December 6, 2016

Within/Without




 "In the slaughterhouse of love, they kill only the best, none of the weak or deformed. Don't run away from this dying. Whoever's not killed for love is dead meat."  - RUMI

We're in the dark times again. The light around us has dimmed, become artificial. We need to huddle close, reach out for each other and foster our light within. Otherwise the dark waters can surface and pull us under.

We must turn away from our suffering mind. It claims it knows the way. It does not. It leads us to dry paths and to dull scenery.

Life without heart is hallow, mundane. It's thirsty. Without heart, life is still and safe. Neither up nor down, it flatlines. Can you hear the ringing of your own decay? Is the safety worth this noise?

Love is like water. It is essential. But we've forgotten the feeling of it on our skin, we have forgotten that we are made of this stuff. We need the recognition of what is within to be found without. We need the joy of being fully submerged, returned. We need suspension. We need peace.

Say yes to your nourishment. Fall deeply in love. Listen to the one who calls out for you. Follow this fool to the ends of the Earth. Not the one without, the one within.

Photo by Laura Makabresku.
SHARE:

November 24, 2016

Honour the Realm of the Unknown



Falling or flying. It's hard to tell sometimes, isn't it? We claim to want to feel alive, but shrink at the vulnerability it requires of us.

There is a price to be paid for your freedom. People don't often speak of this. The old must be grieved. Even when letting go of something that no longer serves us, we must grieve.

In these times, we search for certainty. We doubt our steps forward and the woods ahead of us seem too dark. We want to turn around and be embraced by the familiar. That is a mistake.

This is not the time to be left alone in our heads without adult supervision.

When ruled by the head, we can feel a self righteous strength. We can lay down the sword and cut through the chaos, but it only produces more. When ruled by the head, the heart is not invited to the table. Knee-jerk reactions can feel so powerful, but it is simply an attempt to control. It is all an illusion.

Being lead by spirit is an entirely different experience. It's not philosophical. It's something felt within the body. You feel a shift from tension, worry and pain, towards the calm. The deep knowing.

When you have this feeling, it's like waking up from a lucid dream. It's remembering that in some realm that feels more real than this one, we can fly. We can fly, we've only forgotten.

The last few weeks have been a difficult mirror to look through. How many times have I uttered, I have no idea what's going on here. I want to know my destiny. I want to understand, to make sense, to make decisions and charge forward and the universe continues to whisper, bitch chill.

So many souls around me are feeling the pressure. We're having our buttons pushed. We're being nudged off the diving board before we're ready. Pain is surfacing. Lose ends are being tied. The new is calling us. And yes, it is scary. It can be a time of feeling great overwhelm.

So lay the fuck down for a minute and be still. Be like the fainting goats. Take your time.

You will remember who you are.

* * *

I want to say thank you to my Tribe, to all the souls who share so vulnerably with me and remind me that we are in this together, never alone. xoxo


Photo by Kelly Lawrence.

SHARE:

September 16, 2016

Leaving the Suffering Business

Photo by Laura Makabresku
Today is a powerful day. We have a lunar eclipse and full moon in Pisces, which essentially means you will be feeling everything. Everything that isn't working right now and everything that hurt from the past. 2016 has been labeled the Year of Purification* and the full moon energies illuminate all that needs to be released. Sometimes, it hurts to let go.

A brilliant question came to me this week: when we are preoccupied with an outcome, when do we cultivate presence? My answer was, we don't. That's kind of the point. Stay busy so you don't have to feel. And yet, moments begin to pass without significance, clutter begins to accumulate and it's difficult to decipher was is true, what is necessary, what is essential.

There's always something waiting for us when we stop and allow ourselves to breathe. Louis C. K. shares brilliantly on the sadness that visits us when we're alone. We avoid these moments and lose the power and the gifts of them.

My experience has taught me that everything, even grief, is temporary. What has prolonged my pain is the avoidance of it, the refusal to acknowledge it. When we are physically wounded, the injury needs to be tended to or else the whole body is at risk. Our spirits are the same. I used to wear my wounds like badges of honour. Nothing hurts me, nothing touches me. I don't feel a thing. As a result, I suffered tremendously. It gets to be exhausting, trudging along, carrying dead weight and bleeding out.
“Out of the wound emerges the teacher, your wisdom, your wholeness." - Pat lillies
I know the transformative power of pain. Today, I am no longer in the suffering business. Today I am leaving for a writer's retreat in a commitment to share my story, as I feel called to do. No distractions. No running. No resistance. It's time for purification and to see the past in a larger context, one that includes hope and resilience. I invite you to allow yourself a moment to experience the same.

