Recently, I have been collaborating a lot with women on projects. Not only my documentary that I am finishing, but also writing for DIY Dancer, my dance classes at Boulder Ballet, and I may be helping a grad student at CU who is planning on shooting and editing video for her thesis project. On Sunday I had this epiphany about how I am getting into a place where I am surrounded by much more supportive people in terms of my ideas.
When I was in graduate school for film and video and as I have worked on my own films for the past ten years, I have been in these worlds where I am surrounded by men. They support each other and I often get left behind - often with the comment that my work belongs on the CW. I am not sure if they know how insulting that is, but, let's just say, I rarely heard that anyone else's pieces should be played on a television station (other than PBS). Don't get me wrong many men have been very supportive and when I was in undergraduate I was often the only woman in my classes and the men in those classes never made me feel as though I should quit.
At the same time, particularly after I left CU, I have had to fight a lot to justify using female characters or why people should be interested in my films or my voice. For instance, I have had to talk an inordinate amount about how attractive the people are in my films. Ugh, it drives me crazy. I would like to talk with people about the themes in my films and not how "hot" the characters are.
When I work with other women I can skip over all the this nonsense and talk about characters and themes. The word ballet does not warrant an automatic eye roll (of course most of the women I have been working with lately are dancers - so there is that). I had a very small screening of my documentary many months ago and there were men present (no "film guys" though) and we had an amazing discussion about my film and they connected with all three female characters and offered amazing insight. I have no idea which woman in the film they thought was the most attractive. How refreshing.
I hope that I can get my film out to people like that, who will give it a chance. I think it means forging a new pathway perhaps beyond festivals and the like. Right now, I really need to focus on figuring out what that will be.
I hope this wasn't too much of a rambling post, but I am just working out these ideas and thoughts that are floating around in my head. For now, I plan on continuing to collaborate with the women around me and, hopefully, I will gain more confidence from their insights and the respect we have shown each other.