Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Women, Science, Sexism, and Humor

I enjoyed this video by Emilie Graslie of The Brain Scoop talking about the bullying aspect of sexist comments on the internet and how it affects women. I also like how she is both serious and full of humor at the same time.  I sure would like to see some humorous educational videos by women at the festival next year.


If you like this, check out the article on Upworthy and scroll down to the links at the bottom where you can find a great list of women's science videos on YouTube.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pixar Story Rules

Here is a graphic with Pixar's 22 story rules.  I've thought a lot about #2 and written about the difference between writer pleasure and reader or audience pleasure, so I totally agree with that one.  What about the rest?  Agree or disagree?  Anything you can use?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We've Been Named a "Coolest" Festival by MovieMaker Magazine


http://www.moviemaker.com/festivals/the-coolest-film-festivals-in-the-world-2013-environmentalsocial-cause-and-womens-film-festival-winners-by-mm-editors/
Broad Humor has just been named one of the top five women's film festivals in the world by MovieMaker Magazine.   They are announcing two categories of winners a day all week, and then on the 15th they're going to announce the top 25 general film fest winners.   Here's just an excerpt...
What makes a film festival the Coolest? Is it a combination of quality cinema, great parties, and free swag? Or is it an alluring mix of hip, alternative venues and shoestring-budget, hyper-indie films you might not get to see anywhere else? What about the opportunity to gawk at celebrities, connect with fellow moviemakers, and take advantage of free travel perks.






You'll be able to read the whole article online after Friday at moviemaker.com

Monday, November 04, 2013

NYTV + History => Charismatic Males Only


Just got this announcement today.  They're bustin' with pride over this.  I guess 'cuz history is made my men.  *sigh*

http://secure.campaigner.com/Campaigner/Public/t.show?5vlc1--31rke-ofvhmy9&_v=2

Friday, November 01, 2013

Kickstarter Launch November 1

Ready... Set... Go!  23 days to raise $5000 so there can be a 2014 Broad Humor Film Festival. Can the Broads pull it off?   GO TO KICKSTARTER

http://kck.st/16t8BiK


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mary Shelley and Afternoon Tea with Kate Burton

Broad Janice Kennedy's play Shadows Round the Moon will have a staged reading with Kate Burton Nov. 17 followed by an afternoon tea. Details below.  Go and be delighted to "see" the dynamic woman who created Frankenstein.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Do You Want a 2014 Festival?

Some Broads share a smile in the Festival Lounge
The Broad Humor Film Festival is at a crossroads and we need to decide if we move forward.  The Bank of  Susan can no longer carry the cost of Broad Humor alone so we are reaching out to you, the women who've had films and screenplays recognized here.  You are the ones who know the value of the festival and can best say if it's special enough to put in the time and money to keep it alive. 

By "say" we mean contribute funds to the cause.  The festival needs $5000 if there's going to be a 2014 event.  With about 50 women participating each year over 8 years, that adds up to about 400 Broads.  $12.50 from each of you would do it.  Realistically, only half of you may be able to help so that means $25 per Broad to keep the doors open and the lights on.

And that's the real question. Is it worth $25 to you to have Broad Humor continue?  You might want to donate to pay forward your experience.  You might want to donate to keep the prestige of the festival growing so that your participation means more.  You might donate because you like knowing there's a place to screen your comedic work and keep your filmmaker presence active on IMDB.  Whatever your reasons, are they strong enough to be worth a $25 contribution?  Or will you take on the role of Angel Broad and contribute more?

Your answer might be "no," and that's okay.  There is no debt you owe us.  However, a 9th Annual Broad Humor Film Festival will only happen if you make it possible.

We're looking at a two-week Kickstarter campaign in November.  Check back in a week or so for an update.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

QUEUE THIS!

The Broad Humor Film Festival is coming! The Broad Humor Film Festival is coming! That's right, this weekend in Venice, CA, the broads will be getting together to celebrate funny women and their funny films (the dudes are welcome, too!). In honor of the upcoming festivities, I put together a list of four women-directed classic comedies, plus one new comedy. I sure wish more of these were available for streaming, but it's a start. Party on and queue this, Garths!

Wayne's World (dir Penelope Spheeris, 1992 DVD) "In this 'Saturday Night Live' spinoff, goofy rockers Wayne and Garth host a no-budget cable access show that attracts the attention of a big television producer. They think they're on the road to fame and fortune, but they may have fallen for a scam." I might have quoted far too many lines from this movie back in the day. Repeatedly. Cha!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Incompetent Men vs. Competent Women

Great article in the Harvard Business Review blog titled:  Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (hat tip: AWD member Klaudia Kovacs)  It seems that women's greater emotional intelligence prevents them from engaging as much in blowhardism about their abilities.

