Jenna Augen on Her High-Octane Turn in London’s Bad Jews

first_imgBreakout performances rarely come as high-voltage as Jenna Augen’s turn in Bad Jews, the Joshua Harmon play that is transferring to the Arts Theatre starting March 18 after previous runs both at the St. James Theatre and out of town in Bath. Inheriting Tracee Chimo’s New York role, Augen puts her own spiky, sparky spin on the religious Daphna, who comes to grief with her assimilationist cousin Liam (Ilan Goodman) over the fate of a family heirloom. The immediately warm Augen chatted to Broadway.com on the eve both of the play’s West End upgrade and of turning 30 about defending a tricky character, making it overseas, and being ready for whatever happens. You have a base in L.A.—is this third run of Bad Jews making you reassess where you want to focus your career? Now it just seems as if there are many more possibilities in terms of staying here. When I left almost two years ago now, my prospects here felt very limited but now it looks as if there are options. I do have a life out in L.A. now and would love somehow to get a proper career going there as well as here, so I’m not sure how that bridge is going to be built. Daphna is such a high-octane presence. Is it hard to leave her behind every night? I do find it difficult to shed her skin because her rhythms are so total. She’s so aggressive and her energy level is at such a high voltage that I have a really hard time coming down off it; I get completely exhausted. The last couple of weeks at the St. James we had 9-show weeks so two days of back-to-back shows. At the end of those, I didn’t know which end was up! [Laughs.] You and Ilan Goodman are so well-matched that the play’s various debates deliver big-time. Well, Ilan’s amazing, without which I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, but also the writing for the two characters is so perfectly paralleled and Liam’s rant has exactly the same thought patterns as Daphna’s; they’re on one wavelength, [but] the two sides of a single coin. And while they dislike each other and tick each other off, they on some level enjoy having that other person kicking off in the room: you’ve got to have some enjoyment in what they do on stage. Daphna is so quick-witted, yet volatile. Do you enjoy playing such a vibrant character? I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her at the St. James; I think we were all finding things every single week. It only really hit me towards the end of the run just how strong her sense of injustice is about the fact that her cousin Liam has really stolen the chai [the Hebraic heirloom belonging to their late grandfather]. It was taken off this elderly man who was lying comatose in the hospital, so no wonder it remains a hot-button issue when Daphna and Liam meet. The title of the play is an eye-opener with its suggestion that there are different kinds of Jews. Do you relate to that thematic? Well, my mother is a non-Jewish opera singer so I’m the product of the kind of situation that Liam has in the play with Melody [his non-Jewish girlfriend, who studied opera]. My dad is Jewish: he’s a molecular biologist and also genuine supporter and appreciator of the arts, and I’ve always felt very lucky to be my parents’ daughter. But there are spooky coincidences between my own life and what is in the script. When I first read it, I went, “Whoa, this is strange!” So you’re open to whatever happens? I am—I have to go where the wind takes me. You never know what’s next in this business but for now I’m just so glad to be having this job, and doing this play, for the third time.center_img Did you see the play during either of its two off-Broadway runs? I hadn’t, but I’d heard such wonderful things about it, and the original Liam [Michael Zegen] from the New York production happened to be in London and he came to see us, which was nice; it was really exciting to feel as if we were part of this trans-Atlantic team. You’re the only American in the four-person cast. Does that feel weird? Not at all. I went to [the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art] here and was often the only American being British in plays, so the fact of being the odd person out doesn’t feel strange to me. What’s good, I think, is that the accents in our show are pretty great and because I’m there, if anybody has a question about anything, they can just ask. The Arts Theatre marks your third run of Bad Jews—how does that feel? I’m so lucky. I was so happy to get this job in the first place. It was a long shot because I had been out of the country for a couple of years so it was just really nice to get the job. Then to be so well-received in Bath—where there are no Jewish people [laughs]—and at the St. James was incredibly exciting. I started crying when [co-star] Ilan [Goodman] came and told me this transfer was a possibility. As long as your American accent hasn’t been too tempered by time abroad! I know, right? We had a great dialect coach who caught me up on some stuff and here I was thinking, “Wait a minute, I’m from Connecticut,” and he said, “No, you’ve got a few Canadian sounds in your speech”—that’s what I get for spending so much time in England [laughs]. View Commentslast_img read more

