GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS - Part IV
by Eugene Hernandez
To read the third part of this article, click here.
Responding to questions about the collaborative aspects of making GIRLS TOWN Jim McKay explains, “I don’t think I could have done it, or would have done it in the first place, if I wasn’t open to working with other people. With such a low budget, compromise ends up being…the only choice anyway.”
Bruklin Harris adds, “One of the things I really liked about this project is that we had creative control from beginning to end. I hope that in some way this can affect the way things are done.” One of the changes McKay seems determined to affect is the hierarchy on film sets. He explains that, “its really surprising to see how the system has been set up with such (inequity).” On the set, McKay tried to overcome “traditional boundaries and hierarchy by being flexible with regard to crew meals and other typically regimented procedures. He understands that, “there’s no doubt about it, certain jobs are shittier than others…the fact remains someone has to drive the truck back.”
While he acknowledges that people are accustomed to working on lousy jobs for a living,” he implores the films’ leaders to be part of changing that feeling on a film set, suggesting that the director demand such reforms and the producer implement them. Lili Taylor comments that after working on Ron Howard’s big-budget Hollywood production RANSOM, she was less disturbed by than she expected, but she acknowledges that, “the hierarchy exists.” Jim adds, “A person who doesn’t give a shit can hurt a film,” but goes on to explain, “a person that’s amazing can stir up (the crew). If you bust your ass people are going to notice that.” In the end he reveals, “a smaller crew with more energy and positivity is better than a bigger one.” He encourages filmmakers to show their crews how hard they want them to work by example, but he insists that filmmakers should “be very firm with what you expect from them. When you work for a deferral you have to work as if you are getting paid.” He acknowledges that it is a gamble, but that it is not an exploitative system. He also advises, “the better you are and the harder you work and the more positivity you put into something, without a doubt its going to pay off.” And he cautions those in the position to hire, to always check references, reminding that, “someone’s mood is as important as their ability to perform.”
To read the next part of this article, click here.