Do you remember when everyone was re-editing the Star Wars trailer as if another director made the film? The Wes Anderson re-edit was the most popular - but none of the re-edits were from women directors.
I decided to do a re-edit of the Star Wars trailer as if a woman directed it.
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...