Crowning glory as Aberdeen set for biggest pre-let in years

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

North Korea denounces US two years after Singapore summit

first_imgDeadline passed Trump and Kim met a third time in June 2019 in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula, when Trump stepped onto North Korean soil — a first for any American president.But the meeting produced little in terms of tangible progress.Subsequently, the North repeatedly demanded that the US offer it fresh concessions by December 31, but the deadline came and went.Kim declared the North no longer considered itself bound by its unilateral testing moratoriums. It has not yet carried out any such actions, but analysts believe it has continued to develop its arsenal throughout the discussions.Ri accused Washington of seeking regime change and said the North had decided to bolster its nuclear deterrent “to cope with the US unabated threats of nuclear war”.Pyongyang has carried out a series of tests of shorter-range weapons in recent months — often describing them as multiple launch rocket systems, although Japan and the United States have called them ballistic missiles.The process leading to the Singapore summit was brokered by the South’s President Moon Jae-in, but his office said Friday it had no comment to make on the anniversary. Topics : ‘Hypocritical’ US diplomats insist that they believe Kim promised to give up its arsenal, something Pyongyang has taken no steps to do.The North is under multiple international sanctions over its banned weapons programs.It believes it deserves to be rewarded for its moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and the disabling of its atomic test site, along with the return of jailed US citizens and remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War.”Nothing is more hypocritical than an empty promise,” Ri said in his statement, carried by the official KCNA news agency.Trump has made much of his connection with Kim — at one point declaring that they had fallen “in love” through their exchanges of letters.But Ri said Pyongyang now believed there was no hope for an improvement “simply by maintaining personal relations between our Supreme Leadership and the US President”.He stopped just short of criticizing Trump by name, but referred to comments that “the master of the White House” had “reeled off time and time again as a boast”.”Never again will we provide the US chief executive with another package to be used… without receiving any returns.” North Korea criticized Donald Trump in a stinging denunciation of the United States on Friday, the second anniversary of a landmark summit in Singapore where the US president shook hands with leader Kim Jong Un.It was the latest in a series of vitriolic statements from Pyongyang aimed at both Washington and Seoul, and came a day after the North implicitly threatened to disrupt November’s election if the US did not stay out of inter-Korean affairs.  In recent days, Pyongyang has excoriated the South over defectors launching leaflets criticizing Kim into the North and announced it was cutting all official communication links with Seoul. Friday’s broadside contained some of the harshest criticism Pyongyang has sent Washington’s way in recent months, and casts doubt over the future of the two sides’ long-stalled nuclear talks process.In the onslaught, the North’s foreign minister Ri Son Gwon accused Washington of hypocrisy and seeking regime change, saying that the hopes of 2018 had “faded away into a dark nightmare”.Trump and Kim were all smiles in front of the world’s cameras in Singapore as a North Korean leader met a sitting US president for the first time, and afterwards Trump proclaimed on Twitter that “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”But a second meeting in Hanoi last year to put meat on the bones of the North’s vaguely worded Singapore pledge to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” collapsed over what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.last_img read more

