Thursday, October 25, 2012

Art Department Panel

Are you as excited as we are for the final WIC panel of the fall semester?  The Art Department Panel features three wonderful ladies from the Austin community who have years of experience working in the film industry.

Kari Perkins is an accomplished costume designer who is passionate about high quality design and uses a Zen-like approach for creating believable characters. With a history rich in design for the stage, Kari made her film design debut with Dazed and Confused in 1993 and has continued to work with director Richard Linklater over the years on productions such as Fast Food Nation in 2006, A Scanner Darkly in 2006 and Bernie in 2010.  Kari’s costume design can be seen in the film Mud, directed by Jeff Nichols, which was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.  She has also been featured on the DIY network, Southern Living, Tribeza, and Rare Magazines as well as a podcast on Spoiler Alert Radio. Visit her website at

Yvonne Boudreaux is a production designer for film, dance, and theater.  She has served as art director on Machete, The Legend of Hell’s Gate, and Puncture and has production designed Dance with the One and Harmony & Me.  She has also worked as a set designer on Laika’s new stop motion animation Paranorman that premiered in August of this year.  Her dance installation projects in which she preformed as the set designer and producer, Shape of White (2009), Portrait(2007), and Wrapped (2005) were selected for the David Mark Cohen New Works Festival in Austin, Texas.  She has served as a set designer for various theatrical productions in Austin and Fort Worth such as Nocturne, Mart/Sade and The Idiot.
Yvonne received a Masters in Theatrical Design from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors of Architecture from Louisiana State University.  She has taught design and architecture at University of Louisiana in Lafayette.  She is currently working as art director on ABC Family’s The Lying Game and producing a documentary about her family’s connection with the assassination of Louisiana's Senator Huey P Long.

University of Texas MFA alum Caroline Karlen has worked as a Costume Designer and Production Designer on numerous feature films (GRETCHEN, THE HAPPY POET, LOVERS OF HATE, FOUR PLAY, SATURDAY MORNING MASSACRE, THE BOUNCEBACK) and music videos (Arcade Fire, Herman Dune). She has worked on print and commercial ad campaigns for clients such as General Electric, Comcast, and PGI. In addition, she has served as Associate Producer for THE HAPPY POET and THANK YOU A LOT, and as a Segment Producer for SLACKER (2011 remake).

Monday, November 5
WIC Meeting 7:30-8 pm
Art Department Panel 8-9:30pm
CMA 3.120, Free Admission

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Lying Game

Simply put, Yvonne Boudreaux is bad ass lady. Holding an Bachelors in Architecture from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Theatrical Design from The University of Texas, Yvonne was well prepared for her current position as art director for the hit ABC Family show The Lying Game. While she is the first to admit that each day at work presents a new set of challenges, it's very clear that Yvonne has greatly impacted the artistic vision of The Lying Game by providing a strong female voice among the primarily male crew.  Filmed at Austin Studios, Yvonne gave Women In Cinema members an exclusive art department tour and shared some of her best kept secrets. Of course, we won't reveal all of them, you'll have to come to the Women In Cinema Art Department Panel on November 5th to find out all her tips and secrets.

Secret #1 - Always give the DP space and options when creating sets - no one likes using the same camera angles over and over.

Secret #2 - Its expensive and difficult to create your own hospital scene. If you can, try to film at a real hospital. The set decoration and hospital equipment can get expensive very quickly.

Secret #3 - Simple, frosted windows/doors are a big no. It's obvious that you are trying to cover up whatever is behind the door. Yvonne's advice: Be more creative! Use ridged glass for windows or a blurred glass that has a pattern on it, then tie that pattern to the interior of the room.

House Interior, The Lying Game
Yvonne explaining how certain windows can move to avoid seeing a camera reflection.

Can you tell where this hallway ends?  Looks can be deceiving!

