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Watch: LA-Based Female Film Collective R.I.P. Dora Channeled a ‘Wild Fearlessness’ to Make ‘Serena’

Watch: LA-Based Female Film Collective R.I.P. Dora Channeled a 'Wild Fearlessness' to Make 'Serena'

The lack of
women filmmakers in Hollywood has been much discussed recently, and it’s clear
it’s a problem that’s a long way from being remedied — though the voices
clamoring for change are getting louder and more powerful. One way to fight the
good fight is to celebrate women working successfully in
film, coming together to support each other and create interesting work. One
such example is the Los Angeles-based collective R.I.P Dora, made up of a group
of women artists and filmmakers. Women and Hollywood has the premiere of their
debut short film “Serena,” starring Hallie Cooper-Novack. The gorgeously
photographed short follows a young woman on a personal journey into the desert,
and into herself. 

We recently
caught up with two of the founders and members of R.I.P. Dora (the name is a
dedication of sorts to women who have come before), Danielle Krudy and Bridget
Palardy, who both work as writers and filmmakers within Hollywood in addition
to their collaborative work with the group. We chatted about their inspiration
for the collective, the process of working on an all-female set, and what it
means for the stories that they want to tell on film.

The group
was born out of a Silver Lake cocktail-hour meet-and-greet that Krudy started as
a way for women coming up in the industry to meet and support each other. Krudy
explains, “As a woman working in film, it can be easy to fall into the
headspace of feeling alienated or isolated…. The meetups showed us that we could
help one another form a network of women doing all different jobs who have
skills, knowledge, know-how and creativity.” The supportive and fun atmosphere
of the meetups led to creative collaboration, the result of which is “Serena,”
but is also the new and empowered creative sense derived from the unique
filmmaking process. Krudy says they were “most excited about having an on-set
production team made up of all women. “We wanted to create that for ourselves
and see how it felt, how it enabled us differently.”

She says
that one of the many advantages they discovered working on an all-female set
was that “the precedent to experiment feels totally new. The climate has a lot
less inhibition and an added layer of stability.” Krudy’s fellow collective and
production-team member Bridget Palardy explains that “the all-girl environment
brought out a wild fearlessness. Meeting strangers and casting them, doing
karaoke with locals, watching the stars from a motel hot tub. It was very ‘Thelma and Louise.’ I think we were all
aware of the romance of the process, and it motivated us to really go for it.”
The unique working environment and Joshua Tree as a location added to the
themes of the film itself, Palardy recalls. “We love the wayward woman. The
places outside of the norms. That’s what this film is about.” Palardy also
asserts that throughout the shoot, they reaffirmed for themselves that “feminine and competent can exist side by side.”

“Serena”
demonstrates both the skill and the sensitivity of this group and their
approach. It follows a young woman (Cooper-Novack) who
escapes Los Angeles for Joshua Tree for a weekend of intimate adventure and
personal interrogation. There is a deft assuredness to the cinematography and
storytelling and a willingness to explore the many facets of this personal and
feminine tale, whether they are strange or ugly or beautiful; dark or tender.
The work’s intimacy is both soulful and ethereal, with a grounded, earthy quality
to its more dreamy and lyrical moments. It truly is a film that demonstrates
the idea of “feminine and competent” and embraces the creative potentialities
of a process that is outside of the status quo — though there’s no reason why it
shouldn’t, or can’t, be a norm.

Krudy
mentions they are excited to continue meeting, working, and supporting women in
film, and are also looking forward to working on other projects, such as feature
scripts. Whether it’s through cocktail parties or creative work (and why not
both?) we’re excited to see what’s next for R.I.P. Dora.

Watch “Serena” below.

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