Olympia Master Builders Presents 2012 Awards

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Olympia Master BuildersJohn McKinlay of Olympia Overhead Doors was installed as the 41st President of Olympia Master Builders at the association’s Christmas Party last weekend.  Newly elected Washington State Secretary of State Kim Wyman performed the honors as McKinlay’s Installing Officer.  In his acceptance speech, McKinlay said he is honored to be leading the association in 2013 and looks forward to accomplishing great things for the home building industry next year.In addition to McKinlay, the following elected officers were installed to begin their service for 2013.  They include:  Scott Nolan of MDK Construction, Inc., First Vice President; Ross Irwin of Cabinets by Trivonna, Associate Vice President; Tina Allen of Great Floors, Second Associate Vice President; Ron Deering of Deering & Nelson, Inc. Treasurer; and Rich James of Olympia Fireplace & Supply, Secretary.The following 2012 awards were presented to members of Olympia Master Builders for outstanding performance during the year.   2012 President’s AwardJohn McKinlay – Olympia Overhead DoorsBuilder of the YearJohn McKinlay – Olympia Overhead DoorsAssociate of the YearHeather Burgess – Phillips Wesch BurgessRemodeler of the YearMike Auderer – Olympia Construction, Inc.Top Recruiter of the YearScott Nolan – MDK Construction, Inc.Golden Hammer AwardRon Deering – Deering & Nelson, Inc.Norman Paulsen AwardTim Dickey – Dickey’s Remodel & Repair and Accessible Living ConceptsStatesman of the YearLenny Greenstein – Lacey City CouncilOlympia Master Builders is a professional trade association representing nearly 600 member companies in Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Pacific and Mason Counties.  The primary goal of OMB is to provide affordable housing for all segments of society.  This is achieved by improving the construction industry and the business climate in which it operates. OMB members are committed to building strong communities, one home at a time.last_img read more

Leafs hold off Rebels to edge Sunflower City squad 4-3

first_imgThe Nelson Leafs continue to struggle to put together 60 minutes of hockey.The Green and White held off a late charge to edge the Castlegar Rebels 4-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.Dale Howell scored twice while Jack Karran and David Lenzin added singles as the Leafs built a 4-0 lead after two periods.However, the roof, almost, fell in on the Leafs as Castlegar struck for three goals in six minutes of play to erase the four-goal margin.Castlegar out shot the Leafs 34-32, including a 14-11 margin in the third period.Logan Styler, with a pair of markers, and Jesse Reeds replied for a Rebels team that has lost four consecutive games. Devin Allen won for the second time in the Leafs net while Jason Mailhoit took the loss between the pipes for Castlegar.Nelson, which lost 5-2 Friday against Beaver Valley, keeps pace with the Nitehawks in Murdoch Division standings.Beaver Valley, after winning a pair of games during the weekend, leapfrogs past Grand Forks Border Bruins into top spot in the division.The Hawks 6-3-1-0-1 record is one point better than the Bruins.Grand Forks dropped its first game in five games, losing 4-3 in overtime to Fernie Ghostriders.Justin Peers scored his second of the game in double overtime period to lift the Riders past the Bruins.Grand Forks had tied the game with one second remaining on the power play. Logan Klatt beat Brandon Butler in the Fernie nets.Yoan Rodrigue and Connor Brennan also scored for the Bruins.Fernie out shot the Border Bruins 43-38 in the contest.BLUELINES: Leafs Dale Howell leads the team in scoring, one point in front of teammate Sawyer Hunt. Howell has seven goals and seven assists in 10 games. . . . Leafs continue to look for the right fit in goal as Josh Bolding got the start Friday in Fruitvale. . . .The Leafs staged its annual parent weekend. Player’s parents attended both games as well as an afternoon banquet Saturday at the Hume Hotel.last_img read more