Here is an excerpt of the meat of the argument:

... the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence. That is, because we (people in general) commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence, we are fooled into believing that men are better leaders than women. In other words, when it comes to leadership, the only advantage that men have over women (e.g., from Argentina to Norway and the USA to Japan) is the fact that manifestations of hubris — often masked as charisma or charm — are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently in men than in women

This is consistent with the finding that leaderless groups have a natural tendency to elect self-centered, overconfident and narcissistic individuals as leaders, and that these personality characteristics are not equally common in men and women.

Followed by:
 The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people.
And capped with:
So it struck me as a little odd that so much of the recent debate over getting women to "lean in" has focused on getting them to adopt more of these dysfunctional leadership traits. Yes, these are the people we often choose as our leaders — but should they be?

Most of the character traits that are truly advantageous for effective leadership are predominantly found in those who fail to impress others about their talent for management. This is especially true for women. There is now compelling scientific evidence for the notion that women are more likely to adopt more effective leadership strategies than do men.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

QUEUE THIS!

I'm happy to return to QUEUE THIS! with one of my favorite documentaries of the last couple years - Miss Representation.  Miss Representation tackles the very complicated issue of gender representation in media.  Or, more specifically, the negative implications of the media's unwavering push to "sell sex."  I love this movie not only because I relate to many of the issues it covers, but also because it reminds me of a very special screening I attended in the most easterly city in Canada, St. John's, Newfoundland.   This is where my short film, The Director, was paired with Miss Representation at the great St. John's International Women's Film Festival and played to a packed and enthusiastic house.  Seriously, that small town really knows how to support a festival!  It was such an honor to be a part of that screening (thank you to whomever made that programming decision!).

From films about sex as a commodity to the questioning of sex and gender norms, the four other films I've picked relate to Miss Representation in different ways.  So, what are we waiting for?  Let's queue this...    

Miss Representation (dir Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 2011)  Netflix says: "Explores how the media's often disparaging portrayals of women contribute to the under-representation of females in positions of power, creating another generation of women defined by beauty and sexuality, and not by their capacity as leaders."  Jennifer recently finished a fundraising campaign for her new doc which tackles masculinity.  Looking forward to seeing that one!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Be Natural: The untold story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Happy friday! Today I'd like to invite all of you to support this great documentary about Alice Guy-Blanché. Most people have never heard of her, but she was one of the pioneers of filmmaking.

There's three days left to support, so contribute, like, share.

The number of backers has doubled in the past two days. I'm really hoping they meet their goal and get this movie made. It's important to all of us women in this male dominated industry.

And, just so everyone knows, I have nothing to do with this project. I'm a backer but I don't even know the filmmakers personally.  I'm just a big fan of Alice.

3 days! Contribute now!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/benatural/be-natural-the-untold-story-of-alice-guy-blache

http://benaturalthemovie.com/



*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~

Friday, August 16, 2013

Seed & Spark – Crowdfunding and Digital Distribution


It seems like everyone is on the crowdfunding bandwagon. Celebrities are doing it, everyone I know is doing it. It also seems like there’s no shortage of platforms to use. I just came across Seed & Spark and I have to say their set-up looks really interesting. They are still in Beta, so there’s room for improvement.

There are a couple of things that makes them different from other platforms:

They combine crowdfunding and digital distribution allowing your audience around the world to only have to find you once.

Their crowdfunding fee is only 5%.

They actually have to approve your project before your campaign goes live. If they feel you don’t have a solid plan for making your movie, they’ll give you pointers on how to improve it.

They allow the filmmakers to keep 80% of the streaming revenue.

If a film’s crowdfunding campaign reaches 80% of their goal, the filmmakers get the money, if it doesn’t reach that mark, they get nothing. I find it and interesting middle ground between the all of nothing world of Kickstarter and the flexible funding on Indiegogo.


*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~


Thursday, August 08, 2013

QUEUE THIS!

It's a brief post today, but that doesn't make it any less important to...QUEUE THIS!

My Year Without Sex (dir Sarah Watt, 2009)  Netflix says: "In the wake of a near-fatal brain aneurysm, a thirtysomething mom and her affable hubby enter a period of doctor-ordered abstinence while they raise their two children. Coping with myriad problems in the bedroom and out, they have a year to remember."