Group photo FTW

Thank you so much to Yvonne for giving us a fabulous tour of The Lying Game art department & and for all the words of wisdom.  If you missed out on this field trip, don't worry, Yvonne is one our panelists for November's Art Department Panel!  More details to follow in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Producing Panel - Recap

Big thanks to everyone who came out to the Producers’ Panel Monday night. We hope you enjoyed it and found the information interesting and useful! Rakeda Ervin, Caroline Conner, and Megan Gilbride shared their experiences as producers, talked about their career paths, and gave out many recommendations for film students who are interested in producing.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO PRODUCING? All three producers had different paths for reaching their current positions. Rakeda graduated from film school, and worked her way up from researcher, Associate Producer and Supervising Producer in the TV doc world. Caroline started out with several internships. They all suggested anyone who is interested in film production to “be out there” and seek opportunities.

WHAT DOES A PRODUCER DO? Different positions refer to different duties: In TV the Supervising Producer & TV Producer oversee production; Associate Producers in television are responsible for finding material and overseeing clearances and the post-production process. Fundamentally, producers are there to “back up” the film. Money and investments are very important for the film because money makes a film happen. During pre-production, the producer is scheduling, budgeting, casting and planning. During post-production, producers are finishing up contracts, clearances, the accounting, marketing, distribution and sales. Producers should always be continuing to make “good contacts” and network.

PRODUCER-DIRECTOR RELATIONSHIP? Caroline mentioned that she wouldn’t step into the creative too much. She believes that the director is the one who brings out the “vision” of the film, however, it’s also important to know when to compromise and when not to. Megan also described the producer’s role as “being the parent.”  

WHAT MAKES A GOOD PRODUCER? Stay calm! It’s sometimes the most pressured position. Long hours. People hate you. You're out of money. It takes a lot to be a producer. Work hard and people will see.

  • Ask questions, talk to people, research opportunities, and get experiences.
  • Go to Film Festivals!
  • Be out in the world.
  • Have your pitch ready. What's your next project?
  • Stay motivated.
  • Build up “real” relationships.
  • Don’t ever burn bridges. Someone working under you on this project might be your boss on the next project.

Thanks again to our lovely producers who shared so much with us! Good luck with everyone’s projects! Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next meeting and panel on Art Department on Monday, November 5th.  More details to follow. 

Also, if you’re not already part of our facebook group, do it now here.  You should probably also follow us on Twitter at @womenincinema.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Producing Panel

This month's Producing Panel features distinguished Austinite TV & Film Producers Rakeda Ervin, Caroline Connor, and Megan Gilbride.  These bad ass ladies will share their experiences and knowledge with us next week at our monthly panel.  Get to know our panelists below:

Rakeda L. Ervin has more than ten years of experience as a producer and director.  Her credits are with networks like A&E, NBC and MTV. She's worked on series like, VH1 Behind the Music, My First BET Awards, Shipping Wars and E! True Hollywood Story.  In addition, Rakeda has produced and directed short films and award winning independent documentaries. She is the first director to chronicle the politics of Generation X, through her documentary, X= A Generation Evolved.  Currently, Rakeda teaches video production with the Liberal Arts & Science Academy in Austin.

Caroline Connor has worked in the entertainment industry for the last  8 years.  She recently produced Chu and Blossom, which stars Alan Cumming, Mercedes Ruehl and Annie Potts She also co-produced LUV, which hits the theaters in November and Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best which is currently in theaters and on VOD through Oscilloscope. The films premiered, respectively, at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. She is in post-production on Pictures of Superheroes, which she Executive Produced. She has also served as Travel Coordinator on the films Stop Loss and Friday the 13th, and Production Coordinator for various films including Machete, Puncture,  Beneath The Darkness, and Seven Days in Utopia.

Megan Gilbride is an Independent Spirit Award nominated producer of narrative and documentary films.  She produced Bryan Poyser’s LOVERS OF HATE, which premiered in the US Dramatic Competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by IFC.  A critical darling praised by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and San Francisco Chronicle, LA Weekly’s Karina Longworth described the film as “the most exciting American indie I’ve seen in a while.”  

Collaborators since 2005, Megan produced Poyser’s short film, THE FICKLE, for the USA Network’s 2011 Character Project and is currently producing his romantic comedy feature, THE BOUNCEBACK.

