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.

Women in Film – Meet the Team Behind Female-Centric Docuseries “To Each, Her Throne” (Part 1)

Last night, we finished shooting season one of To Each, Her Throne. TEHT is a female-centric docuseries where diverse women participate in discourse about preferences, views and struggles in today’s society. This project was partially funded by an IndieGogo campaign which secured over $2000 from 44 backers. Each episode will focus on a different obstacles and how it affects the everyday life of a woman. Learn more about the project here. Visit the Instagram account here.

To Each, Her Throne – Docuseries Graphic

Below, meet some of the talented women behind To Each, Her Throne.

Giovanni Jackson is the DP on To Each, Her Throne.

Giovanni Jackson – Director of Photography – To Each, Her Throne

Giovanni is an NYU Tisch alumni who majored in film and television. Her passion is being a writer and videographer. She also loves to travel and make new experiences for storytelling.

Julie Gribble is a Producer on To Each, Her Throne.

Julie Gribble – Producer, To Each, Her Throne

After 19 years and 2 Emmy nominations in sound mixing, Julie left a successful career at NBC Universal to launch New York Media Works, LLC, a creative production company which provides content for New Media, Film, Television, Theater and Publishing and creates “street docs” – short films that document citizen action.  As a screenwriter and independent filmmaker with strong storytelling skills and technical ability, she provides narrative fiction and documentary content for NYMW projects. Her specialties include writing, directing, and producing narrative films.

Morgan Jones is the Sound Mixer on To Each, Her Throne.

Morgan Jones – Sound Mixer, To Each, Her Throne


Morgan is a sound artist from Milwaukee. She loves to record, mix and edit sound. She also loves experimental cinema.

Victoria Lewis is the Gaffer on To Each, Her Throne

Victoria Lewis – Gaffer. To Each, Her Throne

Victoria Lewis is a New York based creative: photographer/lighting tech. As a photographer she specializes in portraits of young people of color. She upholds a high level of sensitivity for her subjects, and high attention to detail to achieve accurate skin coloring. This plays right into her work as a video lighting tech, in which she blends colors to create great lighting for skin. She also focuses on storytelling via color. Victoria currently works at a digital media company as a studio manager, and her biggest goal is sharing her knowledge as a visual artist with the youth.

Women in Film, Meet the Team Behind Drama-Comedy Short, Daughters of Solanas (Part 3)

Here is the 3rd and final installment of Behind the Scenes – Meet the Team from Daughters of Solanas.   If you missed the last post, check it out by clicking here.  You can also visit the Instagram and Facebook pages.  Be on the lookout for upcoming posts to Meet the Team Behind Female-Centric Docuseries, To Each, Her Throne produced by BibbyFame Digital, LLC’s own Briana M. Andrews.

Angele Cooper, Director – Daughters of Solanas.

Angele Cooper is the Director of Daughters of Solanas. Angele is the co-founder of Alpha Female Films and the only African American female union electrician working within IATSE’s New York Local 52. She stays abreast of the latest technology and tools and has played many roles from Gaffer to Best Boy. She developed a love for film and writing while attending the University of Texas at Austin on a full athletic scholarship. Her recent credits include Gotham (Fox), Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, and Day 5 (Rooster Teeth).

Jennifer Liu, First Camera Assistant – Photo by Briana M. Andrews April 6, 2019

Jennifer Liu is the 1st AC for Daughters of Solanas. Born and raised in Queens, NY, Jennifer got her start by teaching Photography.  She was trained on 16mm and DP’ed her first film at 16.  She is also a talented gaffer, 1st and 2nd AC.  She has DP’ed over a half dozen projects as half of the Take Two XX Duo.  You can learn more about Jennifer by visiting www.TakeTwoXX.com

Mayunah Kelly, 2nd AC – Daughters of Solanas

Mayunah Kelly is the 2nd AC for Daughters of Solanas. She is an aspiring DP from Orange, NJ who freelances as a photographer. She is also a graduating senior at Montclair State University. She grew up in Orange, NJ. Few fun facts at Mayunah: She hates cheese but loves pizza.

Asha Smith, Make Up – Daughters of Solanas.