Take care of yourself this weekend. Be gentle. Be around the ones who love you. And remember, this too shall pass.


ALSO READ

3:33 from The Synchronicity Series

Making Modern Toughness | David Brooks


*By Brother Kaypacha. Find him on YouTube.
SHARE:

September 9, 2016

What a Female Director Looks Like


This is what a female director looks like, though I am just one of many and don't claim to represent the whole. Notice the shirt - it passed the sniff test. Notice my favourite hat from Portland, very modern-day Spielberg, employed to tame the tresses because I didn't bother brushing my hair. I didn't even. Rocking a fresh face and mascara, because I'm a fan of the natural look (achieved by makeup). What you won't see: lack of confidence, overcompensated with a trucker's mouth and perfectionist tendencies that causes hair loss and a caffeine dependency when shit hits the fan. As you can see, I'm actually like any other director, only I was born with nature's pocket.

We are not magical unicorns, but we seem to be very rare. In reality, we are with you all the time. You just haven't noticed. Because continually, someone is telling you that we are rare. That we don't exist. Or maybe we do, but we're not that important.

I have written about my frustration with an industry that continues to minimize our presenceeven when launching initiatives to be more inclusive READ HEREThis week I had to ask why images of men are being used to attract women into positions of power in a promotional campaign. I think it's fair to take a moment and ask, what the fuck are you thinking?

Visibility is crucial and our continued absence in the media is strategic and at times, unconscious. The explanation is always the same apologetic garbage about balance when in reality, it's a timid move to not upset the imbalance of power that already exists and a fearful protection of the delicate male ego. Because God forbid men feel left out, right?

What happens is this: You ask me to come to the table, but all I see are men riding skateboards, staring out windows, contemplating their bright futures. I see men behind the camera. That doesn't convey the message to me that I am welcome. That doesn't reach my demographic because instantly, I avert my eyes from the medium and I miss the message. What happens is women are deterred from accessing funds and resources you are trying to provide them and sadly, this often happens without any awareness this is happening.

When I started seeing organizations on Twitter like WIFT, Bitch Flicks, Women Film Directors, Ax Wound Film Festival, Eye on Canada, and Reel Girls in Film, and started seeing articles being published about women stepping forward with no prior experience as a director, THAT is when I thought, hell... why am I not giving it a try? And poof, I'm good at it. Go figure.

See men are encouraged all the time to take these risks and they are visually enforced to do so, with articles about the next big break, the next brilliant director, the new media darling. We need the same for women.

So I want you to know that I'm out here and so are others. I want to encourage all of my females working in the film industry to post photos this weekend of yourself on set, behind the camera, getting shit done. Because clearly, the world needs to see what we look like.

GET MONEY GIRL

$10K grants are available from Telus Optik, exclusively for Female Directors. As a STORYHIVE alumni, I highly recommend women throw their hat in the ring. I had the opportunity to learn so much about myself and this business and as I mentioned last week, self-esteem is earned, it comes from experience.

Even if you haven't directed before, try it. Even if you have no idea what you're doing, trust that you will find someone who does. Seek out a mentor, hired skilled crew. If you seriously don't know where to start, message me. Apply here: http://www.storyhive.com/

I would also like to thank the Storyhive marketing team for their sensitivity, support and recognition of female directors. I am so pleased with this new initiative and I know the boys will be just fine sitting this one out. xoxo

SHARE:

August 30, 2016

The Importance of Stepping Into the Arena


A special thank you to EVERYONE who voted for Codependent Ghost Girl in the latest Storyhive competition. I am so proud of this project, the talent that collected and the result of our efforts. I'm sorry we don't have more episodes coming to you right away, but it's just the beginning for this series, so stay tuned! I also need to give a very special shout-out to our people behind the scenes who helped us make a terribly kick-ass social media campaign and gorgeous Instagram account. Thank you to Jennifer Dacanay, our photographer. Derek Heisler, our Marketing Director website/poster/GIF designer and greatest ally in pushing the quality of Alberta content. Our Behind-the-Scenes crew: producer Nicole Murphy, cinematographer Frederic Kroetsch and editor Kody Davidson. A stellar group of people who volunteered their time to help form an amazing product. It means so much to me. 