Down to the Bone (dir Debra Granik, 2004)  Netflix says: "Irene (Vera Farmiga), a drug-addled, working-class mother of two, decides to check herself into a rehab center in upstate New York, where she meets and falls in love with a fellow addict (Hugh Dillon) who's working hard to mend his ways. But when one of them relapses into addiction, can their commitment to each other prevail over the lure of narcotics? Debra Granik won the Director's Award and Farmiga won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance."  Vera Farmiga is sooooo good in this film.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Get One in the Can


I can't believe it's August already. Summer seems to be going by way too fast. Today, I thought I'd do something different and share this email sent to me by the American Film Market folks. It inspired me and lit a fire in my soul to go out and shoot another project. But I have vowed to finish my latest short first. (We're very close.) I figured if this has helped me and inspired me, maybe it can do the same for others. 
~~~

In order to help you get ready for the American Film Market & Conferences 2013, we will be sending out several emails leading up to event, which cover key facets of the filmmaking process and share thought-provoking stories.

We hope you enjoy this personal story from Christina Marie, producer, filmmaker and AFM attendee.
Get One in the Can - Don’t Just Go for an “Opus” Project!
After attending my first AFM last year, I was very inspired to shift gears in how I thought of filmmaking. I was banging my head against the wall trying to get big-budget finance and it finally clicked: I really needed to get one in the can instead of continuing to seek funding for an "Opus" project.
A like-minded friend of mine approached me with a wild idea to shoot a 90 minute length Feature in just 3 days on a smaller budget. I did some research and found that the only person to pull this off (on record) was Roger Corman in 1960 with "Little Shop of Horrors."
Six weeks after I received the script for "THE DARK", we shot our movie in less than 3 days at an abandoned, haunted hospital. The experience was FANTASTIC! We ran 3 crews, shooting 10 pages per crew per day and included SPFX and stunts. Nobody lost their mind, and we now have what we refer to as a "DARK Family" - the bonding that happened on that set was incredible!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

QUEUE THIS!


I'm back! Sorry for disappearing, I was in a little over my head with commitments the past few weeks. Hopefully, you used our time apart to catch up on organizing your Netflix queue. Yes, I'm sure that's exactly what you did... This week, I put together a pretty random mix of films for you. (random in a good way, I promise) I love checking in on Netflix each week to see if it's brought me any new treats-- and this week my red-labeled friend really delivered! From big award winners to internet darlings...let's QUEUE THIS!

Nowhere Boy (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2009)  Netflix says:  "Raised by his aunt since he was a young boy, charismatic teen John Lennon is reunited with his mother, which ignites a bitter battle between the two sisters for John's affections. Along the way, John befriends fellow Liverpool lad Paul McCartney."  Get to know Taylor-Johnson's early work before she makes a splash with the much-anticipated adaption of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Third Woman's Movement - Redefining Success

The recent commencement address that Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, delivered at Smith College over the weekend is definitely worth the 15 minute read.  She boldly dared the all-female graduating class to redefine society's definition of success. "Don't buy society's definition of success," she said, "Because it's not working for women. It's not working for men, it's not working for polar bears, it's not working for the cicadas that are apparently about to emerge and swarm us. It's only truly working for those who make pharmaceuticals for stress, diabetes, heart disease, sleeplessness and high blood pressure." 
Success has largely been determined by money and power, Huffington argued, "But we need a third metric -- one based on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back."  She points out, "Money and power by themselves are a two-legged stool -- you can balance on them for awhile, but eventually you're going to topple over."  There needs to be a third "leg"  or metric added to maintain a sustainable balance for success. Huffington urged the graduating students to lead a third women's revolution - to create this necessary metric by rethinking and challenging the meaning of success.  
I can't think of a better place than Hollywood or the entertainment industry to begin this movement. It's one we all could benefit from getting behind. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Music Bed - a free resource for Filmmakers


If you ever dabbled in film or video making, you know music is a must have. I personally have used composers, royalty free music and songwriters. Every project is unique and there's no one way to go about it. One thing is constant, music is always a must. 

Check out this app. It contains a variety of songs and composers to chose from. Each song includes information about what kind of license is available and how to request a specific license to your project. 



*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nancy's Yogurt Donating Bags for Filmmakers

I contacted Nancy's Yogurt about coupons for the filmmaker bags this year because I believe they have a great product in a great company.   They've been leaders in sustainable practices, in healthy packaging, and in quality organic probiotic yogurt.  I was inspired to introduce the Broads to the best probiotic products out there after reading a recent  Mother Jones article, Are Happy Gut Bacteria Key to Weight Loss? The title talks about weight loss, but the article is really about the surprising metabolic benefits of a healthy gut along with evidence that the inflammation that has been identified source of many chronic and acute health problems starts with poor gut health. That's where probiotics come in.