Asha Smith is the MUA who handled Make Up for Daughters of Solanas.  Her experience is so extensive, it’s difficult for her to summarize, however … you can visit her website, www.facesbyasha.com for a comprehensive overview containing bio, reel and portfolio. Fun fact about Asha: She has hardcore aerial hobbies: Lyra, Fabrics, Pole.

Briana Andrews, BTS Photo / Video & Socials – Daughters of Solanas

Briana M. Andrews handles BTS Photo / Video and Social Media for the Daughters of Solanas.  The owner of BibbyFame Digital, LLC, Briana freelances in photography, videography and editing. She also works as a studio photographer in a retail setting and is a graduating senior at Rowan University. Fun fact about Briana: She loves sushi and tacos.

Upcoming Events for Women in Film (Festivals) – NY & PA

Be sure to check out these upcoming events in the New York City and Philadelphia area.  Established and aspiring female filmmakers alike can benefit from these opportunities to network, learn, engage and support fellow women in television and film.       

#WeWatch by Harlem Film House

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019 – 6:30 PM

Location: National Black Theater Inc. – 2031 5th Avenue – Floor 3R, New York, NY 10035

The Harlem Film House Inc is a 501(c)(3) organization holding an event where donations are used to help fund and provide resources for independent filmmakers.  This organization is known for operating year-round workshops and offering consulting to filmmakers and content creators in underserved communities.

Sisters in Film & Television [SIFT]

Date: Saturday, April 27, 2019 – 5:00 PM

Location: HipCinema Labs @ Mt. Airy Nexus – 520 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Check out this collaborative fundraiser to spark investment in local Black Women in film.  This event supports the works of 3 female filmmakers in Philadelphia, PA. The goal of Sisters in Film & Television [SIFT] is to “amplify the work of and create opportunities for Black Women content creators.”

Daughters of Solanas Film Screened at Museum of Moving Image

Briana M. Andrews at George’s Kaufman Astoria Studios after the screening of Daughter’s of Solanas at the Museum of Moving Image

I had an incredible time working on Daughters of Solanas with the talented Team Banks cast and crew for the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge. Creating a film with a diverse group of women in each role above-the-line and below-the-line was something on my filmmaker bucket list for quite some time.

Our dramedy-short film premiered at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, New York on Thursday, April 18, 2019 with an after-party at George’s at Kaufman Astoria Studios. I’m proud of our work and can’t wait for the festival submissions to see this project really take flight. I’m Producer for To Each, Her Throne which is another project with an all-female cast and crew, slated for shoot next weekend.

Increasing diversity in storytelling, inclusion and representation in TV/Film are causes near and dear to my heart, and also a major part of our mission here at BibbyFame Digital, LLC. I am grateful for having the opportunity to work with so many skilled and experienced women in the industry.

[MAPR Book Review] New Rules of Marketing and Public Relations for Filmmakers and Content Creators

I recently finished reading the sixth edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile, Applications, Blogs, News Releases / News Jacking & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott.  In my MAPR blog posts, I detailed various sections of this book (and others) while extracting useful information for filmmakers and content creators.  Here I am now with the full book review *drum-roll please*.  The New Rules of Marketing and PR is amazing for informational purposes and historical context.  There are many examples, real stories, case-studies and accounts from the author and his colleagues.  This book has no shortage of details on Meerman Scott’s experiences and business dealings.  On the flip-side, this book is only lukewarm with providing practical applications for readers. 


Graphic for social media, online video, mobile and going viral

New Rules is a notoriously successful guide and continues to evolve since it was first published in 2007.  The book is overly long and contains a lot of filler and fluff, but is otherwise well-written.  The title of the book is: The New Rules of Marketing and PR.  The sub-title of the book is: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile, Applications, Blogs, News Releases / News Jacking & Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly.  This says a mouthful, and as I read the book, it became increasingly apparent that the main title and sub-title warranted the creation of two separate books.  I understand having all items in one title can make buyers feel like there is increased value, however, it created organizational challenges and made the book feel like a maze.  It isn’t discombobulated, but it didn’t feel concise.  I can appreciate Meerman Scott’s attempt to compartmentalize the content, but I feel like this should be TWO SEPARATE BOOKS.  Part I contains the overview and how the web has changed the rules of marketing and PR.  Part II introduces and provides details about various media.  Part III contains how-to information and an action plan for usage of the rules.  After finishing the book, Part I is the strongest and where the author shines the most.  Part III is the weakest (based on what is available in the market for how-to guides).  Part II is unnecessary since the content is already scattered throughout Part I and III making the section more redundant than enlightening. 

