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15

Mar

The March 2015 edition of “The Making Of” is out!

THE MAKING OF PIONEERS IN SKIRTS™ – March 2015

Here you’ll find highlights from our adventures as we follow main characters and interview topic experts!!

What did we do in February?

Our crew traveled to Nebraska to interview Major General Heidi V. Brown. While in Omaha we also held a “Woman on the Street” video shoot where we asked people on the street about the film. The people we met were amazing! Here’s the video update we created after the shoot (59 sec).

March-2015-update-emailClick here to read the complete March 2015 update email sent to our distribution list.

18

Jan

Star Wars: Force Awakens Trailer – if directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Remember last month when everyone was re-editing the Star Wars trailer as if another director made the film? This Wes Anderson one was the most popular and made me want to make one, too – especially since none of the re-edits were women directors.

When I decided to do a re-edit of the Star Wars trailer as if a woman directed it, though, I truly saw exclusion. My search to just find options of women directors turned into a tough endeavor. Whose style is well-known enough that would lead the audience to guess the director right away? And of those who are known…who has a particular style that would make sense for this? Sure, there have been plenty of articles and studies to tell me that women directors are rare – but, in this instance, I was visually seeing it.

Most of the women I thought of were making a name for themselves in the independent world and working toward the opportunity to direct a big budget film. Ava Duverney came to mind; but, at this time, Selma was only talked about. I hadn’t seen her films yet, but loved her talk she did at the DGA. She’s honest and I appreciated it. Now that Ava Duverney has been left off the Best Director Oscar Nomination list, I felt I needed to finish this edit and, most importantly, share my experience making it.

I asked some colleagues, and we were all stumped. There are already so few known women directors to choose from; and, on top of that, women directors aren’t given the opportunity to direct enough well-known films to then develop a well-known style like Wes Anderson. Kathryn Bigelow is the only one I could think of with a style that is well-known. Well and Jane Campion maybe? THAT would be interesting…and difficult.

I started out making this trailer for fun, but then it turned into some serious (soul) searching.

I turned to Google. “Famous Female directors and their style” – well, of course, all I found were the dresses they wore and then articles suggesting, “We had no idea this film was directed by a woman!” Don’t insult me, Internet.

So I decided on the woman who is kind of like the beacon for all women directors – the only one to ever win an Oscar for directing – Kathryn Bigelow.  Fun Fact: The Hurtlocker was the first film I ever saw by myself, and it was amazing. I really respect her career. I’m more of a comedy/horror director, so I don’t see myself following in her action footsteps – but, at least, there are some footsteps to see?

The film industry has etched into my brain that I am rare as a woman director. I’m reminded of it everyday with every new study showing how few women direct television episodes and how few women, if any, direct studio films. I’m also reminded of it when I’m called just that — a “woman director.” But I take pride in being a woman who directs movies, and I take pride in the women around me who are going for it too despite the odds. I have a tough road ahead of me, I know, but this is the career I want. In fact, check out a documentary I’m directing to benefit women, like me, in their careers: “Pioneers in Skirts.”

Enjoy this Star Wars: Force Awakens Trailer as if it were directed by Kathryn Bigelow! I had fun. I took audio and some music from the Zero Dark Thirty trailer to totally change up the tone, and I think it turned out really well. I wish I had more control over the Zero Dark Thirty trailer audio – but of course, it’s all downloaded from YouTube so what can ya do? And let’s talk about my VFX skills. Yeah!

Tell me what you think! and try to find the “elevator shaft” sound effect…

04

Dec

Pioneers in Skirts is going to Charlotte – and we need your help!

Maddy and SophiaThat’s right! The first week of January, we – the team behind Pioneers in Skirts – will pack up our truck with camera, sound and lighting gear and drive to Charlotte, North Carolina to follow two subjects of our “Pioneers in Skirts” documentary – Maddy and Sophia. They are teenagers interested and skilled in robotics but also interested in other hobbies like dancing and theater. We are following them during a time in their life when choice is imminent. Will they or won’t they follow a career in STEM? What outside factors play a role?

It’s Time to Rally the Troops!

Dear Pioneer Troops: As we wait to hear back from grants, we need to keep moving forward in making this film – so we need your help to make this trip happen through either monetary or in-kind donations – all of which are tax-deductible through our Fiscal Sponsor Fractured Atlas. [Contact us (pioneersinfo@ashley-maria.com) to learn more!]

Here’s what we need:

Gift Cards to Restaurants

It doesn’t matter the kind of restaurant (we aren’t picky), but you would be surprised how quickly the numbers add up when you are feeding a crew of 3 or 4. Gift cards to fast food help when we are on the road, and then gift cards to sit-down restaurants help us to treat our crew right after a long, hard day!

Gift Cards to Grocery Stores

We drink a lot of water on set because it’s easy to get dehydrated while you’re running around, plus we also get hungry! Granola bars are my favorite on set pick me up… but I like to make sure we have enough healthy and enough sweet to keep the crew satisfied until it’s time to eat that big meal. It’s all about food with me…

Gift Cards for Gas

YES we want GAS! We will be driving A LOT to our various locations following these young ladies, so help filling up the tank would be much appreciated. Costco gift cards are also a cool work around for this.

Hotel Stays

Do you know of a hotel that has an initiative to support women in their company? Would they want to support this film by donating a night or two to us? We will be in Charlotte for 5 days total. And, did we mention it is all tax-deductible as In-Kind Donations? Cool, right?

Businesses Can Help, Too

If you are, or know of, a business that would like to help – please send them our way. We have all sorts of ways to recognize business sponsorships. To be honest, documentary films are funded more by people and businesses than Grants and crowdsourcing. We need YOU!

Here is a link to our sponsor page for monetary donations:

https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=10872 OR you can contact us directly here pioneersinfo@ashley-maria.com

What do you get in return?

Other than the satisfying feeling you get when you support a movement – a film that will influence change – every donor to the film receives a special Thank You in the credits – YOUR NAME up on the screen!

Why are we are following Maddy and Sophia?

Maddy and Sophia’s interest and skills in engineering plus their super fun personalities as best friends drew us to them when we first met back in March 2014 at the NC First Robotics competition in Raleigh, North Carolina.

They began learning about engineering on their all-girls middle school Robotics team where they thrived. Now, they are on the high school co-ed team, and their mentor tells us they are exhibiting an elevated level of confidence – much higher than the girls who didn’t come from an all-girls team.

Is this a solution to encouraging more women to join the STEM fields? Studies show that young girls are interested in STEM fields but are discouraged along the way from ever pursuing a career in it, thus making it an industry highly dominated by men. What happens, and will this same thing happen to Maddy and Sophia?

Check them out in our teaser (they’re the ones wearing the cool hats):

“Pioneers in Skirts” – Exploring the obstacles women face in their careers, and how to overcome them.

 

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