So I contacted Nancy's Yogurt and they not only offered to send us coupons so the Broads can sample their amazing yogurt, they are sending us their high quality canvas bags for our filmmaker bags this year. Sustainable, organic and "broad-friendly."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Reel Ladies


Are you looking to connect with other great female filmmakers? Take a look at the Reel Ladies website and think about joining. I have met some amazing women through this organization, including my producer Maieka Saint-Albin who helped make happen my latest short film “Unsolved.” There are lots of events, resources and great networking opportunities.  



From the website:

REEL Ladies is a rapidly growing Online Professional Networking Community & Organization for Women in the Film & Entertainment Industry. Our goal is to promote, encourage, motivate, and educate fellow women in the industry. We provide our REEL Ladies community with:
~Innovative programs

~Powerful events, meetups, telecalls, sample contracts, workshops and MORE!

~Equipment rental

~ Career and project consultations

~ Webinars (coming this summer!)

Our goal is to provide and equip women  filmmakers with the necessary tools to have an empowering entertainment career! We are creating an empowered COMMUNITY of women filmmakers who are networking with one another, hiring one another, referring one another and boldly moving forward to pursue their careers in entertainment with the  skills and connections to be a SUCCESS!

We hope you take advantage of our numerous programs and rentals and NETWORK with other women in the Filmmaking Trenches.


*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~

Thursday, July 18, 2013

AWD July Bash!

I'm taking a very short hiatus from QUEUE THIS! this week to let you all know about an upcoming event for women directors-- the AWD Semi-Annual Member and Prospective Member Bash!  If you are a director who happens to be L.A. this weekend, this gathering is a great way to check out the only independent film organization dedicated solely to the support and advancement of women directors.  I'll be there, and I hope you'll stop by and say hello! (click here or the photo below for all the details)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top 10 Trailblazers for Women in the Entertainment Business


Here are the Top 10 Trailblazers for Women in the Entertainment Business:

10) Roseanne Barr

9) Tina Fey

8) Kathryn Bigelow

7) Linda Wertmüller

Friday, July 12, 2013

Free TV Pilot Kit


Hello everyone. After a short two week hiatus, I’m back with another helpful resource Friday.

Take a look at this free TV Pilot Kit download from the Writers Store.



Now, I have already started using my TV Pilot Kit as I transform one of my short films into a pilot. (A film previously screened at Broad Humor Film Festival) So far it has been really helpful to me, since it’s been a while since I have written anything for television.

(By the way, there’s lots more at the Writers Store than just this free download. If you haven’t been there or don’t know their site, take a look. I have spent many afternoons browsing their selections and buying fun items like the “writer” hat.



*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~

Thursday, July 11, 2013

QUEUE THIS!

Hey LA, Outfest opens tonight!  Don't be a dumb straight like me and think this fest doesn't have something for you.  I finally took notice of it last year and attended a few screenings.  Not only are the films great (you like good stories, right?) but there's an awesome buzz around the DGA throughout the fest-- pre-screening receptions, post-screening receptions, after parties...lots to do and they're almost all open to any attendee with a movie ticket.  In other words, it's not like most festivals where you have to buy the expensive festival pass in order to mix and mingle-- everyone is welcome!  It's really refreshing and a lot of fun.  And did I mention the great films they show?  Of yeah, I did, so here are some of the women directors, with films playing this year's Outfest, that you might want to look out for:  Stacie Passon, Martha Shane, Lana Wilson, Lisa Biagiotti, Drew Denny, Shelly Silver, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Pratibha Parmar.  And, of course, in honor of Outfest's opening night, I have chosen a variety of LGBT stories directed by women for this week's QUEUE THIS:

Mosquita y Mari (dir Aurora Guerrero, 2012 DVD) 
Netflix says: "Neighbors but by no means friends, high schoolers Yolanda and Mari discover a bond and an attraction when they're made study partners. One a star student, the other more focused on work -- both are rocked to the core by their growing connection."  I caught this at last year's Outfest and was blown away by Guerrero's beautifully subtle storytelling skill. (took a lot of mental notes in that screening!) 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Watching Hot in Cleveland


I have no introduction. Here are the Top 10 Reasons You Should Be Watching Hot in Cleveland:

10) Do you really need more than nine reasons?

9) The nostalgia- You can't help but compare these ladies to The Golden Girls, another fabulous foursome "of a certain age." There are just enough similarities to make it a fun homage.

8) The freshness- Even with that nostalgic feel, it's still fresh and funny.

7) The guest stars- Mary Tyler Moore, Don Rickles, Carol Burnett, Georgia Engel, Tim Conway, Carl Reiner, Regis Philbin, Shirley Knight, Susan Lucci... the list goes on.

6) Jane Leeves- She's the perfect mix of pretty and pitiful.

5) Wendie Malick- She basically plays the same character that she played on Just Shoot Me. And she's still fantastic at it.

4) Valerie Bertinelli- She's not just a Jenny Craig spokesperson. She's still a funny actress.

3) Betty White- She's an icon. She was the first female television producer. She's 91 and still hilarious (on purpose).

2) Suzanne Martin- She created the show!

1) It's funny.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

QUEUE THIS!