‘Solar park’ on the cards for SA

first_img12 October 2009South Africa and the US-based Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) have signed an agreement paving the way for the creation of a “solar park” to help curb the use of conventional energy in favour of solar energy.As part of the arrangement, South Africa will over the next few months, with help from the CCI, conduct a study on the development of such a park and determine where it would be best situated.The CCI is also assisting governments in India and Australia as well as some south western states in America to develop similar projects.Construction ‘in 2010’Speaking at the signing in Pretoria last week, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said the government was committed to investigating alternative energy sources and assessing the available technology options, adding that that South Africa was gifted with natural renewable energy resources that remained largely untapped – solar energy being one of them.She said the implementation of the agreement would be a key milestone in attaining the government’s 10 000 giga-watt hour (GWh) target by 2013.According to its website, the CCI focuses on carbon capture and concentrated solar power as part of its clean energy initiatives. The solar park will make use of the latter, which according to Wikipedia makes use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.The concentrated light is then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant, or is concentrated onto photovoltaic surfaces.CCI chairman Ira Magaziner hinted that construction for the park, which would initially boast a 5 000 megawatt capacity, could start as early as 2010. “We have already done enough work and we are confident that the results will be fantastic,” he said.Copenhagen climate summitPeters told BuaNews that the initiative would show South Africa’s seriousness about global warming ahead of what is likely to be a watershed climate summit in Copenhagen in December.“As South Africa, we are committed to make sure that we can mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions and that we believe that doing nothing is actually dangerous, so this is a first of many initiatives,” Peters said.She said South Africa had resolved to put more emphasis and more efforts in implementing projects that can help to mitigate climate change effects.“Setting targets is important, but all countries need to begin to act,” Peters said, adding that the South African delegation will be going to the Copenhagen summit with the message that developed countries had a special responsibility to alleviate the effects of global warming.SAinfo reporter and BuaNewsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Ohio Supreme Court rules that landowners can challenge CAUV values before the Board of Tax Appeals

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Decisions announced earlier this month by the Ohio Supreme Court will allow landowners to challenge Current Agricultural Use Valuation (CAUV) land values established by Ohio’s tax commissioner by appealing the values to the Board of Tax Appeals.Twin rulings in cases filed by a group of owners of woodland enrolled in CAUV, Adams v. Testa, clarify that when the tax commissioner develops tables that propose CAUV values for different types of farmland, holds a public hearing on the values and adopts the final values by journal entry, the tax commissioner’s actions constitute a “final determination” that a landowner may immediately appeal to the Board of Tax Appeals. The Board of Tax Appeals had argued that the adoption of values is not a final determination and therefore is not one that a landowner may appeal to the Board.The tax commissioner forwards the CAUV tables to the county auditors, who must use the values for a three year period.  An inability to appeal the values when established by the tax commissioner would mean that a landowner must wait until individual CAUV tax values are calculated by the county auditor, who relies upon the tax commissioner’s values to calculate the county values. As a result of the decision, landowners may appeal the values as soon as the tax commissioner releases them.The landowners also claimed that the process and rules for establishing the CAUV values are unreasonable and not legal.  However, the Court rejected those claims.For an excellent summary of the Adams v. Testa cases by Court News Ohio, follow this link.last_img read more

Burned by Twitter’s API Restrictions, Developers Launch Distributed Microblogging Service

first_imgrStat.us is an OStatus-based microblogging service built by Steve Klabnik and others using Ruby, Sinatra and MongoDB. Because it uses OStatus, it’s compatible with Identi.ca and StatusNet microblogs. In order to follow someone from Identi.ca, just paste the ATOM feed from their profile into rStat.us. Theoretically this should work both ways, but I was unable to subscribe to my own rStat.us account from Identi.ca account.Klabnik and some friends started it after Twitter changed its terms of service and began discouraging developers to start new Twitter clients.Writing at The Changelog, Klabnik explained the origin of the project.If you didn’t hear, a week ago Friday Twitter changed their terms of service. This got a lot of people upset, including me. My friends and I started thinking about it, and the real problem is this: any software that’s owned by one entity, corporate or not, is open to the possibility of being abused.So we decided to fix it. Ten days later, here we are: http://rstat.us/ is born. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#cloud#saas Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market rStat.us is an extremely simple microblog. You can post a status, read replies, follow people and read their updates. That’s about it. “We pride ourselves on saying ‘no’ to lots of features,” the site says.The code is available on  Github, so you can start your own rStat.us server if you want to.This project is very similar to StatusNet, the microblogging engine that powers Identi.ca. But rStat.us is written in Ruby instead of PHP, which might attract more developers.It’s one of many projects addressing the problem of centralization and data portability on the Web. Others include Diaspora, Couchappspora,  Apache CouchDB and Unhosted. For more information on this movement, check out our interviews with some of the developers of these projects:Interview with J. Chris Anderson of the CouchDB sponsor company Couchbase.Interview with Michiel de Jong of Unhosted.Interview with Max Ogden of Couchappspora.Klabnik also maintains the cross-platform Ruby GUI toolkit Shoes and HacketyHack, the interactive Ruby tutorial we covered here. Both of these projects were created by why the lucky stiff. klint finleylast_img read more

