24th - 28th August:
I was selected to be an 'observer' by Ffilm Cymru Wales and the BFI NET.WORK Wales for the "Female Filmmakers Launchpad", which took place last week. My role was to shadow the director and mentor in my group, take in as much as possible and learn skills for my continued practice as a female director in the industry. My group consisted of three other talented ladies, Destiny Ekaragha (Danny And The Human Zoo, Gone Too Far!), Carys Lewis (Selected Lab Director), and Lisa Davies (Selected Lab Line Producer). Together, alongside additional crew members, we made a short pilot for a feature film, all of which was rehearsed, filmed and edited within 3 days. I enjoyed having the opportunity to observe Carys and Destiny - we nurtured a highly collaborative environment from the get go, which made us all aware of one another's strengths and capabilities. The talks were thoroughly engaging, where each of the four mentors (Destiny Ekaragha, Desiree Akhavan, Rebecca Johnson, Corinna McFarlane) shared their personal victories and conflicts as female directors within the industry. Common denominators during discussions in the week were, a) having an exuberant confidence when confronting the wider creative industry, b) not taking no for an answer, c) distinguishing your creative voice through practical application, and d) having an extensive range of film and/or television knowledge (be a film geek!).
Coming away from this experience I have realised that there is help and support out there, and I will certainly be looking to get involved with various networks, which help support the creative journeys of females in the industry. JUST MAKE FILMS - there are always going to be hundreds of reasons why I can't make my film, but focusing in on the positives and just going for it is 100% more beneficial for personal creative growth and development than admitting defeat too soon. I have also realised that no-one feels quite ready or qualified to take on the challenge of directing their first series of films as a new director, but if you've got something significant to say and share then it's worth the risk of failure! Women are so intricate and complex in all our beautful ways and we bring so much variety to the world - I'm looking forward to seeing these aspects extended further through film and television! It's already starting to happen, but there is so much more room to expand and grow! This launchpad has scared me, encouraged me, and ignited a desire to grow my creative voice into something that matters and can be shared with others :)