Happy 4th of July!  Like me, I'm sure most of you reading this in the States are busy at the family bbq taking wagers on who will be maimed before day's end, so I'll keep this short.  In honor of our nation's birth, I've rounded up a nice bunch of movies that tell very American stories in a variety of American settings, directed by some of our best American female directors.  If you take a break from the sun, or need to take cover from the barrage of illegal fireworks in you neighborhood (speaking from experience here), I hope you'll queue up some of these great American movies:

Shut Up & Sing (dir Barbara Kopple & Cecilia Peck, 2006 DVD)  Netflix says: "The documentary centers on country music's The Dixie Chicks and their nationwide vilification over critical statements they made about President Bush in 2003. Over a three-year period, the singers went from darlings of the industry to political targets, receiving constant death threats and being demonized by the national media and denounced by their fans."

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

From Pitch to Blockbuster -- 6 Hollwood Pros Give Advice On What It Takes To Make A Hit

Nowadays, when a studio makes a movie, they lay down heaps o cash to the tune of 100 million bucks and up with the hopes of  unleashing a blockbuster that draws an enormous global audience. Rather than diversifying their investment -- making a lot of smaller niche movies -- they shoot to win the lottery every time. It's the "Go Big or Go Home" strategy. And in an effort to alleviate the high risk involved in this inherently high-risk strategy, they manufacture films by committee. They spread the responsibility around...and later the blame should the movie turns out to be sucky. So who is on this so called Blockbuster-Making Committee? An article in last Sunday's New York Times shed light on that question in the article "Red, White & Blood." As an interesting exercise, the Times presented a totally fake, but kinda plausible concept for an action, adventure, romance movie entitled, "Red, White & Blood" to 6 Hollywood pros who then gave their advice on what the pitch needed to advance it over the hurdles to become a winning blockbuster film. The committee of pros included: The Producer (Lynda Obst), The Marketer (Mike Vollman), The Studio Executive (Erik Feig), The Researcher (Kevin Goetz), The Global Marketer (Camela Galano) and The Writer (Etan Cohen). 

The Pitch: (basically) It's Fast & Furious meets Die Hard. 
A gang of gorgeous thieves -- one named SPIKE, think Angelina Jolie -- are forced to work with a bunch of terrorists after the terrorists kidnap the thieves' significant others and hold them hostage. The terrorists force the thieves to kidnap the President. In the throes of the mission, Spike finds herself alone with the President and it's revealed that Spike is a past lover of the president -- his first love from back in Ohio -- and, although the President is married now, the heat between these two old lovers is palpable. Although, tempted to rekindle this love, the two realize that the country needs saving more than they need each other. So Spike decides to turn on her thief mates to save the President. In the climactic final battle, Spike takes a bullet for the President's wife (Gwyneth?) and single-handedly brings down the terrorists.  Spike dies in the President's arms. 

Okay. Not bad. I like the female protagonist. The only bump I have is...so what happens to all the innocent significant others who were kidnapped by the terrorists? But who cares what I think. What do the pros think? Here are some highlights.  Tell me what you think!

The Producer: 
-- Girls go to see a guy movie, but guys will not go to a movie if it appears to cater to girls.  
-- Pull back on the mushy stuff.   
-- Stakes need to be higher.  Gun battles? How cute. The weapons need to be hotter. Huge big battle weapons -- maybe an end-of-the-world device.

The Marketer:
-- Show that it's appropriate for families.  
-- Twice as many Hispanics go to see movies than any other ethnic group...Make the leading lady a Latina.  
-- Throw in some Spanish.  
-- There needs to be a wisecracking set of man candy.  
-- A little bit of comedy lets you wink at the audience -- this movie is going to be fun and not just a bunch of explosions and car chases.   

The Studio Executive:
-- Word of mouth is entirely dependent on the last five minutes of your movie.  Make them count.
-- Address the plot/character questions of the biggest cynic in the audience.  (I'm paraphrasing here.)

The Researcher:
-- Make one or two more of the car thieves lead characters to give your audience more characters to hold onto.  

The Global Marketer:
-- Just be smarter than making a nationality or culture the bad guys.  
--  Play down the romantic twist.  
-- While weepy films can succeed in some markets, the international audience tends to be a little more jaded and cynical. 

The Writer:
-- With tentpole movies, there is a tendency to try to shoehorn in everything that has worked before as an insurance policy, even if it doesn't make sense.   
-- When in doubt, string together enough explosions so that people won't notice the holes in the plot.  (He jokes.)

The article holds even more juicy comments. If you have time, check it out






Monday, July 01, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Waiting Tables is Better Than a 9 to 5

A few weeks ago, I listed the top 10 reasons a 9 to 5 is better than waiting tables. Let's do the opposite! Here are the Top 10 Reasons Waiting Tables is Better Than a 9 to 5:

10) Either way, you'll probably get yelled at every so often by some jerk. At least at a restaurant, you probably won't have to see them again.

9) Very few restaurants make you wear high heels. Okay, offices don't either, but it's kind of expected... a little bit.

8) You won't have to sit in a cubicle.

7) The hours are flexible. Can I go to a picnic at 2pm next week? Sure, I'll just ask off.

6) The money is also flexible. There's nothing quite like realizing you made waaaaayyyy more money in one night than you expected.

5) Drunk guys will hit on you. (Probably.)

4) You can drink on the clock. Should you? No. But you can probably sneak a shot every now and then without any real consequences.