And so the inspiration for this week's blog: the importance of stepping into the Arena and finding meaning in the process, regardless of the outcome. When I speak of the Arena of course I'm talking about that Brene Brown, lean in, vulnerable as fuck, business.

First, I would like to disclose that I am not a particularly brave person. My friends refer to me as "Piglet," because I fret and worry. I rehearse catastrophe and suffer through the resulting anxiety of anticipating things that will never occur. That's the base I work from. Ground zero. When people tell me they admire my confidence, I laugh, "Get to know me." What I have accomplished in spite of the war in my mind is my greatest feat.

However, when I started thinking of my creativity as a service, of how I earn my place on this planet, I learned to also treat my fear like a petulant child. It doesn't matter how you feel about this, it's going to happen. Your tantrum doesn't scare me. This takes practice.

The most valuable lesson that has come to me is self-esteem is earned. It comes from experience, not affirmations. It's not born of privilege. It's not being gifted with the right "stuff" or having a god-given advantage. It comes from suiting up and showing up.

What you will experience, guaranteed, is pain. Blood is what the Arena was made for. You will be humbled by your flaws. You will be fortified. Your relationships will be tested and some people will be left behind. You will attract helper spirits who will propel you further than you could ever go yourself. The others in the Arena with you, will become your brothers in the trenches and deep bonds will be formed. But it will be painful. As a good friend reminded me last week, Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

The blood spilled is worth the wisdom gained and the self-esteem that occurs as result of this action is what builds self-trust, self-love, and self-worth. You will become more courageous because those little fears, like reins upon our soul, won't mean so much. Bless Brene for this:


Yes, your world may fall apart as the familiar will burn away and turn to ash. But when the smoke clears, you'll realize the fence was taken away too and there's a vast land of possibility just waiting for you to step into.

We are all living The Hero's Journey, the universal structure of all stories. The major arcana in tarot. The destiny and trial of every life. This is the beginning. Step forward. 
SHARE:

August 5, 2016

3 Days Till Codependent Ghost Girl!





Codependent Ghost Girl is coming at you like a tornado of thrasher-metal hair. Woah dude. To celebrate, our amazing Marketing Director Derek Heisler treated us all to some original GIFs to spread all over the net.


I know right? It's exciting...  You're getting a major sneak peak of the show that is coming to you on August 8 with Telus Optik's STORYHIVE. Check out our official website below for behind the scenes photos, interviews with cast & crew, and these sweet sweet GIFs...

www.ghostgirl.ca


SHARE:

August 3, 2016

COMING SOON: CODEPENDENT GHOST GIRL


On set with STRIKER. Photos by Jennifer Dacanay

The wait is nearly over! The pilot episode of Codependent Ghost Girl will be released on Monday, August 8th! We’ve been on information lock-down, so I'm thrilled to start sharing info on the show.

For you Edmonton music fans, we have special cameos from Metal thrashers and Edmonton Music Prize Winners STRIKER! It was an absolute blast to work with these talented guys... and that hair! If that wasn't enough, Daniel Carriere - lead singer of ROYAL TUSK  - has a special guest appearance and his hit single Shadow of Love is our official theme song for the series. COOL right?

I couldn't be more proud of this project and all the incredible people who came together to pour their blood sweat and tears into my creative stew. (Gross). I know as the producer I'm supposed to say that. But seriously, this has been the best experience and I can't wait to share Codependent Ghost Girl with you all!

We're going to be releasing behind-the-scenes photos & videos from the show over the next few days. Our Marketing Director Derek Heisler and Social Media Strategist Nicole Murphy have some amazing content coming our way, showcasing all the amazing people on and off screen. So follow us here:








YOU CAN HELP THE SHOW! VOTE AUGUST 8 - 12

Your votes, shares and likes can help us win $50K from Telus Optik to complete the entire series! Voting starts August 8 on the STORYHIVE website - follow us for links and reminders - and you can cast your vote everyday until August 12. Voting is open to all you international #FanGhouls so we encourage everyone to participate!