Book Cover for David Meerman Scott’s New Rules

I am very happy about having the digital, Kindle version of the book because it contains hyperlinks where you can jump from one area of the book to another.  I felt like I had to do that an awful lot.  For example, buyer personas is introduced and discussed at length in chapter 3, but implementation, usage and associated links for buyer personas were placed in chapter 10.  Chapter 3 references (and links) chapter 10, and vice versa … when you get to chapter 10 you are pointed back to vital associated information in chapter 3.  There was a lot of back and forth, and the content was somewhat repetitious.  In short, I am not a fan of the zig-zagging.  I read this book for my graduate-level Online Public Relations class and initially didn’t understand our jumping around in the text for our lectures (chapter 6 paired with chapter 16, chapter 7 paired with chapter 17) etc.   As I read the book, it became increasingly apparent why this was necessary.

Key Takeaways:

  • The web has made public relations PUBLIC again.  Before, emphasis was almost exclusively placed on the media, but now, organizations communicate directly with their audience.
  • The web is about INTERACTION, INFORMATION EDUCATION and CHOICE

In conclusion, I WOULD recommend this book to businesses and non-profit organizations with a dedicated budget who seek to increase online presence, communicate directly with customers, and enhance sales conversions.  I WOULD NOT recommend this book to individuals and freelancers since it isn’t really geared toward DIYers.  I also wouldn’t recommend it to people who are already experienced in online marketing since they don’t stand to benefit from all of the primer; much of the content would appear to be common sense.  For future editions of this book, I would love to see some content reorganization or a breakout title dedicated to “how-to” and applications.

Women in Film, Meet the Team Behind Drama-Comedy Short, Daughters of Solanas (Part 2)

From a historical perspective, are you familiar with Valerie Solanas?  She is widely known as the radical feminist behind the SCUM Manifesto.  There is an American Horror Story on Solanas where her beliefs and the infamous shooting of Andy Warhol are detailed.  While she denied SCUM being an acronym, it was referred to as the “Society for Cutting Up Men.”

Daughters of Solanas is a short, dramedy film about a group of friends who innocently become followers in a cult. It isn’t long before things get out of their control. The film, created as part of the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge is screening tonight at the Museum of Moving Image in New York. Here is the Part II of the blog post containing profiles and some fun facts about some of the women involved in the creation of the film. Click here for Part 1.  You can also visit the Instagram and Facebook pages.

Team Banks, Cast and Crew of Female Filmmakers for Daughters of Solanas – Women’s Weekend Film Challenge. Photo by Briana M. Andrews April 6, 2019.
Jodi Savitz, DP/Cinematographer – Daughters of Solanas

Jodi Savitz is the DP/Cinematographer for the Daughters of Solanas. She is a director and cinematographer based in New York City who specializes in documentary, narrative and branded content. A graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Communications, she started her career as an actress before transitioning into filmmaking. Her feature documentary, GIRL ON GIRL, received viral attention for its coverage of the LGBTQ community.  Jodi currently works with NBC Left Field as a cinematographer and investigative video journalist. Learn more by visiting her website: www.jodisavitz.com

Casey Killoran, Assistant Director – Daughters of Solanas

Casey Killoran is the Assistant Director for Daughters of Solanas.  She is a television, film and stage actress and filmmaker. Casey received her MFA from NYU Tisch Graduate Acting Program where she became known for her ballsy portrayals and nuanced performances. Her film and TV credits include Shades of Blue (NBC), Sex in the City (HBO), The Zebra Room (Reinaldo Marcus Green), and her first self-produced feature film Viral Beauty. She also completed, Let Me Leave, a short film about regretting motherhood, co-staring Marc Menchaca (Ozark).

Lillie McDonough, Composer, Daughters of Solanas

Lillie McDonough is the Composer for the Daughters of Solanas. She works as a composer on indie films and games. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU. Fun fact about Lillie: Her dad was an astrologer when she was growing up.