3) You can get someone to cover your section while you go out back to smoke a joint.

2) No stress of what to wear. Wear your uniform. Simple. Done.

1) You get to walk around. Variety is the spice of life.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

QUEUE THIS!

What a day! And what a week! Yesterday brought lots of exciting activity from SCOTUS, and last week I was up to my eyeballs in films at the LA Film Festival. And yes, this does relate to my regular post about Netflix movies. As far as the SCOTUS decision goes, we are lucky enough to have access to a wonderful doc on the couple behind the fall of DOMA - Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer. See Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement below (and it's even directed by women and streaming!). I'm so looking forward to learning more about these trailblazers.

As for the LA Film Festival-- Wow, what an inspiring roundup of films directed by women! As I pointed out in an earlier post, there was a lot of talent headed to the fest. And they did not disappoint. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see all the films that were directed by women, but I'd like to give you a head's up about a few that really rocked my world. I'm not exaggerating, these are fantastic films. Favorite features include Afternoon Delight (dir Jill Soloway), In A World (dir Lake Bell) and Wadjda (dir Haaifa al Mansoor). On the doc side, I was inspired by American Revolutionary- The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (dir Grace Lee), The Crash Reel (dir Lucy Walker) and Venus VS. (dir Ava DuVernay). If they aren't already, be sure to put these on your radar.  


By the way, all of these wonderful directors were kind enough to pose for a photo for @TheDirectorList, my twitter account dedicated to promoting women directors. Please take a look and retweet-- promoting these women directors helps raise awareness about all of us! And now for a few more festival favorites directed by women and available on Netflix...Queue this!

Blame It On Fidel! (dir Julie Gavras, 2006)  Netflix says: "Nina Kervel-Bey stars as 9-year-old Anna, a privileged young Parisian girl whose orderly, structured life is thrown into turmoil when her parents are drawn into Paris's turbulent and radical 1970s political scene. Julie Gavras (daughter of famed French filmmaker Costa-Gavras) directs this 2007 Sundance Film Festival competition entry." Yet another connection to the LA Film Festival - Costa-Gavras was honored there this year. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If You Plan To Read This, Have Your Prozac Ready.

Study shows that that woman have better luck
selling books than film spec scripts 
Did you hear the latest statistic regarding women in Hollywood? I saw it in The Wrap on Friday --  "Spexism - Sales Of Female-Penned Specs Hits New Low."  Of recent sales of spec scripts, women make up a smaller percentage of those sales than any time in the last two decades.  For the record, I want you all to know that I really do try to find positive "Women in Hollywood" news to share with you. But in the months since I started blogging for Broad Humor, I've been struck time after time with disappointing statistics regarding women in this industry. What shocks me is that the poor showing isn't just in one given discipline or genre -- it's across the board. The numbers are even more shocking when I consider the fact that I meet women, both young and old, who are every bit as talented, passionate, skilled, bright, funny, and knowledgeable as the guys, young or old, that I meet. In my opinion, the poor numbers are in no way a representation of the level of talent women in this town possess. So what gives?  Why aren't women shining in Hollywood? For writers, it's not because we women can't tell a story. You only have to look as far as the ratio of men to women writers on the New York Time Best Sellers List to prove it. As The Wrap article states, that ratio is 1:1. Equal for men and women. Since this list is based on sales, this is proof that women writers can bring eyeballs to the page just as well as male writers can. So it stands to reason that women screenwriters could bring butts to the seat as well as their male counterparts -- if given the chance. Note to the industry: women just want to help you succeed and make money.  Help us. Help you. 


Please share any positive news you have about women in Hollywood or your thoughts on why the state of employment (or underemployment) is what it is for women in this industry. Look forward to your comments!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Top 10 Sitcoms Starring Female Stand Ups

As often is the case, this week's top 10 list is inspired by what is going on in my life. I recently began doing stand up comedy at open mic nights (it's super fun, you should try it). Stand up comedy and acting are two different talents, so I want to celebrate the women who have successfully done both. The shows on this list don't all have the comedienne as the "star" of the show, but the parts are good and the ladies are great. Here's my list of the Top 10 Sitcoms Starring Female Stand Ups:

10) Suddenly Susan (Kathy Griffin) Brooke who? Kathy Griffin is fantastic and I love her.

9) The Larry Sanders Show/The Ben Stiller Show (Janeane Garofalo) She wasn't in every episode of the former, and the latter didn't last long, but she's an incredibly funny lady.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Athena Film Festival Call for Entries


Happy first day of Summer, everyone!! Today I'd like to talk about another great film festival for Women: the Athena Film Festival. What makes this festival unique is the fact that only films about women in leadership are accepted. Take a look at this video below and the blurb from their website. The deadline for submission is September 15th!






A Celebration of Women and Leadership