Megan produced the documentary feature SUNSHINE which debuted on PBS’s Independent Lens in May 2010 and is currently playing educational venues as a means of expanding public discourse on teen pregnancy, adoption, abortion, and single-parenting in today’s society.  She associate produced Steve Collins’ GRETCHEN, winner of the Best Narrative Feature Award at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, and Susan Youssef’s HABIBI, the story of star-crossed lovers in the Gaza strip, which was shot in Ramallah, Palestine.  The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2011, debuted in North America at the Toronto Film Festival and won four awards, including best picture and best actress at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Megan co-produced Heather Courtney’s Sundance Documentary Fund grantee and ITVS-funded feature, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM which won the Best Editing prize at the SXSW Film Festival and the Nokia Truer Than Fiction award at this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards.  The film screened at the LA Film Festival, Silverdocs, Full Frame, BAM Cinemafest, Rooftop Films, and on Capitol Hill as sponsored by the Chief of Staff of the National Guard, General Craig McKinley, and Senator Carl Levin.  The story of three National Guardsmen from small-town Michigan who travel to Afghanistan and back, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM aired on PBS in a special Veteran’s Day presentation of the acclaimed series POV and was nominated for a 2012 Emmy Award.

Megan received a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from The College of William and Mary and an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas.

Monday, October 8
Women In Cinema Meeting 7:30-8 pm
Producing Panel 8-9:30 pm
CMA 3.120, Free Admission
Facebook Event

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Women In Cinema Workshop Recap

Thanks to everyone who came to the Camera, Lighting, and Sound Workshop this Saturday at Picturebox studio.  We hope you found each session hands on, informative, and fun.  This workshop could not have been successful without our pro session leaders Renée Stairs (Sound), Roshan Murthy (Camera), and Britta Lundin (Lighting)!

Renée giving the low down on lav mics
Audio wiz, Renée Stairs, took us through the basics of production sound.  We learned about XLR cables, different types of cord connectors, the best way to grab audio for a live concert, and the always tough-and-awkward job of correctly wrapping up an XLR cable.  It takes practice y’all, it takes practice.

UT Student Yamel testing out the HMC150
In the camera department, UT RTF graduate student Roshan Murthy covered the basics of a Panasonic HMC150, a camera that UT students can check out on campus.  Although sometimes confusing, we learned how shutter speed and aperture and frames per second all relate to each other.  If there’s one thing to take away from this session, it’s to always white balance the camera yourself.  If you don’t, you will be crushed when looking at your footage in post.  So don’t forget to bring white paper on your shoot, it’s important!

Setting up a Fresnel 650 Light
The lighting session, taught by UT RTF graduate student Britta Lundin, talked through the basic characteristics of lights: Intensity, Temperature, and Hard vs Soft.  Using still shots from The Third Man, When Harry Met Sally, and Mad Men (if you haven’t ever watched this, you seriously must start immediately), we recreated the lighting from each scene.  One important thing to remember: you must pay attention to not only what you are lighting, but the shadows you are creating.

Thank you again to our session leaders and good luck with your future projects & thesis films!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next meeting and panel on October 8th.  More details to follow.  Also, if you’re not already part of our facebook group, do it now here.  You should probably also follow us on Twitter at @womenincinema.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Camera, Sound, Lighting Workshop

Tomorrow Women In Cinema will host the fall Camera, Sound, and Lighting Workshop!  This workshop covers all the basics and will provide a great refresher for everyone. If you haven't done so already, be sure to email to reserve your place at this event. 


Saturday, September 15th
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
@ 701 Tillery St., Picturebox Studio

Facebook Event

Workshop costs $5 for Women In Cinema members and $15 for non-members. Email to reserve your spot at the workshop.  Workshop price includes lunch.

-Gloves (to handle lights) if you have them
-Something to take notes with
-Do not wear open toed shoes

If you need a ride to Picturebox, just email and we can work something out.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Casting & Directing Actors Panel

Fall Semester is finally here and Women In Cinema will start off the year with a Casting & Directing Actors Panel.  And who is on this lovely panel, you ask?  Some of Austin's most accomplished and knowledgeable ladies.