AI Is Key to Bias-Free VC

first_imgSecuring venture capital funding is a tricky terrain to travel. It’s hard enough for founders to accrue the capital needed to continue scaling, but it’s even more difficult for entrepreneurs from underrepresented demographics.In a recent study jointly published by Babson and Wellesley colleges, it was found that just 3 percent, or $1.5 billion, of the $50.8 billion in VC funding handed out between 2011 and ‘13 was raised by women. And companies with all-male executive boards were four times likelier to garner funding than boards that included at least one woman.Optics such as gender and race can at times dissuade VCs from supplying worthy companies with the funding they need. But what if VCs awarded funds by using a blind approach to assessing a company’s potential trajectory? Artificial intelligence informed by concrete data could lower that curtain, crafting a future in which machine learning helps VC funding lean less on appearances and more on a company’s potential merit.Scant funding for minority and women-led startups is an issue that’s been building for some time. Less than 1 percent of VC funds raised go to minority-run business, while 2 percent goes to companies fronted by women, despite the fact that 38 percent of U.S. companies have women in charge.Trends like that, no doubt, prompted Dell entrepreneur-in-residence Elizabeth Gore to create Alice, an AI platform that uses a litany of data points in order to open female, minority, and LGBT founders up to greater VC funding opportunities. Biases also exist in favor of younger entrepreneurs or those from certain universities. By using AI, investors can leave behind biases that they may not even be aware of and focus solely on a company’s merits as an opportunity for returns.In the PricewaterhouseCoopers Digital IQ Survey of 2017, 52 percent of professionals in the industry reported making “substantial investments” in AI, and two-thirds expect to be doing the same three years from now. Perhaps even more telling is that 72 percent of business leaders and decision makers picked AI as the most compelling future business advantage.The metrics and data points that define successful startups are becoming increasingly visible and increasingly repeatable, giving investors a recently accessible degree. AI lets entrepreneurs align their metrics with a successful blueprint. For VC firms, it’s a chance to focus less on closing deals and more partnering more diverse, high-quality startups.Venture capital is an industry that revolves around people and relationships, but it doesn’t come without its own risks. VCs may relate better to individuals who resemble themselves at different parts of their career, and in a male-dominated business, this might be one reason for the existence of a systematic bias toward men.June Manley saw that bias firsthand when she pitched her software enterprise company in 2015. She participated in more than 80 VC meetings, repeatedly witnessing funders disregard her product, condescend to her about her qualifications, or even suggest her husband take the lead when pitching to VCs. She even witnessed similar companies fronted by men get the nod as she went to meeting after meeting looking for someone to take a chance on her.From that frustration sprung Female Founders Faster Forward, a nonprofit organization that uses a tech-based model designed to minimize that type of bias. Using a Startup Investment Model Index, a kind of startup FICO score based on attributes from some 750 VC-funded businesses, the software will be an evolving entity that female founders can use as a complementary resource to shield their funding quest from bias.This fluid, AI-inspired approach will use metrics such as startup risk and maturity to compile a score that founders can attach to their startups and use in the funding process. Manley hopes the tech will help raise female funding from 3 percent to 20 percent by 2020.Data and figures can cut through whatever potential biases a VC might have when it comes to funding companies. Machine learning can sift through metrics and stray from any biases a VC might have and drill down to the numbers that will ultimately point to a startup’s chances for success.AI can establish a different kind of relationship, one that hinges more on what the data says about a company’s potential and less on any personal connection or potential biases. For any AI product or startup to be successful, there needs to be data. Feeding empirical information into an AI engine allows engineers to confirm their theories and demonstrate its impact. Without data, there is nothing to learn from, no matter how effective the algorithm.AI never stops learning, which is why it’s an ideal match for VC firms. Data and numbers are unencumbered by personal bias, free to assess bodies on the data in front of them. As that information continues to pour in and change from minute to minute, a VC can take startups at face value, making decisions on the potential a company brings to the table instead of who is sitting across it. Hossein Rahnama is the founder and CEO of Flybits, a cloud-based, context-as-a-service solution with offices in Toronto, Redwood City, and London. China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Hossein Rahnama AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#AI#VC AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Themlast_img read more

