How it Started
They say opposites attract. My mom was from rural Michigan and my Dad was from inner city Chicago. My dad was the kind of man who was willing to take a chance and my Mom always looked at the glass half full. Both of them were strict parents in terms of raising us kids to be responsible people, and I always remember them encouraging me to believe in my dreams, no matter how silly. Maybe they just didn’t want me to run away.
I turned out to be an independent woman with a vivid imagination during a time in history when there was unrest and social change. Kind of like today, only with a seismic twist….a Pandemic.
In terms of gender equality there has been a lot of change since the ‘70’s when I was first starting out in the workforce, but it has been slow. As a photographer and now a filmmaker, I had frequently been the only woman in a room of other photographers, editors and art directors. It has gotten better in my profession over the years. Today there are more women in photographic professions as well as in other male-dominated careers and I wanted to create a film about some of these women who are breaking barriers in traditional male-dominated professions that were off-limits to them a short time ago.
The film is called Like A Woman and it’s ready to be seen. It’s a film about amazing women,
a race car driver, mechanic, heavy lift helicopter pilot, video designer, photographer, plumber, endurance motorcycle competitor and even a blimp pilot. After completing the film and being sequestered for months in the process, my plan was to submit it to film festivals. And then.... in March the Pandemic hit and it hit especially hard where I live in New Jersey. It seemed like overnight the world shut down, as if had hit the pause button. After coming to terms with the new normal and getting despondent like so many other people, I started thinking about things that I can do. My mind flashed on old Burt Lancaster movies where his character would roll into town with the circus or some kind of traveling show, and I thought that while I couldn’t bring a circus to town, I could bring a show. I began to notice news stories on TV about weddings and other events that had been canceled but how some people were thinking outside the box, like a couple who had their wedding in a drive in parking lot with their guests attending in their cars. And my idea began.
My idea is to do grassroots screenings under the stars across America
to create an evening of inspiration and hope. The gatherings will be small, 25 people or less and socially distanced. The screenings could take place in a backyard, a cul-de-sac or an empty parking lot. My emphasis will be to provide a safe environment. I’d bring the film, a projector, a screen, small speakers and me. One would only need to bring a blanket or chair to sit on. I like to think of them as revival screenings, a movie that revives the spirit. The screenings will take place in late July and August. It’s free to woman and girls. Men and boys pay .25 cents. That’s because men make about .25 cents more on the dollar than woman do, for doing the same job.
To make this happen I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign on Monday, June 22nd, called Grassroots Screenings across America. The money will be used for a van rental, gasoline and a projection set up. I want to keep things simple. I really want it to be grassroots.
The Campaign runs from June 22 - July 22nd. It’s a very short period of time and early supporters make the difference. Please help by sharing the campaign and/or making a pledge. It will help me lift spirits and bring smiles back safely, under masks, across America for an evening of entertainment. I think a lot of people need it.