Angela Rawna is best known for her role on NBC's Emmy award-winning drama Friday Night Lights.  Angela played Regina Howard, a drug addict mom of East Dillon’s star quarterback Vince Howard (Michael B. Jordan).  Angela prepared for her meaty series recur role by checking herself into Austin Recovery, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center in Austin, TX where the series was shot. Angela’s compelling performance on Friday Night Lights grabbed the attention of the producers of the hit show Private Practice. Angela also landed a recur role on Parenthood also on NBC as therapist, Dr. Schecter. Angela recently teamed up again with Austin director Richard Linklater to film, Boyhood, a feature film where Angela plays opposite Patricia Arquette as her best friend.  Boyhood is a 12-year project about the actual “growing up” of a child and witnessing the changes of both him and his parents (Arquette and Ethan Hawk) as it is literally filmed each year.  Boyhood will be released in 2015.  Additionally, Angela has co-starred with Keanu Reeves in the Warner Brother’s sci-fi thriller, A Scanner Darkly now on DVD. Angela just completed filming a personal project, All from the Same Dust, a dramatic and suspenseful story that takes an unwavering look at racism at a time in our history when an African American has become the 44th President of the United States. Angela executive produced and co-stars in the film.

Kat Candler's award winning films have screened at Sundance, Los Angeles Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, SXSW, Slamdance, Florida Film Festival, Houston Museum of Modern Art, Chicago International Children's Film Festival, The National Institutes of Health and on PBS. Her teen thriller screenplay Love Me produced by Dolphin Entertainment and Anchor Bay Films will be released in 2013. She's currently in development on two feature films: the IFP Emerging Narrative participant, Nikki is a Punk Rocker and the Sundance Creative Producing Lab participant, Hellion. Candler is a film Lecturer at the University of Texas.

Beth Sepko is an Emmy award-winning casting director with 20 years expertise in the industry, now specializing in the casting of television series and feature films. Based in Texas, Beth has over 50 feature films under her belt and consistently works with local director Robert Rodriguez (Machete, Machete Kills, Predators, Grindhouse, Shorts, Sin City, and all 4 Spy Kids movies), Richard Linklater (Bernie, Fast Food Nation, A Scanner Darkly,his on-going 12 year project Boyhood and new hulu series Up to Speed), Mike Judge (Idiocracy, Office Space) and Tim McCanlies (Secondhand Lions, The Two Bobs, When Angels Sing). In the last few years, Beth has been casting several television series including the continuation of Dallas, The Lying Game, Friday Night Lights, The Good Guys, Chase, Lone Star as well as pilots for GCB and My Generation. In 2007 Ms. Sepko was honored with the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Casting of Drama Series for the first season of Friday Night Lights and received nominations in 2008, 2009, and 2010 for consecutive seasons. Also in 2010, Beth received an additional Emmy nomination for the casting of the HBO film Temple Grandin.

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Heather Kafka was living above her mom’s hair salon, rollerskating the neighborhood, and acting in local theatre when she booked a job as an extra in a Coca-Cola commercial and earned $200.  She bought an Atari 2600 and began planning an acting career. She was six years old.  After high school, Heather moved to Los Angeles, graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and worked odd jobs from waitressing at the Hard Rock Café to cigarette girl at local clubs. But Austin always called her home. She would spend the next 20 years moving back and forth, torn between her love of home and her drive for a career in acting.  Over this time her resume grew.  She played “Chloe” on MTV’s first scripted series Austin Stories, guest starred on CSI, CSI N.Y., E.R., and House.  She played Dr. Emily Dawson on the Emmy awarded Huff and turned in a memorable comedic performance on the Wilson Brothers project, The Wendell Baker Story. But it was her role as demented sister to Leatherface in the 2003 remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre that pushed her farther.   In 2008, she found herself staring in fellow Austinite Bryan Poyser’s Lovers of Hate.  Most recently, she has worked on Spencer Parson's Saturday Morning Massacre, the Zellner Brothers Kid Thing, David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Geoff Marslett's Loves Her Gun, Yen Tan's Pit Stop, Bob Byington's Audition and Kat Candler's Black Metal.

