The latest blog posts via Feminist Wednesday.
Part One: The Idea
The first thing you need to make a movie is a really powerful idea. I am using the word powerful intentionally because the idea should send a supercharger to your brain. It should keep you up at night. It should make you nervous. It should feel like a secret. It should also feel like it’s such a good idea it must have been done before. Some ideas feel like lightening bolts, but others are like familiar lovers that whisper casually in your ear.
The difficult part about getting an idea is you don’t have any history with the thought- you have no way of testing it, your emotional loyalty to it, your endurance to the topic, or if there is any interest in said idea by your audience. This is why ideas are tricky, they just appear like feathers on a hiking trail, and it’s up to you whether or not you want to save them for your collection.
The other thing about ideas is you have to be clear and open to receiving them. If you are so busy, so overwhelmed, so entrenched in your life, it’s hard to be open to receiving beautiful ideas. You must make yourself available to the universe. Some artists wear fancy outfits to attract ideas, some people take walks, I like to meditate to clear my mind in the morning. You should find what works for you.
There is a little voice I have in the back of my brain that is always talking. Often it’s saying: “Psst. People aren’t going to take you seriously. You’re too young, too blonde, too inexperienced.” When I go into a meeting I stress about what I should wear and how I will be perceived. When I am on the phone I stress about the high register of my voice. The little voice in the back of my brain says “Don’t wear that skirt. It’s too short, it’s too trendy, it’s too cute. He isn’t taking you seriously. She’s isn’t taking you seriously. You have no idea what you are doing. You don’t look like everyone else here.”
This past summer Feminist Wednesday embarked on the terrifying journey of creating a Kickstarter Campaign to fund our film “Dream, Girl.” This film is a documentary redefining what it means to be a boss by interviewing female entrepreneurs.
In the process we worked like a dog (or maybe in our case a beaver), made a TV appearance, did a monstrous amount of press (Upworthy, ELLE, Washington Post), got a celebrity endorsement, and ended up almost doubling our original goal, raising over $100,000.
When I was in the seventh grade I used to babysit for this family down the block. They had two kids, I was Red Cross certified, I loved babysitting, I loved making money. One night after babysitting the dad of the family drove me home alone. I had brought my own Charlie’s Angels barbie for the job to share with their little girl because I had just seen the reboot of Charlie’s Angels and my Cameron Diaz barbie doll was awesome.
Sitting in the car on the way home I clutched my barbie doll in one hand and my twenty dollar bill in the other. The dad turned, looked at me and asked me with a creepy smile if the Cameron Diaz barbie doll had any underwear on. I looked at him uncomfortably and shrugged, I replied that I wasn’t sure. He asked if I could check for him and I blew off the request saying something along the lines of “ew gross.” I felt a weird shift from that moment on, like he was treating me as if i was older than I actually was and I felt immediately uncomfortable. I remember telling my mom that I didn’t think I should babysit for him anymore but I never told her what he said or how he made me feel.
Recently I started putting together a new website for myself to accumulate all the articles and press that I have gotten over the last year as a result of launching Dream, Girl. And I was scrolling through the websites we have been featured on I was in a bit of shock: “Holy mother, we have gotten A LOT OF PRESS for a movie that hasn’t been made yet.” Every time a new press piece goes live it’s amazing, but to see it all on one page was bonkers. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought the initial stepping stones that got us here would be beneficial to other creatives, artists, and women who might have trouble selling themselves.