Film producer Ms. Lindsey Wheat visited the Creative Filmmaking class at Sacred Heart Greenwich on April 23.
She showed the students an interview reel and trailer for the independent film she is currently producing called “The Darlings.” Ms. Wheat is collaborating with veterans from the reality television world to film this project in Utah this summer.
The female-centric film also is supported by an all-female cast and crew. Ms. Wheat emphasized that this is a good time for female filmmakers to find work.
Ms. Wheat said that even though there are more opportunities than ever for women in the media field, the actual number of women in production, and especially as directors, is still shockingly low.
“Only two of the 19 films Disney has on slate for the rest of 2019 have female directors. Warner Brothers only has three in 15; four of 15 films from Universal; and only three of 13 from Sony Pictures are directed by women,” Ms. Wheat said.
She shared information about the budget, casting, and location scouting of the film. Filming a scene to look like an airport in the 1970’s and producing hundreds of magazine covers from several decades ago provided unexpected logistic and budget challenges in the production process.
The students watched samples of Ms. Wheat’s commercial work from the seven years she worked at Young & Rubicam. This work provided exciting travel opportunities for her. She traveled to Los Angeles, Tahiti, and Austria for her job. A typical shoot for a 30-second commercial could take upwards of one month.
Her advice to young filmmakers is to “take every meeting that is offered to you, and don’t be shy about asking to get in front of people. You will find it’s much harder for people to say no to you when you’re sitting in front of them as opposed to dismissing you over email.”
Ms. Wheat also encouraged students to take work that they are passionate about and that energizes them.
“If it starts to feel safe and easy, it’s probably time to leave. Continue to push yourself,” she said.
Ms. Wheat graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and began her career as a copywriter at Young & Rubicam, writing print and television commercials for Colgate Palmolive.
She later got her own columns writing for Serendipity magazine and the New York Observer.
Since then, Ms. Wheat has worked as a copywriter for St. Martin's Press and as a freelance editor for novels. She is now living in Los Angeles, working on her pilot and producing "The Darlings."