The Casting & Directing Actors Panel is set for Monday, September 10th.  The Women In Cinema meeting is scheduled from 7:30-8:00 pm and the Panel will run from 8:00-9:30 pm.  For more panel details click here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2012 WIC Master Class with Amy Heckerling

Hello all!

If you missed the master class featuring Amy Heckerling, go to the Women In Cinema YouTube Page and watch it all there! She discusses everything from her upbringing to how she got to where she is and what is in store for for the future. At the end of the master class she answered audience questions about bigger productions and her experiences in the film world. Go check it out HERE!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Conversation in Film with Elizabeth Avellán: Producing Your Independent Feature Film

A Conversation in Film with Elizabeth Avellán: 
Producing Your Independent Feature Film

July 22, 2012 3:00 PM
Harry Ransom Center (300 West 21st Street)
$12 General, $10 AFF Members

 Presented by Austin Film Festival and Women in Cinema
Join producer Elizabeth Avellán and her EYA Productions partner Shannon McIntosh for an in-depth and informative discussion on producing an independent feature film. Using WHEN ANGELS SING and BLACKTINO as case studies, they’ll talk about all aspects of producing your feature film: from selecting your script and director, financing, putting your crew together, production – specifically in Austin – through post- and marketing.

Elizabeth Avellán is the Co-Owner and Vice President of Troublemaker Studios and President of EYA Productions. Avellán’s producing career began with Robert Rodriguez’s EL MARIACHI – made for just $7,000, EL MARIACHI was the winner of the 1993 Audience Awards at the Sundance and Deauville Film Festivals - and her credits have since grown to include  DESPERADO, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, THE FACULTY, SPY KIDS, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, SIN CITY, GRINDHOUSE, and many more. In addition to producing family and genre films that have collectively grossed over a billion dollars, she has played a primary role in developing Austin, Texas as a thriving film community.
  • $10 AFF members – To purchase an AFF member price ticket, please email our Office Manager, Marcie Mayhorn at or call 512.478.4795
  • Please bring a valid form of ID to the event to claim your ticket. 
  • For More Information and to BUY TICKETS, GO HERE.
Conversations in Film consist of script readings or in-depth discussions led by screenwriters on an aspect of screenwriting and/or filmmaking. These discussions are also accompanied with a screening. Previous participants include Randall Wallace, John Lee Hancock, Tom Holland, Anne Rapp, Polly Platt, Jim Dauterive, Dan Petrie, Jr., Shane Black, Johnathon Schaech, Kevin Reynolds, Kyle Killen, Noah Hawley, James V. Hart, Jessica Bendinger and others.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Clueless Screening with Amy Heckerling in Attendance

As a summer treat, Women in Cinema's bringing director Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless, Look Who's Talking, European Vacation) to Austin for a screening of Clueless at the Stateside Theater and a Master Class at UT.

Saturday, June 9th
Doors @ 12:00pm | Film @ 12:30pm
Stateside Theater
Online Advance Admission - $8 | Regular Admission - $10
Film Fan Admission with Card at Box Office - $6
Q&A to follow with director Amy Heckerling
Tickets Available Here.

Saturday, June 9th
3:15pm - 5:15pm
CMB Building, Studio 4D
Must RSVP to to reserve a spot.

Amy Heckerling was born in the Bronx, NY. She directed Fast Times at Ridgemont High, followed by Johnny Dangerously and European Vacation. Amy wrote and directed, Look Who's Talking, Look Who's Talking too, Clueless, I Could Never Be Your Woman, and produced, A Night at the Roxbury. She executive produced, wrote, and directed episodes of the T.V. series of Clueless and Fast Times, and directed an episode of The Office. She just wrapped her latest film, Vamps, which stars Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, and Sigourney Weaver, and also shot an episode of Gossip Girl.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Austin Film Organizations Panel Recap

Last week's Austin Film Organizations Panel was full of great information about getting involved in the Austin film community, both by taking advantage of the many programs for emerging filmmakers and through internships at one of the many organizations dedicated to supporting filmmakers in Austin.

The panelists, who included Kimberly LeBlanc – Location Scout for the Texas Film Commission, Maya Perez - Conference Director of Austin Film Festival, Agnes Varnum - Director of Marketing of the Austin Film Society, Michelle Voss - Executive Director of Femme Film Texas, and H. Cherdon Bedford – Executive Director of the Austin Film Meet,
spoke about the advantages of making films in Austin. Michelle noted the committed, DIY ethic of filmmakers here. Kim talked about the many different types of settings and terrain that are within a few hours drive of Austin.

Agnes gave us details about Austin Film Society's programs for emerging filmmakers, including TFPF, Member Mixers, and their Narratives In Progress program. Kim told us about the Texas Film Commission's cast and crew hotline and location scouting services. Michelle mentioned her organization's after school and summer film camps, and the organization's ability to serve as a fiscal sponsor. Maya from the Austin Film Festival talked about the festival's film and screenplay competitions, and H. Cherdon offered details about her group's meetings and script swap opportunities. Thanks to these women and the organizations they represent, there's certainly no shortage of development and networking opportunities for Austin filmmakers.

In addition to these programs, all of the organizations that participated in Thursday's panel offer internships or volunteer opportunities to qualified applicants. Most are looking for summer interns now! More details about both programs and internships can be found on the organizations' websites.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tour De Force

Women In Cinema Tours Troublemaker Studio

The lucky "field-trippers" and Kurt.
Thursday. The sun was out and spring was in full swing. With smiles and unconcealed excitement, a group of Women In Cinema members began an exciting tour of Troublemaker Studios, the production company founded and owned by Robert Rodriguez and producer Elizabeth Avellán. We were led by the gracious and knowledgeable Kurt, resident graphic designer, who does all the studio's posters, typeface objects, and logos, like the fake branding on cigarettes in a film. 


Building 1: Production, Editing, and Visual Effects 

"This used to be an airplane hanger," Kurt said when we entered the expansive sound stage complete with large green screen. Indeed the studio is housed in the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport building. It's precisely this re-purposed Roger Corman-esque sensibility that seems to pervade Troublemaker, from the recycled set pieces and materials to the fact that the companies' small staff members wear many hats. Outside the stage, old props, movie posters, and mementos decorate the rooms, and we even saw a life size wax figure of Mikey Rourke as Marv in Sin City. We could only glimpse into Robert Rodriguez's office but from what I could see, it was a colorful medley with paint splattered walls and furniture that would look at home in a Doctor Seuss book. The perfect sanctuary for a child-at-heart director.


The Back Lot 

From the sound stage we made our way toward the back lot, during which we got a special treat in the form of large acrylics painted by Rodriguez himself! We saw the self-made Helicopter used in Planet Terror made from the front part of a helicopter, Plexiglas, and wood. "This thing is really light," exclaimed Kurt. He proceeded to make admirable attempts to pull the light vehicle. It did not budge. Oh, and it is for sale by the way if anyone wants such a large conversation piece for their yard. As we left the building, we stepped onto the asphalt of the back parking lot a.k.a the studio's dumping spot. Immense set pieces from old films and various discarded materials littered this space. Kurt explained the creation of some of the pieces. Notables included massive Styrofoam trees from Predators and Terror trucks. 


Building 2: Art Department, Wardrobe, and Plasma

Finally, Kurt led us into the second building, the home of the art department. We saw sketches, tools, photo references,  and 3D miniature models of actual sets. We met the master of the space, Steve. As the lead Production Designer, he dispensed much information and many wise words. He explained the processes of prop creation, plasma laser guns and laser cutting, 3D printing, and tool fabrication. We learned how materials like wax, silicone, and wood are used and why the in-house people can help finance the film, generate preliminary excitement, and make the director's concept and vision into a concrete, explainable model. Steve also regaled us with anecdotes about how he came to work in film from a background in electrical engineering. For example, when he found out he had gotten a meeting with Rodriguez, Steve brought his resume as well as a hand-crafted jazzed up guitar case (a la Desperado), and effectively turned a 10-minute interview into an hour long discussion. He got the job and the rest is history. Finally we met a University of Texas College of Fine Arts alumnus, Toni. A Jill-of-all-trades, she explained the ins and outs of the plasma gun, welding, sculpting, and how much fun it was to combine her lifelong loves of art and biology.



We came. We saw. We basked in the sheer bad-ass-ery that was Troublemaker Studios. The place exudes a feeling of fun, of youthful energy, of Austin independence. And most notably, at least for this homesick girl, the entire place felt like the crazy cove of a close-nit creative family. Along the walls, "photo albums" of the cast and crew from each production, from El Mariachi and Desperado, to Sin City and Spy Kids, are framed and can attest to the pride and passion of the Troublemaker family.

We were so thankful that Women in Cinema was fortunate enough to be given an insider glimpse of the company! Thanks Kat and Troublemaker for making it possible!

Silly time.


Staff Advice for WIC:


1. To stand out in an interview BRING SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

2. Read two NECESSARY magazines: Cinefex and American Cinematographer

3. COMMUNICATION between directors, producers, art department, visual effects, props department is tantamount and can save time and money later on in the production if adequately addressed early on.

4. WORK HARD to cultivate a GOOD TEAM, be a great listener,  and reconnect with like minded and like-skilled peers even after college.

5.  Be nice to EVERY Production Assistant because today's PA is tomorrow's producer.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Austin Film Organizations Panel

Have you ever wondered about Austin Film Organizations in town - what goes on and who's running the show? Join Women In Cinema for our presentation of the ladies behind the Austin film scene. If you're interested in obtaining summer internships that will project your career forward, filmmaking grants, how to become a reader for the Austin Film Festival or just curious about what goes on in the Austin film scene, come to this panel. Leaders from the Texas Film Commission, the Austin Film Festival, the Austin Film Society, Femme Film Texas, and the Austin Film Meet will be in attendance!

Thursday April 12, 2012

Women In Cinema Meeting - 7pm

Austin Film Organizations Panel - 7:30pm - 9pm

at the UT Campus, CMA 3.124

Kimberly LeBlanc Location Scout for the Texas Film Commission – Since 2009, Kim LeBlanc has been on staff at the Texas Film Commission helping to spread the good word about all of the wonderful resources available for creative industries in Texas. As a Location Scout, she works closely with Writers, Directors, Producers, Production Designers and Studio Executives, promoting Texas as a great destination for filmmaking, television production, commercials, music videos and still photography. Her travels have taken her to the far corners of the state and her efforts have been put forth on projects such as TOP CHEF TEXAS (2011), BERNIE (2010), NATURAL SELECTION (2010) and TRUE GRIT (2010), among many others. Prior to working at the Texas Film Commission, she has had the incredibly good fortune to work for the Austin Film Society, the Austin Film Festival and Troublemaker Studios, where she was on board as an Executive Office Assistant, Operations Assistant and Assistant to Director, Robert Rodriguez. She has donated her time and energy as a volunteer for SXSW Film Festival since 2009. Kim is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, where she double majored in Urban Studies and History and co-founded the university’s Film Studies minor program.

The Texas Film Commission is a state agency of Texas, under the oversight of the Governor of Texas. Its headquarters are in Suite 3.410 in the Texas Insurance Building in Downtown Austin.

Maya Perez - Conference Director of Austin Film Festival - Maya Perez is the Conference Director at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to joining the Festival in 2002, she was a literary agent with Trident Media Group and before that, with William Morris Agency, Inc., in New York. Perez received her Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in 1993. She has just been accepted into the Michener Center for Writers’ MFA program at the University of Texas at Austin for Fall 2012.

The Austin Film Festival was started in 1994 in Austin, Texas and is claimed to be "the first organization of its kind to focus on the writer’s unique creative contribution to the film and television industries" It has a number of events and services for emerging and professional writers and filmmakers.

Agnes Varnum - Director of Marketing of the Austin Film Society - Agnes Varnum came to Austin from the New York City-area where she served as a marketing and publicity associate for Icarus Films, a 30-year-old documentary distribution company. Prior to that, she worked as the associate director for the Center for Social Media at American University, managing research, producing events and building the growing organization. Other projects include contributing to a variety of publications such as Tribeca Film Insitute’s Resources blog, indieWIRE, Sudance Intitute's DocSource, Doc It Out and IDA's Documentary magazine. She has served on programming committees for SILVERDOCS, Newport International Film Festival, IFP's Spotlight on Documentaries, AOL True Stories (now Snag Films) and most recently SXSW.

The Austin Film Society (AFS) is a non-profit film society based in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1985 to exhibit independent, experimental, foreign and various other non-mainstream art films, the film society has grown from just film exhibition to fostering independent filmmaking in Texas and has served as a cornerstone in building the film industry in Austin. The film society also owns and maintains Austin Studios, hosts the annual Texas Film Hall of Fame gala, and oversees the Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund grant program. The film society was founded by film director Richard Linklater, who currently serves on the board as artistic director. Other notable members on the board and advisory board include Tim McCanlies, Robert Rodriguez, Charles Burnett, Guillermo del Toro, Jonathan Demme, Mike Judge, John Sayles, Steven Soderbergh, Paul Stekler and Quentin Tarantino.

Michelle Voss - Executive Director of Femme Film Texas - As the founder and Executive Director of Moving Image Arts & Education, Michelle is the architect of the Femme Film Texas programs. A graduate of the Radio, Television, Film department at the University of Texas, Michelle won Best Documentary at EarthVision Film Festival for her short film, Velocity. Michelle received numerous funding awards to complete the film, including the Sustainable

Development Fund Film Grant. In addition to stewarding the Femme Film Texas programs, Michelle is currently working as a Development Associate at the University of Texas.

Femme Film Texas teaches filmmaking and media literacy to young women and girls, with a focus on serving economically disadvantaged youth. Each girl participating in the program receives hands-on instruction in the art of filmmaking, including screenwriting, cinematography, acting, directing and editing. Since 2007, more than five hundred girls have participated in the Femme Film Texas programs. Current program offerings include The Film Camp for Girls, The After School Film School and the Media Technology program at the Ann Richards School. Femme Film Texas is a project of Moving Image Arts & Education, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

H.Cherdon Bedford – Executive Director of the Austin Film Meet and Creative Superhero at Humblebee Media – For as long as she’s been, Creative Superhero H.Cherdon has demonstrated an exceptional aptitude for the creative arts. Her art and literature, stories and poems, have won her numerous awards and gained her national attention, especially for the children’s picture books she both writes and illustrates. Also a talented stage performer, she has appeared in more than 40 stage productions, two performing arts touring troupes, several short films and a few PSAs. Her producer powers include organization, presentation, big-picture perspective, unforgettable memory and maybe even a little obsessive-compulsive behavior sometimes. Driven and self-motivated, Cherdon excels as as artist, director, photographer, web designer, writer, actress, illustrator, producer, bookmaker, entrepreneur… and creative superhero. As the Executive Director for the Austin Film Meet, Cherdon reaches out to fellow filmmakers and artists. She thrives as a “handyman” for creative challenges, a real-life Creative Superhero for hire, using love and creativity to touch lives and projects. Cherdon is based in East Austin where she lives with her fish, four kitties and her partner Brandon Boggs.

Originally started as a group called Austin Filmmakers Meetup, and then Austin Film Meet, the Association of Independent filMedia has had several past lives. The group was first started by a man named simply “E” but when he had to move out of state due to a family emergency, Mike Rembis stepped up to the plate. He continued the group as a small social mixer. A little later, Mike also moved away from Austin leaving the group’s leadership to H.Cherdon Bedford, who immediately began making changes for the better. In just a few short months, she grew the mixer from a drinking social with a handful of people to a large community of power networkers. Since assuming the leadership role, our group has played host to a wide range of events servicing the local Austin film, video and new media community. For more than two years, we hosted weekly events on a wide variety of topics from Actors Showcases to Equipment Show and Tells to Guest Presentations to Reels Showcases and much more. Most recently, a new organization has grown out of the Austin Film Meet. The Association of Independent filMedia.