SHARE:

July 20, 2016

Love is a Hunter

Illustration by Goni Montes.

Can we talk about self-sabotage for a second?

You have this dream that gnaws on you. Your heart sings in the pursuit of it, but when you're this close, you deny and dismiss it. In relationships, you drive people away. In career, you didn't make that extra effort when the opportunity presented itself because [insert your lame ass excuse here]. You get the nudges, the signs, the synchronicity, but decide it's just wishful thinking and toss the gift aside. Our dreams present themselves at our feet all the time, like stags sacrificing their heart to the hunter. But we miss the mark.

I see a lot of people tripping over themselves lately. From procrastination to perfectionism, we all have our go-to reasons why things aren't quite working out for us and it's usually everyone else's fault. Or we mistake the presence of fear, being uncomfortable or awkward as a sign that something isn't right and we should stop what we're doing. If you are truly hunting, you should be terrified. Pee should be running down your leg!

I used to believe that destiny trumped all. The sad truth is, you can ruin your opportunity. You can absolutely fuck it up, destroy that potential, lose that person who could have meant something to you... and this all happens from a lack of effort, not a failure in trying. And if you're really honest, you just didn't try. This is why you can't have nice things. You don't think you're worthy of them.

As a retired black-out artist and recovering saboteur, I am painfully aware of all the times I have held myself back and let myself down. So many times I believed an outsider's voice over mine about who I am and what I am capable of. It doesn't even matter what they said, only that I believed it.  I fostered it. I limped. I defaulted. I denied myself.

I went through a big transition in May - an awakening that rocked my world and named the source of my Achilles heel. Looking back, it's a miracle that I still managed to function through the chaos and re-birth of myself, in spite of not knowing what the fuck I was doing or feeling good about it. And now I get it. I am my only enemy, not just the worst, and it stems from what I think about myself or what I think about what is possible. The healing here is that we can change what we think.

Whenever I've found myself saying Can't, Won't, Don't, Tried, I am now adjusting to the possibility that I just don't know what is possible. And if I'm not stuck on being right and certain, then anything is possible. The best part is that you don't have to be convinced you're worthy of anything - just the possibility of it is enough space for magic to take place.

We forget how powerful we are. We are instruments to be used for alchemy. When aligned, we can tap into unseen forces and access an entire arsenal of tools that are not visible in the 3D realm. It's our birthright to come together and create. All the elements are at our disposal and helpful hands appear when we ask for them.

Are you struggling? Ask Yourself:

What keeps you in illusion?
What excuses did you come up with?
What are you missing out on?
Who do you keep at your side to reinforce the lie?
How much good do you allow?
How many times do you call out for your heart's desire and then not recognize it when it shows up because of judgment or fear?
Do you realize that you reading this is no accident? Yeah sweetheart, I'm talking to YOU!

Begin to question the voice inside you that knows the answer to everything. Try to rest in a place of uncertainty, then breathe and raise your bow.

xo

SHARE:

June 27, 2016

#CGGSeries in Production!



This week we're in production for my series Codependent Ghost Girl! Our Art Director Tessa Stamp is working away at transforming this space with her mad genius and we're working feverishly to get everything prepped for the big shoot!

It's fitting that our location is the The Ortona Armory, as I practically grew up in this building. My aunt, singer-songwriter Wendy McNeill, had studio space here for years with her dog Fred. My cousin and I have filmed in every nook - as most Edmonton filmmakers have. This is where I hand-processed my first 16mm film with aAron Munson in a dark, spider-filled bathroom. Just so many memories flooding.

I'm feeling so grateful for all of the talented people that have been brought on board to help bring my vision to life. And none of this would be possible without funding from Telus Optik's Storyhive!

I have an exciting week ahead of demons, ghosts, musicians and Instagram models. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes pics!
SHARE:

May 30, 2016

Hellevator: 100in1Day



This is absolutely delicious madness! Make Something Edmonton's 100in1Day Challenge is taking place this Saturday, June 4. It's MSE's most ambitious collaborative project, uniting hundreds of Edmontonians to improve the city in creative ways, in one day.

Now enter Randy Brososky, an alumni of Telus Optik's STORYHIVE and the creator of Necessary Evil, a supernatural dark comedy about corporate Hell. He's gathered a bunch of talented people together - including comedian Howie Miller (Delmar & Marta) - to shoot 100 episodes, with new characters and KITTENS! Real live squish-able kittens!

I've joined this project as a writer/actor and director and I am so excited to be part of a project that is highlighting the incredible talent we have in Edmonton's screen-based industry. Help us spread that message by following along this Saturday and sharing the work!

The episodes will be exclusively released on Instagram so follow us here: https://www.instagram.com/necessaryevilseries/

You can get pumped up by watching the pilot episode of Necessary Evil here:


SHARE:

April 17, 2016

Codependent Ghost Girl

Photo by David Baron. Poster design by Derek Heisler.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all our amazing friends and family who supported my brand-new series Codependent Ghost Girl! Your daily votes have landed us an amazing mentorship with the National Screen Institute and a $10,000 grant with Telus Optik's STORYHIVE!

The series is being developed with an amazing cast - Samantha Quantz, Travis DesLaurier and Vance Avery - and you'll be able to watch the pilot episode this August, 2016! In the meantime, follow us on social media to stay in the loop. We have all kinds of surprises for our #FanGhouls!





SHARE:

March 25, 2016

3:33


"The heart is a mystery- not a puzzle that can't be solved, but a mystery in the religious sense: unfathomable, beyond manipulation, showing traces of the finger of God at work." - Thomas Moore


It all comes in threes. At the height of my awakening, over a three-week span, I endured the loss of my first love, a friend committed suicide and my beloved dog died. I felt I was in the middle of a country and western song. My heart was broken. My mind was fragile. Everything hurt. It certainly wasn't the darkest time of my life, but it was one of them.

And then I fell in love. I cut off all my hair and went blonde. I made a 16mm short film. Love, lightness and creativity. The cycle began again in threes. In hindsight, we can see that endings pave the way for new beginnings, but it's hard to remember that when you're enduring the dark night of the soul.

Right before Johnny Cash started penning my life, I was on the wrong trajectory, pouring my energy into politics and criminal justice while harbouring a terrible secret: I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to write and make films. Now I was no stranger to art and performance, but I had turned away from it at a pivotal point in my life because it lacked (in my opinion) credibility and substance. My intellect outlined the "right path" for me and as I marched to my decided destiny, I was blissfully unaware that I was dying inside. Not blissfully unaware actually. I knew I was sick: restless, irritable and discontent. Grief corrected my path. The pain made it impossible for me to disregard the call of my heart, which is why our dark times are an absolute gift. Just don't say that to someone in the midst of it... you could get punched in the face.

Follow Your Heart is probably one of the most cliched sayings we humans have, but great philosophers, scientists and artists have pointed out an important fact: the heart is the center of our soul. True desires that spring forth are not just passing whims of the ego, but indications of our purpose. OUR PURPOSE. Our absolute reason for manifesting on the planet! I vividly remember that moment of clarity when I realized my heart is not this treacherous organ in my chest that makes me *gasp* vulnerable and emotional. My heart is my compass. It is the map and the treasure.

I once worked with a gal who had a red ribbon tattooed around her pinky finger. She told me of the "red string theory" - that fate leads us to our heart's true desires by an invisible thread. What is meant for us will draw nearer, no matter where we run to. I love that. Imagine the pull of the fates. It means there are no mistakes, no wrong turns. It means that voice of resistance inside that says this is never going to happen is just the impatient child in the backseat asking are we there yet.

Recognize the signs that the universe is trying to assist you with your life purpose and soul mission. Look for the numbers, the meanings, the synchronicity. And if you feel all is lost, get clear, get quiet and ask your heart where it would like to be.
SHARE:

February 19, 2016

2:22



The creative path is non-linear. This can be terrifying when you want results or assurance of being on the right path, but fumbling around in the dark is necessary. Problem is, we don't recognize this as part of the process. We resist it and shame ourselves for it.

I feel we are all on this accelerated path - part of this global awakening that creativity is our purpose and contribution, but how do we hold fast through the reality of this painful process?

Radical acceptance. Sometimes detours are necessary. Breakdowns are breakthroughs. That toxic relationship, that crushing perfectionism, the procrastination that had you OCD organizing your sock drawer... all of it contributes to the cause, all can be harvested. Accept it. Surrender. Use swear-laden prayers to get you through. And if you really need to hear it, you're on the right path. We all are.

Creativity demands that you continue. Keep tending to your seeds though you have no idea what will break through or when. Keep your hands on the wheel, though the road is dark and Radiohead lyrics are spinning around in your mind. I have lost myself, a few times. Only in hindsight did I realize that it was always going to be OK.

Riding through the dark is necessary. It helps you decide where you would rather be. This is the time to invest your energy into your dreams. Preserve your potential. Cut out anything and anyone that doesn't sit right. At the end of the day, your creative spark will be all that sustains you. Everything else falls away.
SHARE:

February 3, 2016

LISTEN: AB Filmmakers Podcast


I want to share with you an amazing resource for screenwriters, directors, or anyone interested in the film and television industry.


The Alberta Filmmakers Podcast started this year by Matt Waterworth and Scott Westby from Full Swing Productions. They share on relevant topics of what's happening in the industry and interview exciting people from across the province, people like Adam Scorgie, Taylor RossOlaf Blomerus, Dylan Pearce... if you don't know these names, you should! There's so much more happening in Alberta than you could even imagine, so download and enjoy!

My interview is here, LANGUAGE WARNING (obviously).
https://soundcloud.com/abfilmcast/10-lindsey-mcneill

Find more here:
http://abfilmcast.ca/
SHARE:

January 21, 2016

Do Not Let Fear Win You


#BITCHPLEASE  I met Karen Dantas through the Creative Mind Group. We were 2 of 3 Albertans representing at the Cannes Film Festival (shout out to Mike Ross!) in May 2015. Watching Karen navigate through the chaos, network like a pro, embody confidence AND kindness (incredibly rare) and demonstrate how to sell yourself and your ideas, was so unbelievably inspiring to me. It's amazing we had to travel to France to meet, when we're only three hours away.

Karen's article has made me realize why the BITCH PLEASE SERIES was so important to take on, because it's not just about sharing our victories as women in the industry, but also being honest about what holds us back. We are all sparkly goddamn unicorns, just by existing in this sexist scene, but it is so vital for us to speak about how we inhibit our own progress by not honouring what we think and feel. Please share Karen's article and give her some love below on the comments section.

Do Not Let Fear Win You

Guest Post by Karen Dantas 


The biggest mistake of my career has been to follow the rules too closely. I was working as a script analyst for an acquisitions executive who consulted for feature film buyers representing several international territories which included Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East.  I was given a ratings chart and the task to prioritize scripts that fit the very sought-after ‘Under 25, Male’ demographic.   Low-brow genre fare, action and erotic thrillers were the type of projects of primary interest to him.  The other projects, my boss would tell me, are “awards crap” and he would say “my clients are not interested in awards, only butts in seats” and that “women don’t go to the movie theatres, boys do!”

The kind of scripts looking for the financing that came through him were typically independent features sourcing international pre-sales trying to raise that last percentage of the budget to get into production. I would say 90% of the projects that passed through me would not be the type of films that I would watch myself.  As a consequence I felt my passion and reason for going to school to study film as well as my desire to work in that magical world turn into a jaded shell as I saw myself giving Recommends and greenlighting the types of work that did not speak to me but made business sense.  My coverage reports made my boss and his clients happy, so I ascended quickly through the pool of readers and for several years attended meetings with him and some of his clients at the Toronto International Film Festival.  I did screening coverages on some well marketed and some emerging titles and got to attend some pretty high-profile parties.  My name got on some guest lists and I remember chilling at a party with Harvey Weinstein and Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles sitting at the table next to mine. 

Then I got my next assignment. It was another independent project, written by an emerging screenwriter and directed by an emerging director with no real track record but who happened to be the son of an established filmmaker.  The attached cast on imdb had a few credits, but mostly as bit parts to other projects.   Budget was very modest.  I remember as I read the script it evoked some strong feelings in me, but my thoughts that niggled me as I wrote my report was that 1) the main character was a teenaged girl and 2) the subject matter was not one male teens or young male adults were going to connect with.  I wrestled with what my recommendation was going to be and at first submitted my report with a “Consider.”  My boss responded back with a “Are we in or are we out?” and I knew I had to come out with a hard decision that was all mine.  I lost a night of sleep and made the decision to play it safe and by the book.  I was terrified to risk my investor’s money on a project that did not fit the mould and result in a loss on their investment.  So I said “PASS.”

A few years later the film hit the cinemas and was distributed by Fox Searchlight.  As with all the projects I wrote coverages for, I followed its performance to see if my analysis matched.  I was stunned to see it was not only a tremendous box office success (to date around $231 million) but also won that first-time female screenwriter the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.  That film was Juno and to this day I look back at it as a life lesson to go with my instincts instead of letting those instincts get dulled by lending more credence to others' voices.  I should have been excited that movies like Juno were blazing trails for women in the industry like Ellen Page and Diablo Cody, and for other stories told from the female perspective, and that it was proof that people did want to experience stories with women at the centre, and that people WILL go to the cinemas for it.

I am so grateful that this happened for a reason – first I learned the lesson that there is no ONE way to make a successful film, and that it was even dangerous to play it safe.  The bigger lesson was that I did not listen to myself, and even more so, I had to accept that I was too cowardly to stand behind my call.  I learned to grow from this and to no longer allow fear to hold me captive.  I learned to not be afraid to stand up to my boss and to present my case instead of just shutting up and hiding behind his words. 

So what happened post Juno?  For a while I was demoted to covering projects that never saw the light of day.  I got frustrated being in that purgatory and demanded a meeting.  We talked, and I owned that it was a bad call on MY part and that I learned MY lesson. He gave me another chance, and then later on picked me out of his pool of readers to assist him on some of the projects he was producing.  One was recently in AMC theatres and just came out on DVD.  It is called Garm Wars: The Last Druid, directed by renowned Japanese director Mamoru Oshii, (and, oh will you look at that?) features a kick-ass female protagonist.


KAREN DANTAS IS ROCKING IT

Karen Dantas is a Calgary-based independent film and television professional. After graduating from the University of Toronto Cinema Studies program with High Distinction, she first landed on Toronto’s Bay Street as a film and entertainment insurance broker.  Working from the financial lines opened the doors to her roles as a Script Analyst, as the Executive Assistant at ReelWorld Film Festival, and then on to the office of the Executive Vice-President of English Services at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also completed an internship with William Morris Endeavor and worked as a Program Coordinator-University Relations during the Cannes Film Festival for The Creative Mind Group.   She enjoys taking on challenging and exciting projects and discovering new talent. 

Follow her on Twitter and on Instagram @kdantas905

Check out Garm Wars: The Last Druid:

Official Japanese Website: http://garmwars-movie.com/jp/
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcN7Ww_d2-A

SHARE:

January 14, 2016

1:11

Illustration by Alyssa Bean

"There is a lot of unknown that needs to be accepted and embraced with a trusting heart"- Lena Stevens

First post of 2016! And yes, I realize we are in the second week of January already - I blame the mercury retrograde and this bitch flu that is trying to choke me with my own precious bodily fluids.

I am so excited for this year. Last year was an incredible demonstration of what is possible. It blew my heart open, it broke it, and it brought up some major challenges - an experience that seems pretty universal. I think we're all glad to see 2015 go, oui?

Moving forward, this year is all about completion - my feature screen play, a few short films and a memoir that has been a few years in the making. It's time for it all to come out. And because I'm a huge fan of harnessing energy and intentions, I share with you some excellent tools to get geared up to make the most of your creative self.

LISTEN

First, please listen to this podcast - Elizabeth Gilbert interviews Brene Brown on how creativity is the way we share our soul with the world and what happens to us if we don't. Brilliant discussion here.
https://soundcloud.com/riverheadbooks/ep-12-big-strong-magic

WRITE

Then head over to Momma Jane's blog for some incredible prompts to reflect and set intentions for this year, powerful stuff such as "what do you need to stop blaming yourself for?" and "what can you not deny you are really good at?" Drop that mic Momma!
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-get-more-what-you-want-2016-jane-zakreski?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like

READ

And for you true mystics out there, delving deep into universal patterns and healing, this month is all about renewal. Check out my favourite Mystic Mamma. 
http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-january-2016-is-reset/

And stay tuned for a special guest post from Karen Dantas coming up as part of my Bitch Please Series - interviewing women in film on their experience with creative life. Her article is GOLD, so don't miss. xoxo
SHARE:
© Scream Queen B . All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig