In September, I reunited with my friend and former Producer on PBS' A Girl's Life, Jackie Mow, to collaborate on an educational doc about women's leadership, "A Seat at the Table" (2012). The film follows six high school girls who are students at Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, MA, as they participate in a year-long class project that examines what it takes for young women to ascend to positions of leadership in their adult lives. The film starts with the basic premise that, up until the college years, girls outnumber boys when it comes to positions of leadership (Student Council, etc.) and academic success. However, after college, the numbers drastically flip, culminating in a gross underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in almost every field except for healthcare and education. The girls in the film spent a year interviewing high-profile women leaders: Senators, Congresswomen, CEOs of Fortune-500 companies, Deans of Universities, scientists, etc. Their findings were interesting and powerful, and really got me thinking... especially on questions about balancing a career with a family -- something that I anticipate will be a challenge for myself in upcoming years. The film gathered a lot of inspiration from Jennifer Siebel Newsom's Sundance doc, "Miss Representation" (2011), which is a phenomenal look at the way women are portrayed in the media. I highly recommend this film; it's really wonderful in what it sets out to do!
It was somewhat challenging to edit a film that is so conceptual by nature. It required me to think outside the box, as most of the ideas that are brought up in the film cannot be visually represented in a literal way. Another challenge was dealing with the limited resources of what was essentially a high school project. We only had one camera for most of the shoots, which meant editing creatively when it came to piecing together discussion group scenes. I really had a fantastic time working on this project, though, as my coworkers and the girls themselves were a joy to be around. I hope to continue to find projects in this vein, as I love doing work that correlates with the subjects I studied as a Women's Studies major back in college.
Check out the trailer for "A Seat at the Table" (2012), below: