate of undergraduate study. 

I selected Rowan University because I wanted a hands-on television and film production degree, complimented by a new media communication program.  Rowan’s College of Communication and Creative Arts has a revered documentary program and I wanted to take classes alongside a group of students with roots in the Garden State that I feel represent the future of the industry.  I have no buyers-remorse and I am #RowanPROUD.  I made the most of my college experience and I’m excited for this next chapter in life.  

Campus Involvement:

  • Student Representative: Photo-Voice Cultural Dialogue Series (Fall 2017)
  • Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROS) – Office of Student Leadership Programs (Spring 2018)
  • Transfer Mentor – University Transfer Services (Spring 2018)
  • Digital Content Contributor – Office of Student Affairs (Fall 2018)
  • Leadership Committee – Resident Hall Association (Fall 2018)
  • Media Festival Associate / Event Photographer – College of Communication & Creative Arts (Fall 2018)
  • Epistoleus (PR & Social Media Chair) Theta Mu Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (2018-2019)
  • Historian – National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) (2018-2019)
  • Initiated Member – Sigma Zeta Chapter, Order of Omega (Greek Honor Society) (Spring 2019)

What Can People Do to Change Things? How Can I Help Women in TV and Film?

This is a very important question.  One that doesn’t have a straightforward answer.  It’s easy to slap together statistics to paint the dire picture of what is transpiring with women in the television and film industries.  However, generating a solution or corrective action plan isn’t quite so simple.  With the creation of Women in TV and Film, I was extremely cautious not to make this a finger-pointing, blame-game or pity-party because no one is rolling out the red carpet for us to access the boys club.  I wanted to highlight positive attributes and micro-level methods to evoke change that both you and I can implement NOW.  In the introductory stages of conceptualizing the project, I asked myself two fundamental questions:

  • What can I do to help?
  • How can I build awareness and change perception?

I don’t have money.  My career is still in infancy stages.  I don’t have the power to create macro-level change.

Do I delve into why things are the way they are, or do I paint a picture that visualizes HOW IT COULD BE?  I chose the latter.

My approach with this project was to:

  • Actively work in a filmmaker capacity
  • Work alongside other women in TV and Film
  • Showcase various women in TV and film through my social media and web platforms
  • Document the innerworkings of film sets with exclusively female cast and crews
  • Attend events, conferences and screenings that support female filmmakers
  • Network and build relationships with experienced women actively working in the industry
  • Develop a rolodex (contact list) of women that can fulfil various above and below-the-line roles for future usage, reference and recommendation
  • Show the world WOMEN MAKE MOVIES and WE ARE BADASS

Now, it’s YOUR TURN.

Companies:  You should HIRE female filmmakers.

Filmmakers: You should recommend female filmmakers and take steps to ensure you have an inclusive work environment.

Consumers: You should support, watch and buy diverse and inclusive projects.

We can talk about corporate big-wigs but the reality of the matter is CONSUMERS HOLD THE POWER.  When you buy food, you read the label.  Similarly, when watching shows and films … you should research the credits.  You should know about the content you are consuming.  Female filmmakers know about the problems that exist, however, a large chunk of the TV-watching and movie-going population are completely oblivious.  The program you love:

  • Did a woman write it?
  • Did a woman direct it?
  • Did a woman edit it?
  • Did a woman shoot it? 
  • How many women were involved in the production? 

The population is 50/50 and women represent roughly half of movie-goers but we have less screen-time and less control of the narrative.  YOU have the power to decide and evoke change.

THANK YOU – College of Communication & Creative Arts Showcase [BTS Photos] – REMINDER: Upcoming NMP Showcase

I’d like to provide a special thank you to everyone who visited my workstation May 4th at the CCCA Awards and Showcase.  The event served as awesome primer for the New Media Practicum showcase that will be taking place at Chamberlain Student Center from 10-1 PM on Tuesday May 7th, 2019.  I encourage you to attend; admission is free and open to the general public.  You will have the opportunity to see the Women in TV and Film new media project and mini-documentary showcasing my activities over the course of the semester. 

Here are a few images shared on social media during the event:

This subject is near and dear to my heart and the project demonstrates micro-level steps we can take as a community to ensure there is more diversity, inclusivity and representation in storytelling.  The feedback was overwhelming positive and the energy was lively during the event. The CCCA Showcase was particularly memorable for me since it was one of the few times during my undergraduate career where I experienced all majors from CCCA (biomedical art, public relations and advertising, journalism, communication studies etc.) under the same roof displaying their body of work.  If you missed it, you missed out – however, I’d love to see you on Tuesday at NMP.

Tomorrow, I will post an article on WomeninTVandFilm.com outlining things that filmmakers, businesses and consumers / viewers can do to support women in this profession. Stay tuned.

