Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several exciting film projects. In addition to my personal ventures, I was on the crew for a few others, including student projects for fellow MFA candidates. There are two projects I’d like to share details on. First, because I am super proud of the outcome, and secondly, since both films were directed by women. In recent weeks, there was quite the uproar about the industry’s lack of gender parity and female filmmakers being snubbed by the Oscars and Golden Globes. Here are two projects from upcoming women in film to be on the lookout for:
The first project, Final Beat was directed by Elon Riley. I was the first assistant camera (1st AC / focus puller) for this film.
The second project Break Point was written and directed by Melissa Witherspoon. I was cast as the actress in this film; I’m usually behind the camera but I was able to flex some acting chops here.
I’ll share more details about release as information becomes available.
Check out the official trailer for “To Each, Her Throne.”
Each, Her Throne is a five-episode
web docuseries bringing together women from different ages, backgrounds,
sexualities, religions, races and ethnic groups. This is a female-centric
project boasting an all-female cast and crew.
Thus far, support for the
project has been overwhelmingly positive, partially securing funding through a
successful IndieGogo campaign with over 40 backers. Under the artistic direction of Danielle
Privat, the cast came together for judgement-free discourse on the female
experience, with the goal of breaking societal mandates.
Be on the lookout for
the dates of our upcoming screening in NYC and project release.
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:
in a filmmaker capacity
Work alongside other
women in TV and Film
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from To Each, Her Throne. I am incredibly excited and thankful for the opportunity to Produce this series. I am pleased with how everything turned out thus far; our guests were amazing and I cannot wait to share this project with the world. Check out these BTS pics from the shoot by Photographer, Victoria Lewis @veedotk.
Our shoot of To Each, Her Throne took place this past weekend and I couldn’t be more proud. Everything went according to plan and we will continue to promote through post-production, leading up to the release of the web series. This project has an all-female cast and crew and I am pleased to introduce you to this talented group of women in film. If you missed Part I of the Introductions, click here. To learn more about the project, click here.
Meet some of the talented women behind To Each, Her Throne.
While working as an HMU on countless film sets, Danielle was inspired to create her own project. Merging her love for docs and her passion for women’s rights, she came up with “To Each, Her Throne” as a platform for women to share their stories.
Alicia is an NYU Tisch alumna who majored in Film and Television. She is the founder of Therapeutic Films and has worked on many productions as a cinematographer and director. In addition to being a talented filmmaker, she is also a lyricist and her music will be featured on the project soundtrack.
Briana is a talented shooter
and creative editor with a deep passion for digital video, photography and
storytelling. The 19 year-old Brooklyn native of Guyanese and Trinidadian
descent currently calls New Jersey home. A staunch advocate for diversity and
inclusion in the Film and Television industries, Briana is the brainchild
behind BibbyFame Digital, LLC. Currently finalizing her studies at Rowan
University in New Jersey, she will earn a B.A. in Radio, Television & Film
with a Production concentration and New Media minor.
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.
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.
I’d like to start off by wishing all of our female readers a Happy Women’s Day / International Women’s Day!
You may ask, what is the specific correlation between Women’s Day and Female Filmmakers? However, there is much to celebrate, and 2019 has been a great year thus far for women in film above the line and below the line.
To name a few examples, this year was historic with a record number of women winning Oscars. Also, for the first time in history, each of the major movie studios have at least one female-directed movie slated for release this year. Many are stepping up to the plate with the 4 Percent Challenge and we’ve seen both France and the City of New York issue grants or subsidies to female filmmakers.
There were notable milestones and I am excited for what’s in-store. As women, we need to continue to find our own voices. We also need to push to control both the narrative and our portrayal in film.
This page is for ANYONE in favor of a more diverse and inclusive film community. We are here to showcase women in television and film. Female directors, producers, writers, editors, camera-operators, DP, cinematographers, photographers, sound designers, graphic designers, composers AND everyone in between. We’d also love to see professionals in marketing, digital media, distribution, casting, higher education, gear and festivals.
Celebrating our second year of operation, BibbyFame Digital LLC founder, Briana-Makena Andrews expressed the desire for a renewed vision, with operation as a purpose-driven company. For her New Media Practicum at Rowan University, she proposed the creation of a blog and forum dedicated to female-centric creators, with an emphasis on film and TV.