Heading toward its fourth year, the Athena Film Festival -- a celebration of women and leadership -- is an engaging weekend of feature films, documentaries and shorts that highlight women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world. The four-day festival, which includes conversations with directors and Hollywood stars and workshops for filmmakers, has quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind. The festival will be held Feb. 6 - 9, 2014 in the heart of New York -- at Barnard, the most sought-after women’s college in the nation.







*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hey Fellow Writers...Extend Your Life With A Treadmill Desk!

I'm writing this blog while walking on my treadmill desk -- the newest trend in office accessories, or should I say office necessities. At a speed of one mile per hour, I comfortably stroll and write and, according to Dr. James Levine,  extend my life.  I've had my treadmill desk for less than a week and so far I love it.  An article in the May issue of The New Yorker called "The Walking Alive", inspired me to get one after reading some alarming statistics about the health hazards of sitting at a desk. As a writer, I easily sit six hours or more a day often ignoring the aches and pains that my body sends as cries that it's had enough. "Shut up, you wimpy, whiny body! I must keep writing and finish this scene!" Does this sound familiar to any of you? I know I'm not the only one into this type of self torture.  And then after a long day of writing, what do I do? Relax in front of the TV. Who's with me on this? And even on those nights when my body protests at being forced to sit on the couch in front of the TV,  I still do it because, as an entertainment writer, I consider it "research", right? I've got to keep up with the current shows so I know what's out there. It's work! So what does all this sitting amount to?  Well, there's the obvious back aches and weight gain, but there's even more going on under the surface.  Dr. Levine has discovered some frightening facts about sitting that I want to share so that you know what's really going on when you sit at your desk innocently tippy-tapping out your scripts.

Sitting a lot, even if you're in good shape, is bad. Even if you go to the gym 3 times a week, you might feel fit, but you won't be metabolically healthy. According to Levine, "Sitting puts muscles into a sort of hibernation, cutting off their electrical activity and shutting down the production of lipoprotein lipase -- the enzyme that breaks down fat molecules in the blood. Your metabolic rate drops to about one calorie a minute -- just slightly higher than if you were dead."  Pause to let this sink in.... Okay. Moving on.

Even sitting for two hours a day is harmful. Sitting for more than two hours a day (hello, that's 2 dramas a night) causes the presence of good cholesterol to drop and, in time, insulin effectiveness plummets. This can lead to cardiovascular problems, certain kinds of cancer, depression, deep-vein thrombosis and type-2 diabetes.  (gulp)

A one-hour hard workout a day won't cut it.  Contrary to popular belief, going to the gym once a day for a hard one-hour work out may not cancel out the damage done by sitting for six hours. (Well, I wasn't even doing that much activity)

For women, sitting is especially unhealthy. While studies show that men who sit for six or more hours a day have an over-all death rate  20% higher than men who sit for three hours or less a day, women have it worse. (of course) Studies show that women who sit for more than six hours a day die at a rate that's 40% higher than that of women who move more. This is the statistic that got me to run out and get my treadmill desk. 

The answer is walking. It's been tested and shown that walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and the risk of dying by 32%.  

The Treadmill Desk.  No need to spend thousands on a new treadmill desk - you can make your own! I found a cheap treadmill on Craigslist last Thursday, my husband rigged up the "desk" part on Friday and by Friday evening I was emailing all my friends, bragging that I was writing them while exercising. If you decide to go for it and DYI a treadmill desk, here's what to look for in a treadmill:

- 2.0 horsepower motor minimum - most treadmills are built for one-hour workouts at higher speed as opposed to 6-hour continuous use at a low speed. So this size motor is recommended.
- 18 inch wide belt - You're going to be working so a wider belt is recommended so that you don't step off the side. 
- Speeds of 1mph and lower - Setting the treadmill at .8 mph is recommended for work.  I set mine at 1 mph and that feels comfortable. You just want to make sure that you have slow options. 

Before getting my treadmill desk, I really didn't have enough hours in the day to do my work, my daily chores, AND exercise. Now I work and exercise at the same time! Who doesn't love multitasking?! Fellow treadmill deskers -- I'll call them "treaders" -- claim that they have more energy and more focus while working. It's too early for me to make those claims, but maybe I'll check back in a few months and tell you how it's been -- hopefully 5 pounds lighter!  My next goal -- get my dogs on it with me!

Oh, BTW, while writing this blog, I just walked 2 miles and burned 204 calories!! Yay!



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Top 10 Reasons the Lack of Women in Film isn't All Bad


I don't think the lack of women in film is necessarily a bad thing. (Oooh! Them's fightin' words!) Just hear... er, read...me out. Here are the Top 10 Reasons the Lack of Women in Film isn't All Bad:

10) Being a minority allows us to have fun "just for us" things like the Broad Humor Film Festival!

9) This blog exists. That gives me something to do every Monday.

8) If there were tons of women in the industry, there would be no reason for diversity programs to help women break in.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mumbai Women’s International Film Festival Call For Entry


One of my favorite things to do is to keep track of Women’s Film Festivals around the world. 

This one just announced their call for entries. Take a moment to check them out and send in your films.













*Do you have a helpful resource you’d like to promote? Do you know about a great resource to share with the Broads? Contact me to be a part of helpful resource Friday.
~~~