Below-the-Line Women Speak Out on Gender and Experience

first_imgWe sat down with three women from the filmmaking industry to talk about their own experiences and the larger conversation about women in the film industry.We conducted a roundtable with three working professionals: documentary filmmaker Crystal Kayiza, director of photography Kristy Tully, and editor Carla Gutierrez. The result is a candid and informative peek into their world as women of different ages and races working in the film industry.A still from Edgecombe by Crystal Kayiza, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Pete Quandt.PremiumBeat: Crystal, your short documentary, Edgecombe, was a nominee for Short Film Grand Jury Prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. Clearly, it is beautifully realized and well received — what was the path for you in getting it made? Did you find any resistance because of your gender, race, or youth?Crystal Kayiza: I was very fortunate to have a great support network, while making Edgecombe. I was a Woman Filmmaker Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, and the project was produced through the Creative Culture program there. If anything, I think my own internalized issue with the film industry, in relation to my gender and race, was an obstacle. Even with a supportive environment, it becomes easy to second-guess your creative decisions.I was very lucky to have this project be supported by the Sundance Ignite Fellowship and Adobe. Even applying for that fellowship felt like a huge step, and something that I didn’t deserve. For most of my film education, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of non-fiction female filmmakers — which is wild to think about today. My experience taught me that a lot of the craft was about being a technician, and those roles — cinematographer, gaffer, sound ops, editor, colorist — were for men who were supporting the vision of male directors. I’ve had a very privileged experience, in that, I’ve had mentors and programs to affirm, and support me, along the way.PB: We know so much of history is written about men by men. Kristy, you were cinematographer for Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, and Carla, you edited RBG. Both subjects were larger than life women, and the directors were women. How important is it for women to champion documentaries about women driven by women, and what has been your experience with audiences for the film?Editor Carla Gutierrez: I think it’s super important. What inspired RBG was that most people didn’t know about Justice Ginsburg’s role, in fighting for gender equality in the law, in the 70s. I was, like many, a fan of RBG, the judge, but I had no idea how crucial she was to my legal rights, as a woman. Her early work is super important in our history, and few people knew about it. So yes, to bring stories like this to the forefront is essential to complete the untold parts of our history — the stories on the margin. The stories of women.The most exciting has been to see different generations of women go to the theaters — together — to see the film. We heard of women who would take their mothers and daughters, or granddaughters, to watch the film. And, most come out surprised that they didn’t know this part of our history. It’s been really amazing.Kristy Tully: It just makes sense to me that women would be interested in other kick-ass women, and want to shine a light on their contribution. I had such a great time working with Janice, the director on this film. Molly Ivins is a huge inspiration, reminding us to speak truth to power, raise hell, and have fun while you’re doing it. Audiences have responded really well. It’s just so timely. What she was writing about 20 years ago is somehow even more relevant today. She was a journalist before twitter, and social media, and you just gotta wonder what she’d be adding to the discourse in this country, if she were alive today.We just won the audience award at SXSW, and we had a wonderful heartfelt response at Sundance. The film will go on to several more festivals across the country, starting next week, and I’m just really excited for people to get excited by the film, and inspired by this great Texan!Molly Ivins.PB: Do you think there is any validity to the female gaze? If the director, cinematographer, or editor is female, and the subject is also female, the object of the film takes on a different role?Carla: Yes, I strongly feel that there is validity to the female gaze. From picking the subject, to the focus of the story or narrative approach, our perspective as women informs every aspect of our storytelling. It offers, I think, more complete images of female subjects.For example, during post production on RBG, the directors conveyed early on how important it was to show Justice Ginsburg as an older woman, in present day. Not to only focus on her days as a young lawyer, but really show the splendor of her later years, visually, and return to those present moments, often. I think that conscious decision to focus on how much power and intellect a woman carries on her wrinkles, and how sexy that is, really