Women Supporting Women: Sasha Levinson walking the walk

My friend Jami Cullen, a Columbus-based actress, recently sent me an article on IndieWire that was posted in our Columbus Women’s Filmmaker group, which I greatly appreciated.

The article, by Kate Erbland, pointed out, yet again, that women in film continue to be sorely misrepresented in positions of power. Only eight percent of films currently set for release by major studios in 2017 and 2018 will be directed by women, as initially reported by The Wrap. A sad, and disappointing, statistic at this point in history, as women continue to battle hurdles for equality in the film industry.

One answer to the inequality is to have more women in decision-making positions, where they can reach down and pull other women up through the glass ceiling. And they can’t just talk the talk, they have to walk the walk. Which is why I like to highlight such women any chance I get. Once such woman is Sasha Levinson.

Grandville
Sasha Levinson, l, directing “Welcome to Grandville” in Granville, Ohio, in 2016, with D.P. Kate Arizmendi. Photo courtesy http://www.sashalevinson.com.

I met Sasha, who co-wrote the feature film “The Bad Penny,” (which won The Golden Palm Award at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival and Best Feature Film at the Soho International Film Festival) at one of the Columbus Film Summit meetings and we instantly clicked. She was asking good questions about tax incentives for filming, as she commutes between Columbus, Ohio, and New York City. I, at the time, was starting my very first film project, Olsky, and was looking for a director. She was interested in the possibility but, ultimately, another project came along for her. We both agreed, I would make my debut behind-the-camera and she would support me in that role.

While I was excited and confident to direct, I was also nervous. It was my first time at the helm and I knew I was going to make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. I wanted to minimize them as much as humanly possible, so Sasha took time to mentor me, to walk me through my decisions, to help me understand the lingo and what it would be like. We had lunch at North Market and by the time we were done, I felt good about stepping on that set and putting my vision into action.

A short time later, Sasha, who wrote and directed one of four short films that comprise, A Force For Good, to support the Dalai Lama’s vision for the world, was making her own short film here in Granville, Ohio. I got a surprise call from her that they needed a production company to shoot the behind-the-scenes footage for her short, interactive film, Welcome to Grandville, and would my company, Eleven One Productions, be interested? It was a paid opportunity and it was more experience for me ~ someone who was still new to the field and learning. So, of course, I said yes, and expressed how grateful I was that she remembered me and provided me the opportunity.

And I needed every opportunity I could get, so I could learn. I was desperate for knowledge.

And what Sasha did ~ remembering, reaching back out, pulling me up, helping me along, using her experience to help me find a way, is humbling, inspiring, and an example of how women need to help and support other women. As individuals, we stay at eight percent of women in charge; but when we come together, who knows how high we can push that percentage?

Sasha is currently working on two short films for Bai and Tribeca Content Studio about people who go against the grain to follow their dreams. She also just finished a great spot for Boom Chica Pop Popcorn, which you can see here.

Oh, and that interactive film that she gave me a chance to do the behind-the-scenes work? The one that had multiple women working the set, from the D.P. to P.A.’s ~ it’s almost done. Sasha says she expects Grandville, a “story of three generations of women struggling to gain their footing in the wake of tragedy and the imprint they make on a small town,” to be completed next week.

See more of her work here.

Cheers!

Promos for purpose

One thing I believe in with all my heart is giving back when you’ve been given so much. I feel I have been given tremendous opportunities in my life and so, when I can, I give back as much as possible.

With my company, Eleven One Productions, it’s part of my mission statement and business plan, to provide up to three, :30 second promos, every year, for free, to nonprofit organizations that support animals, the environment, female empowerment, single parents, or children.

In 2016, we did three: ROX, Water for Good, and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Our Water for Good promo, featuring the wonderful actress, Dianna Craig, is one of my favorites. It’s simple, it’s clear, and there’s a very specific call to action ~ $5 to give people in third world countries clean water to drink.

Water

Check out Water for Good and our other promos for purpose, here. And if you, or someone you know is interested in receiving a free promo as part of my business mission, please reach out to me at steph@stephgreegor.com

Cheers!

Interview with Framelines TV

I was thrilled to have an opportunity to sit down with Framelines TV, operated by Columbus filmmakers Peter John Ross and Scott Spears.

Framelines

It’s always a little nerve-wracking when you get interviewed because you never know what the interviewer is going to use for their story or how they’re going to frame it. But Spears made me feel very comfortable and conducted a fantastic interview. And the results were wonderful.

I’d love for you to take a peek and hear my thoughts on being a female filmmaker, as well as a little about the making of my very first film, an 8-minute short set in the hockey world, titled Olsky. You can view the interview here.

Olsky is the short based on my feature length script, The Third Period, currently in pre-production.

Framelines TV is an Emmy-award winning show that takes a look at local and national filmmakers, as well as offers tutorials on editing, like this one on match cutting. You can keep up with them on Facebook here.

You can check out the Framelines TV website here. They have some quality content coming out of there.

Enjoy!

Welcome!

Welcome to my website and blog! I’m so glad to have you along for the journey. Please feel free to share your thoughts and stories with me any time ~ I’m always up for a good tall tale or a heartfelt saga.

I hope, in turn, you’ll enjoy a few of my yarns, too. Storytelling is my love and passion. I put my adventures, romances, triumphs, and tragedies, out there in writing, on film, or as a piece of art. If it’s a way to tell a story, I want to be part of it ~ and probably already am.

Enjoy yourself, and by all means, share your thoughts and feelings with me anytime, either here or at steph@stephgreegor.com.

Cheers.

~ S.