Posted by tracey on:
Now that I got that off my chest I can see more clearly the panels from this weekend.
The Writers' Panel – It Starts with the Script – could have easily been the writer/producer/actor/director panel with so many of the panelists working in all of those roles at one time or another, often on the same film. It made for a rich talk about creativity and process and most importantly authenticity. Mike Mills (Beginners) and Will Reiser (50/50) both have semi-autobiographical films and JC Chandon (Margin Call) and Tate Taylor (The Help) also took on subjects they knew well. Jim Rash (The Descendants) was also on the panel. What struck me was the truly collaborative way these people worked together, best exemplified by The Help, optioned by Taylor before the book was even published and co-starring Octavia Spencer a long-time friend of both Taylor and author Katherine Stockett. If you can create authentic work with people you enjoy working with, it doesn’t get any better than that.
The Women’s Panel, long a favorite of mine, just didn’t gel. All of the women were producers, some for larger corporations (Pixar, Dreamworks), and others for smaller production companies or independent. I think it got off on the wrong track right at the start with a leading question about how few women are in the business as directors, et al, but this was a group of producers and there are a significant number of women producers in the business – not much to talk about. Also, the panelists were younger and it’s been my experience that for many women 50 and younger, especially successful ones, the tired old trope of discrimination really doesn’t factor in. For women who came of age in the 1970s and beyond it’s been a different world. Once that question fell flat it just never recovered. And then the Q&A began and I was inspired to write my earlier post. Aye yi yi!
Next weekend will be the Directors’ Panel , Saturday, February 4 at 11am and the Producers’ Panel, Saturday, February 4 at 2pm both at the Lobero. See www.sbiff.org for ticket info.
Image: Women’s Panel (l-r) Dede Gardner (Tree of Life), Leslie Urda ng (Beginners), Melissa Cobb (Kung Fu Panda 2), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Picture Paris), Madelyn Hammond (moderator), Denise Ream (Cars 2) photo by Robert Redfield