Boomerang Social Media Post, Originally Posted on Instagram During CCCA Event

What Were the BIGGEST CHALLENGES during the creation of Women in TV and Film? Project Completion [Reflection]

Funding limitations were one of the greatest challenges I experienced throughout the creation of the Women in TV and Film project.  One of the aspects that contributed to the success of the project was BEING THERE.  Enough footage exists on the market that I could have slapped together project from content curation alone, but I wanted to SEE, FEEL, TOUCH and make this experience REAL for myself and for anyone who views the project.  The need for female voices in television and film is heavily documented with articles and videos that address everything from gatekeepers and green-lighters to budgetary constraints and limited access.  However, Women in TV and Film is unique since it isn’t a perspective from the outside looking in.  Again, it was about BEING THERE.

Official Poster – Women in TV and Film – New Media Project and Mini Documentary. Designed by Briana M. Andrews.

If I had to summarize the challenges, it would come down to time and money.  I didn’t have all the time in the world to work on this project.  I submitted and defended my project proposal on February 14, 2019 and had roughly two months to take this from concept to completion with a tangible showcase-worthy project.  There were schedule and timeline tweaks and adjustments when reality set in with how much can realistically be accomplished within the allowed timeframe.  

Some of the investments made included gas, tolls (ugh, tolls), back-up batteries for my SLR, additional SD cards and the usual suspects, like my Adobe CC subscription.  I also had to combat loss of income, since I couldn’t actively freelance while simultaneously putting in long hours toward the Women in TV and Film project, and my directorial debut, Thug Motivation.  Leading up to April 2019, I resigned from my position as a Studio Photographer with Picture People since they needed someone with weekend availability, especially with the Easter holiday approaching.  I knew in advance I would have to spend each weekend in March and April either shooting, editing, designing graphics, or attending events and production meetings.

VROOOM – Time and Distance. How Much Did You Have to Travel to Pull Off the Women in TV and Film Project?

I am forever thankful for the opportunities that were presented over the course of this semester and took advantage of as many as I could.  I had to travel quite a bit and put a considerable amount of mileage on my car traveling back and forth between Manhattan and Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ (where I reside during the academic year).  My residence is in Northern NJ, relatively close to New York City.  My family … grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all in New York.  I luck out in a sense where there was always a local place to crash when I head into the city, but I also had classes and campus activities, so it was never long before I had to drive back to school.

Not-so-fun Facts: The Verrazano Bridge is $19.  There is an EZ-Pass toll discount, however it only applies to NY pass holders and the deep(er) discount is only for Staten Island Residents.  The Port Authority tolls (Goethals Bridge, Lincoln or Holland Tunnel) are $12.50 with the discount.  The NJ Turnpike Tolls vary anywhere between $5 and $11.  A typical trip from Rowan University (exit 3) to Lower Manhattan (exit 14C) can run about $11.  I took the train to Astoria, $17 round-trip on New Jersey Transit plus another $5.50 on the MetroCard for the MTA.

Location Details:

  • To Each Her Throne was shot in TriBeCa, NY
  • Daughters of Solanas was shot in Staten Island, NY (main shoot site and on-location cemetery site)
  • Women’s Weekend Film Challenge Pre-Production was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
  • Screening of Daughters of Solanas at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, NY
  • Girl Power Film and Media Summit was in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY

What is “Women in TV and Film” Anyway? Is it a Documentary or New Media Project?

Well, technically both.  The result of Women in TV and Film is a mini-documentary, however, it is very much an interactive new media project.  All connections were initially secured online, and I handled content curation and social media management for three profiles across two platforms, not including my personal page.  As of May 1, 2019, there were a total of 125 posts on social media from the accounts documented in this project.  There are also an additional 20 applicable category posts on this website.  Across all platforms, these posts include (but is not limited to) building awareness to the struggles for women in film, showcasing women in TV and film and motivation for female filmmakers. 

Women in TV and Film – New Media Practicum Project re: Female Filmmakers. What Do You Want to Ask Me?

The Women in TV and Film Project will showcase at the 2019 New Media Practicum Showcase at Rowan University next week.  After the premiere, I plan to post the mini-doc online and it will be embedded right here on this website.  I would like, however, to field questions from visitors so I can share my experiences and benefit from constructive criticism and feedback.  Feel free to comment, click the link for the contact box or DM me on social media.

I will use these messages to drive future blog posts and engage in dialogue about the status of women in the television in film industries.

Upcoming Events for Female Filmmakers (Festivals) – NYC

Graphic for Women’s Visionary Film Symposium

Women’s Visionary Film Symposium

Date: Thursday, May 30th – Sunday, June 2nd 2019

Location: CoSM: Chapel of Sacred Mirrors – 46 Deer Hill Rd., Wappinger, NY 12590

CoSM Women’s Visionary Film Symposium includes a four-day program jam-packed with student films, shorts and feature-length films from both new and established female artists making an impact in filmmaking.  The event will feature panels and workshops on crowdfunding, media funding and distribution, cinematography and camera work.

Graphic for WIFF – Women in Film & Entertainment Conference, Breaking Down Barriers

Women’s International Film and Arts Festival

Date: Thursday, June 6th – Sunday, June 9th 2019

Location: AMC Empire 25 – 234 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036

WIFF2019 includes 40+ films, a conference, Sunday Awards brunch and more.  This organization is known for its efforts to empower women’s visions and voices in film, television and entertainment. This event will include a Women in Film & Entertainment Conference and panels featuring some of the top women and men in the industry.