came through in the way we approached the footage.Kristy: I think the female gaze is as real as the male gaze. I believe, however, that it is a choice the film makers make when deciding a film’s point of view, rather than if females or males are behind the camera.At the beginning of a project, you talk about the subject of the film, and then, more specifically, what the film is about. What is the camera visually saying, what is the camera’s prerogative, which can be different than what the film’s subject matter. I’ve been a part of the male gaze, and I’ve seen men contribute to the female gaze.Honestly, I’m not doing justice to the real conversation, here, about female gaze vs. male gaze. Is the female gaze simply the opposite of the male gaze — it is objectification of men on screen. Or, is there a female centric vision that is slowly making its way into our film culture, which would better represent the notion of the female gaze? But, that discussion is probably for another day 🙂Crystal: I think all visual storytellers need to be conscious of gaze. I think people who identify as women, who are directors, cinematographers, editors, designers, production assistants, or wherever you are on set, are sometimes pushed to move through spaces, differently, because of how we see gender on set, or in the field. I believe that the way that women do and don’t experience power, in film, changes our perspective. What’s stunning about this medium, particularly non-fiction storytelling, is the way that women are using that experience to challenge the ways we tell stories.Crystal Kayiza, director of Edgecombe, an official selection of the Shorts Programs at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrea Gutierrez.PB: Gersha Phillips, costume designer for Star Trek: Discovery, had this to say after we suggested her designs were sexy, but not sexist. The women looked amazing, but unexploited. “Sexy means something different to every person you talk to, and I love working with that. My goal was to empower the female and male cast equally.”How often, when you work on a project, do you feel the female characters are as empowered as the men? And, in regard to the actor, are women given the same agency as men, in terms of being heard and respected?Crystal: In documentary film, I think a lot about how women are seen. There’s casting that happens in non-fiction storytelling as well, and it’s important to remain conscious of who is speaking on behalf of communities, and depending on the topic, who we see as experts within documentary projects. People, often times, engage with documentaries as a representation of a community. In our culture, many women aren’t believed when they say the same things as men, or aren’t seen, when they move through frames, the same way as men. As a director, I have to be conscious of that bias, and challenge those assumptions.Kristy: I’ve had the pleasure to work on two documentaries, recently, that are about empowered women getting attention right now. Feminists, What Are They Thinking (Netflix) and Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins (Sundance, SXSW 2019). I feel like there is a collective consciousness, right now, that’s interested in telling and seeing these stories.I, also, work as a sometimes camera operator on TV series. I worked on I Love Dick, which is basically a moving meditation on the female gaze; Transparent  and Big Little Lies, which is dedicated to empowered women, both in front of, and behind, the camera. I also, recently, operated on Good Girls: Season 2. I filled in for a camera operator while she had a baby. Think about how rare of a sentence that is! The show is about empowered, accidental money laundering…..women. I think it speaks to the times that seem to be surrounded by woman centric projects, and also speaks to the effort that is actively working to cultivate female talent.I was given an opportunity to work on I Love Dick partly because of my documentary experience, and more importantly, because of Jill Solloway’s and Jim Frohna’s intent to cultivate female talent. I feel so fortunate to have been able to be a part of these projects. They are leading the way in this area.Carla: Well, as a documentary editor, we have the chance to write the story in collaboration with the director. There are already rich stories, in the footage, we are given to work with, and I’ve been lucky enough to work on many films about real-life, strong female characters. From the extraordinary singer Chavela Vargas, to the only professional female bullfighter in Spain, to a nun helping families find their disappeared relatives in the corrupt landscape of the US-Mexico drug war. I think there are more complex, diverse stories of empowered women in documentaries than you might find in fiction films. But, there could be a lot more.PB: We recently interviewed cinematographer, Carolina Costa, and asked how gender plays a role in the way she works, is respected, and heard. This is what she had to say:It’s definitely getting better. I can see big changes in the 15 years I have in our industry, but we still have a ways to go. It’s funny to answer