Episode 029: Sarah Brocklehurst, Producer

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It feels really special to introduce my guest for this finale episode – producer Sarah Brocklehurst –  because 5 years ago I went to an event organised by Underwire Film Festival called Women Write Comedy where she was a speaker and I remember finding her really inspirational then – I wrote a whole blog post about the day and even plucked up the courage to go and speak to her about her career, so to then be hosting this podcast episode where we talk explicitly about just that, feels really serendipitous.

Sarah is a BAFTA-nominated producer whose latest project ANIMALS is being released in UK cinemas this Friday the 2nd of August. It’s directed by Sophie Hyde – whose debut film 52 Tuesdays I urge you to find and watch if you haven’t already – and it stars Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat as two party-loving best friends as they navigate the ups and downs of life in Dublin. At once a celebration of female friendship and an examination of the choices we make when facing a crossroad, ANIMALS is an honest, funny, edgy, unconventional and bittersweet snapshot of modern women, based on the novel by Emma Jane Unsworth, who also wrote the script.

Sarah and I chat extensively about pulling that production together, from hearing about the book on Twitter to premiering it at Sundance earlier this year. We talk about the advantages of running your own company from home and how she stayed motivated during the funding and pre-production process.

Thank you so much for listening to Series 1 of Best Girl Grip. I’ll be back in October with fresh guests and fresh eps.

Episode 028: Jasmin Morrison, MD at Soul Cognition

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For the penultimate episode of the first season I spoke to Jasmin Morrison.

Having previously served as the Investment Manager at London based The Fyzz Facility Jasmin has been involved in the financing of over 100 feature films and has experience working from conception to distribution.

Jasmin currently heads up Soul Cognition, a production and consultancy company that she founded. So I think it’s fair to say Jasmin is a bit of a powerhouse.

We talk about different types of film financing, gender representation in the business side of film and her advice for people wanting to get into the film industry.

Episode 027: Rowan Woods, Film Programme Manager at British Council

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This week I spoke to Rowan Woods who has jammed so much into her career it’s actually pretty staggering and is possibly one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met.

Rowan is currently the Film Programme Manager for the British Council where she finds and screens new UK features to international film festival selectors, as well as being the Industry Programmer for this year’s London Film Festival. Previously she was a Development Executive as BBC Films, so we chat about working her way up to that role, taking strategic career leaps, staying healthy at film festivals and being a friend to younger women in the industry.

It’s no surprise that several people have requested that Rowan be a guest on the podcast, so I’m very happy to finally be making that happen.

Some feelings on heartbreak.

Writing is my way of processing – pain, trauma, joy, struggle, conflict – whatever it is, I find my way through the tangle and tussle with words. Putting this out there because I’ve been in need of writing about heartbreak recently and what it actually feels like, and for me this is it…

***

It’s as shit as everyone told you it would be. It’s worthy of ice-cream binges and pillow-smothered ugly cries and hours lost to reverie with your hair still wrapped in a bath towel.

It’s trekking halfway up a mountain, fuelled and equipped and intent on going further, not even considering whether you’re fit for the summit and discovering they’ve turned back to base camp without you. The fucker. 

It’s constantly battling your own mind. Daring yourself to remember and see if it still hurts. Memories become a weapon in this war of attrition. 

It’s wanting them to text, just so you can reply I really don’t want to talk to you right now. Even though you do, even just to tell them how much you’re hurting, even when you think that’s the last thing you should be doing. 

It’s realising that that person does not have a duty of care. They chose to care and nurture that relationship and ask how you were and what you were up to. And now they choose not to. They release you back into the wilds of independence, that churn of solitude with its periods of calm, followed by unexpected ferocity. 

It’s loving someone, violently. And realising, perhaps for the first time, what it feels like to be angry at and disappointed in them. To realise they’re fallible and human and imperfect, despite the beliefs you’d held otherwise.

It’s learning the hard way (the only way?) that how much you love someone correlates positively (although it sure as hell feels negative) with how much it sucks when it’s over (i.e alot = alot). 

It’s not knowing where to put the accumulation of details and desires and stories and jokes and intimacies that might never again have an audience. Do they have storage lockers for that?

It’s walking past the Greek restaurant where you first vocalised that you liked liked each other and feeling as skewered as the grilled vegetables you consumed.

It’s going to a gig you’d had plans to attend together and being asked how you became a fan of the band and stuttering that a friend recommended them. The friend was him. And it was the music we fell in love to.

It’s needing him back in my life because laughter is the best medicine.

It’s the lull of an evening that beckons a loneliness that creeps up on you like winter. It’s the urge to tell you I still love you, despite everything. It’s the stab of knowing I can’t, or shouldn’t or wouldn’t hear I love you too.

It’s knowing that a future version of yourself exists whose heart is fuller, whose eyes are wider and who stands taller because of this, and that there is no shortcut to acquainting yourself with that person. You’ll meet when it’s time. 

Episode 026: Flore Cosquer, Head of Talent Development at Scottish Documentary Institute

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It was a joy to sit down with Flore Cosquer who heads up the Talent Development department at the Scottish Documentary Institute and manages the Institute’s various training initiatives and industry events, including the Edinburgh Pitch, and oversees the production of the flagship filmmaking program Bridging the Gap.

SDI are based at the Edinburgh College of Art and specialise in documentary training, production and distribution, supporting filmmakers through their diverse programme of international activities and training schemes. 

Flore and I discuss why she left behind a career in film production as well as the process of producing her first feature documentary Freedom Fields. The film follows three women and their football team in post-revolution Libya, as the country descends in civil war and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade. 

Episode 025: Sophie Powell, Graphic Designer

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My guest this week is Sophie Powell, a graphic designer for Film & TV whose credits include Edgar Wright’s upcoming film Last Night In Soho, Yesterday which is currently in cinemas, Rocketman, Mission Impossible – Fallout, Patrick Melrose and the episode ‘USS Callister’ on Black Mirror Series 4, which I’d say is a pretty formidable CV. 

I was really excited to speak to Sophie about the world of graphic design as I think it’s one of those aspects of filmmaking and world-building that we take completely for granted and perhaps rightly so, because it means they’re doing their jobs if we’re so immersed we don’t notice the fonts and labels and signage. However it was great to do a deep dive in what exactly on a set Sophie makes and how she found her way to doing it. Sophie has a really infectious laugh and personality, so this was a real joy to record.