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Katie Dickinson, Production Assistant – Daughters of Solanas.

Katie Dickinson is the Production Assistant for Daughters of Solanas. She is the co-artistic director of APT Theater, and also an actor and playwright branching into film. She has a web-series playing 80’s Shelley Duvall as if she had a never-aired cooking show.

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Chantel Simpson, Writer – Daughters of Solanas

Chantel Simpson is a Writer for Daughters of Solanas. She is a writer and documentary director / producer from Brooklyn, NY. You can learn more by visiting her website: www.thelenswoman.com

[MAPR Blog Post] Digital Video in a Viral World: Filmmaker Turns the Lens

The internet is built on video! Video has changed the way we capture, create and consume content from websites, blogs and social media. Fun fact: One of my first personal video cameras was a Flip Ultra HD when I was in middle school. The device allowed two hours of HD video, came with proprietary editing software, was battery-operated and cost less than $200. It was quite innovative at the time since smartphones weren’t equipped with HD video capabilities (or the space / speed required). Times have since changed and video capabilities are accessible by everyone. The fact that online video is a great way to connect with your audience and develop a following is undeniable.

Video in a Viral World Graphic

We all turn to images where numbers or words can’t get the job done. The concept of storytelling through photographs is nothing new. Photographs are compelling content, and this basically explains the popularity behind image sharing services like Pinterest and Instagram. There is a saying, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” In contrast, I would imagine a video is worth 100,000 words *snickers*. Funny enough as a content creator and filmmaker, my emphasis was never on personal videos, being a vlogger or YouTuber per se. I used visual storytelling to promote companies and causes, but me? Meh. Not so much. I spend much more time behind the camera than in front of it. I named this post “filmmaker turns the lens,” because I literally had to shoot myself … with the camera, what did you think I was talking about?

Screen-grab from Briana M. Andrews – Television Academy Foundation internship finalist video interview

Okay, story-time … recently, I was selected as a finalist for the Television Academy Foundation internship in Interactive Media (New Media / Social). This category blends my talents and interests because it’s a hybrid of photo, video, text, mobile, audio, social, animated-GIFs and EVERYTHING THAT SPARKLES. From what I hear, the candidates are selected by the same panel that pick Emmy winners. Nonetheless, I was super excited to even make the final round. Here’s the catch, one of the final requirements in request of consideration for the position is the completion of a web interview. When I tell you I had HireVue flashbacks … OMG. I hate it.

I learned something from the experience, though.  I am never the subject of my own videos!  I need to address this head-on and get as comfortable in front of the camera as I am behind it. In this week’s lecture, Professor Dunnington played a video clip from Amy Schmittauer.  Her book, Vlog like a Boss is next up on my reading list.

Let’s get away from me being a deer-in-headlights while in front the camera for a moment and revisit the importance of video content.  Below are a few highlights from two Dunnington lectures (on Digital Video and Vlogs, and Communicating with Images and Video in a Mobile and Viral World) and from David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Photos and videos resonate with your audience MUCH MORE than text
  • People who write good captions and headlines improve SEO and capture good readership
  • Use photos that support the text … and write text that support the photo.
  • If you create an interesting story, others will share it for you.
  • When an idea takes off online, it can catapult your brand.
  • Find topics that interest you and pick subjects organically; don’t script things.
  • Videos WILL HELP introduce people to your business.
  • Use descriptive words (keywords) in file names. 

I recently finished reading the David Meerman Scott book and wrote a review.  Be on the lookout for that.  I am also attending the screening for our film, Daughters of Solanas tonight at the Museum of Moving Image in New York.  Bookmark my page and be on the lookout for updates.  Take care.

Thug Motivation: Drama Short – Written and Directed by Briana M. Andrews

I am pleased to introduce you to Thug Motivation. This is a drama short-film written and directed by (me) Briana M. Andrews, Rowan University senior and owner of BibbyFame Digital, LLC. The shoot took place over the weekend, and it was a awesome demonstration of teamwork and resourcefulness.