this question today because, just two weeks ago, I was mentoring a young woman and was mentioning that my gender was a much bigger issue at the beginning of my career, than it is now. Cut to two days later, on the film I am shooting right now, and some technical crew that came with a crane were mansplaining to me how a crane worked — I was baffled. And this was to make an excuse, why they couldn’t execute with precision, the shot I had requested. A few days after, I was interviewing MOVI operators for the same job, and I can’t get off my mind the face of disgust that this one guy had, once he realized I was going to be his boss. That being said, both my producer and my director, who are males, were also shocked by the situation.Have you had similar experiences?Crystal: I’m fortunate to, mostly, work with people I trust. I’m not afraid to ask questions. Regardless of scale, there are so many moving parts to making a film, and posturing disrupts the creative process. In that sense, I’m lucky. I’ve seen, and been in situations, where one question turns into waiting for men to finish explaining something you know how to do. I’ve watched men ask questions and be seen as thoughtful and intelligent, and when women ask the same thing, they’re seen as unqualified. It’s the culture of how we communicate. It’s simple decisions like only hiring male PA’s because “they’ll get the job done,” but not a woman — the underlying assumption being that she’ll need more help. One piece of advice I got from a male producer was that it’s beneficial, for women who direct, to know the craft as well, or better, than men so that you can retain creative control of your work. But, that’s been my upbringing, in a lot of ways, as a black woman. Hearing that I need to be twice as good.Carla: I have had MANY instances of mansplaining. Other male editors “showing” me how to do a pretty basic shortcut on my edit system, as if they were showing me the world. Or a male assistant editor, talking over my head to the producers, about how to do the color correction for the film (he was totally wrong, by the way). I think that there is still a little ambivalence to hear from a woman about how to handle the technical aspects of an edit. I have worked with many amazing male directors, and I have the utmost respect for them. But, I sometimes have to wonder if my creative opinion is perceived with a little more resistance, because of my gender (or my thick accent). I don’t quite know if that’s correct. The edit room is such a delicate, creative space, that many factors are at play when you face a roadblock, or when magic happens.It is very encouraging to see so many women documentary editors in our community. And I think there is a real camaraderie among us. I consider many of them mentors, who’ve had a significant impact in my career, and my creative development. The one thing I would like to find out is if we are at the same salary level, as the men – based on similar experience, of course. That’s something I’m curious about.Kristy Tully.Kristy: I think a dialogue is important. I am cautious about framing these sorts of discussions, in ways that even might be construed of being answered from the place of “other,” because I don’t think it serves us. The truth is, there is bad behavior, sometimes, on set. I have stopped pathologizing the behavior, and instead, moved to surround myself with people that are collaborative, interested, and talented. In doing this, I think I have become available to some wonderful opportunities, to work with people who are amazing communicators and collaborators. Of course, there will continue to be bad behavior on set, and I invite women to stop questioning if their gender plays a role in it, and start wondering how to move away from negative energy, and encourage the kind of working environment that is enthusiastically creative.Jill Solloway is a wonderful example to mention here, as well. She strives to create a working environment that builds people up, and gives people room to grow. My first day on her set of I Love Dick was really surprising. I was used to the quick-witted, slightly inappropriate, banter I had become so fluent in (and good at).It was challenging to put aside my defense mechanisms, and become invested in being a part of a creative, supportive collective. I admire her for it, and I take that spirit with me to my other projects. I try to create an environment of respect, collaboration, and encouragement. It’s easy to be sarcastic and judgmental, on set. I’ve worked hard to put that easy go-to vocabulary aside, and work to be more communicative and positive in my problem solving, on set. That is a great discussion to have when thinking about this topic.Cover image via Kristy Tully.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Industry Insights: The Blasting Company on Animation ScoringThe Editor of “Us” on Working with Jordan Peele and the Horror GenreIndustry Insights: Composing for Supergirl, Riverdale, and Nancy DrewIndustry Interview: Behind the Lens with Filmmaker Carolina CostaThe Costume Design Behind Star Trek, House of Cards, and Greek Weddinglast_img read more