Free 5-Day Professional Development Intensive for NYC Artists

 Do you live in NYC?  Then get your name on the list.  You might get picked by the lottery to be part of this great professional development intensive. 

I, for one, think lotteries are the best way to select artists for all sorts of programs.  Once you rise to the general level of requirements, it becomes personal taste and not artistry that makes the last cut.  In the "personal taste" realm also lives the -isms - you know - sexism, racism, cultural imperialism.  Anyway details below the fold or just go to the website:  NYC Artists Professional Development Program

Thursday, June 13, 2013

QUEUE THIS!

For those of us in Los Angeles, this week sees the start of the LA Film Festival, and I'm really excited about it.  As many of you know, I was on the fest circuit with my itty bitty short film, The Director, in 2011-12 and it was a wonderful experience.  When things slowed down, however, I really started missing all that's great about film festivals-- meeting other filmmakers, seeing new films, being inspired by the creative energy swirling about, etc.  So, I decided to get a pass for this year's LA Film Fest to kinda-sorta pretend that I'm back on the circuit (don't worry, I'm not going to lie to people and say I'm a festival filmmaker, I'm only going to lie to myself a little bit).  So, if you see me around the fest, please say hello!  My favorite part is connecting with other filmmakers.  And if you're a woman director, I just might snap a picture of you to share with @TheDirectorList twitter followers (you'll have photo approval, of course). Don't be shy!

Good lord, there are a lot of great films by women at this year's festival.  To help you get to know a few of the women behind those films, I've put together a Netflix viewing list that includes some of their other film work. By the way, I love how easy the LA Film Fest makes it to find women directed films- just go to the film guide, click the Genre drop-down menu and pick Women Directors.  I wish every fest made it so easy (as well as Netflix, for that matter)!  It's too bad they don't include the short filmmakers, but it's a great start.

I'll be honest, there are a few filmmakers here I didn't know had other films, so working on this week's post led me to some nice discoveries.  I hope there are some discoveries for you, too.  Let's QUEUE THIS!

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (dir Tamar Halpern, 2011)  Netflix says: "Just before his 13th birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a mysterious box that needs four keys to be opened and promises to reveal the meaning of life. Aided by his feisty best friend, Lizzy, Jeremy goes on an extraordinary quest to open his treasure."