BTS Social Video Clip – Thug Motivation shoot

This story is an actor’s plea for “less thug, more motivation.” The protagonist, Kevin, played by Howie Jones, senior Computer Science major at Rowan University expresses frustration because he is a classically trained actor, however, he’s routinely cast and sent on auditions for demeaning roles which he reluctantly accepts. During this contentious meeting with the casting director, he lashes out about degrading role offers and visualizes inspirational, thought-provoking roles that contribute to humanity.

Gang-members and thug roles are disproportionately played by black actors. However, this isn’t reflective of the actual demographics of American gangs. While Thug Motivation shares the story of one actor, it serves as a launchpad for discussion on casting directors engaged in type-casting, limited role opportunities, inadequate African-American representation in film and potential societal implications from such imagery.

  • Production Title: Thug Motivation
  • Union/Non-Union: Non-Union
  • Production Type: Independent / Student
  • Project Length: Short (5 minutes)

I submitted this screenplay for consideration earlier this semester and in recent weeks, I presented the look-book and defended the film concept. There was no budget for this film, however, campus resources were at our disposal for equipment. For the film setting, we converted an 8-max group study room at Campbell Library into a convincing office location. I am extremely proud of the entire team. I also appreciate their open-mindedness and willingness to wear several hats to pull this off successfully.

Crew Group Photo – Thug Motivation Short – Rowan University Film Production II RTF
  • Director / Writer: Briana M. Andrews
  • AD: Ryan Baitinger
  • DP: Bill Kosturko
  • Producer: Kyle Cann
  • Prod. Manager: Anthony Mitchell

[MAPR Book Review] Social PR Secrets for Filmmakers and Content Creators

CONTENT IS KING! I enjoy reading titles with actionable, real-world tactics and extracting elements for creatives occupying digital space, particularly filmmakers. I’d like to share my review on the fourth edition of Lisa Buyers’ Social PR Secrets: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize Your Brand. I recently devoured the Kindle edition of this field guide on public relations, social media and digital marketing. I recommend checking out, it’s an easy read with strategies for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Public Relations Impact Graphic – Social Media and Digital Marketing.

Social PR Secrets packs 32 chapters, yet remains a relatively simple and quick read with short, easily-digestible chapters.  Buyers personalizes each chapter and often details her experience while offering examples and leaning on associated subject matter experts.  She provides historical context, the current state and best practices.  She also outlines tools such as Xtensio.com and Hubspot to create free persona profiles, tools like Paper.Li and Scoop.It for content curation tailored to your audience and ScribeContent.com for content optimization, search engine visibility and social sharing.

From the standpoint of a creative filmmaker who blends art with digital media, below are several excerpts from Social PR Secrets that are poised to assist with the development of an online strategy:

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Awesome content lasts forever
  • Stay fresh, find inspiration
  • Create materials and content that addresses the needs of your audience
  • Think like your audience, create a persona profile for your audience

Another key takeaway that I felt was important to point out for creatives is to “Skip self-promotion and find your passion points.”  For instance, Red Bull rarely talks about their drink, rather, it details the passion that connects the brand to their audience and living life to the extreme.  For another example, I recall a recent ad slot by Bumble app starring Serena Williams.  The commercial never referenced what the product is, rather, it details an ideology – one that supports women taking the first move in work, love and life.  The message resonated with me, and prompted me to research the company.  It is important not to get so caught up in the act of promoting your services and accomplishments that you overshadow what the brand represents.

CONTENT CREATION CHECKLIST

  • Make sure your message is REAL and AUTHENTIC
  • Use VISUALS to illustrate your message
  • Ensure the content has a CLEAR VALUE PROPOSITION
  • Offer a clear next step or CALL TO ACTION

TYPES OF CONTENT TO DRIVE MORE TRAFFIC (50 different types listed in Ch. 4)
Video, How-To, Email Campaigns, Events, Promotions, Live Chats, Guides, Infographics, Blog Posts, Interactive Content, Interviews, Tweets, Photo Galleries

Personally, I love that Social PR Secrets offers a comprehensive list of free graphic and image sources.  I also like that Buyers’ chapters are broken down by subject and platform.  The book has a list of bullets in almost every chapter making the material visually scannable, which makes for great reference document.  I finished reading the book, but will definitely revisit.  In short, I recommend this book (especially the digital version for search-ability and hyperlinks) and encourage you to check it out.