May 18, 2015 1:34 AM   Subscribe

So you gotta go for it. Just do me a favor and FUCK SOME SHIT UP. Surprise yourself, wake up your actors, get wild with your performances, try shit, put in that funky dialogue you’re embarrassed of, in fact, rub your fucked-up-ness all over your scripts, add some shame and embarrassment and glee, and then dare yourself to shoot it, SERIOUSLY, go big or go home -- be a creature unlike any other.
Transparent creator Jill Soloway gave an amazing speech full of advice for women in filmmaking a few days ago.
posted by mokin (6 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
I love hashtag #bringyourpussytoworkday.
posted by lollusc at 2:39 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

That is a really good speech/manifesto (like a freestyle manifesto?). A ton of food for thought and not just for people who make films or media. I'm personally really grateful that the tiny (but very potent) inroads that feminism seems to be making into mainstream (-ish) culture are happening because the long standing John Wayne way of performing masculinity in every single aspect of society is super expired and inefficient and exhausting and also profoundly harmful to everything good in the world. Thanks mokin.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:39 AM on May 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

This part is interesting.

You can own the energy of the set by embodying the idea that everyone is safe, no one is going to get yelled at, that we’re lucky to be called upon to make art together. People on sets have gotten so used to operating under this fear, this TIME IS MONEY PEOPLE, this hyper-masculine worshiping and priveleging of equipment, cameras, cranes, numbers, schedules, money. I mean, who ever decided that right before you start filming EMOTIONS you’re supposed to YELL “LAST LOOKS” or YELL “QUIET” and then SCREAM “ACTION.” I mean, it was shockingly, frighteningly easy for me to realize that I could invite actors into their risk spaces by leading with receiving, gathering, feminine, space-creation energy.

I saw an interview with some actors who'd worked with Jane Campion, I think on Sweetie, about working on set with her, and compared to the way you usually hear about directors on set, it sounded almost like a party. They talked about her creative ways of directing actors' energies to get comfortable, compelling performances out of actors from all backgrounds and skill levels. And I think that comes out in all its glory in her work with children. The child characters in her films are some of the most realistic and compelling I've seen. They're not saccharine or implausibly precocious or stupid or one-dimensional the way the vast majority of portrayals of children are. There are other directors who have turned out some good work with kids, but not with the consistency that she does. She does it every single time.

There are a lot of hard working, innovative women directors working out there, with all kinds of creative interpretations of various female gazes that often end up watered down and compromised in formulaic mainstream films directed by men. And they're probably a little easier to swallow for audiences who've acclimated to the male gaze and are so used to seeing standard film formulas that any digression parses as a mistake.

It's really, really worth it, though, to sit down and really immerse yourself in films by women and recalibrate your perspective.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:44 AM on May 18, 2015 [7 favorites]

People on sets have gotten so used to operating under this fear, this TIME IS MONEY PEOPLE, this hyper-masculine worshiping and priveleging of equipment, cameras, cranes, numbers, schedules, money.

I don't disagree with this on the face of it, but I am now inspired to make a post about decoupling the notion of gender from collective work, technical competence, physical labor or practicality.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:24 PM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this, mokin. I love how she gave a shoutout to The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, though I respectfully disagree with her unstated assumption the book is anti feminist-- though I can see how cultural feminists would perhaps view it this way. On the contrary, I mark it as an instrumental look at "best practices for getting what you want in the context of a system of capitalist patriarchy" and it is scary how many of the rules are directly applicable to Hollywood filmmaking.
posted by hush at 10:07 AM on May 19, 2015

I absolutely love this (and wanted to post it here, which is how I found it here). I especially love the idea that you should be so busy making things that your agent has trouble getting in touch with you.

It's a completely different set of issues, but I keep wondering what keeps me from just making the things I want to make, in a time where making things is as easy as flipping my phone on its side and activating the camera, and then uploading it so that it's open to the world. We're in an amazing time of availability to a potentially huge audience if we want it, and it's a lot of self-imposed (and societal-imposed) restrictions that keep us from just making things.

posted by xingcat at 8:35 AM on May 20, 2015

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