To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, we asked women in the film industry to share their experiences.
Lauren Sick, a filmmaker and artist who draws inspiration from the devilish years of her adolescence.
To see more of Lauren’s work, check out her website here.
What has inspired you to work in film?
I honestly think being an evolving, engaged person in the world is an ongoing inspiration. We live in a very capitalistic society that puts an insane amount of pressure and significance on “output” and being incessantly productive.
I think it is so vital for creatives to take breaks from behind their screens to live their lives. Traveling, talking to people with totally different life experiences and perspectives, seeking art outside of film, prioritizing meaningful interactions with friends… even the small, innocuous, daily things that allow you to slow down and be present – ALL of that is fuel for your creative vision.You will never be able to fuel your work if your work becomes your life.
(And on a more concrete level – Spike Jonze, Nan Goldin, Paul Thomas Anderson, an infinite number of songs and melodies and musicians, my hilarious partner, my fellow female directors, and that one time I almost died, but didn’t.)
The Guardian has reported that 75% of the crew involved in making 2,000 of the biggest grossing films over the past 20 years have been men, while only about a quarter were women. To you, what does that mean?
Well, to be real, 75% of the highest grossing films over the past 20 years have not exactly been the most original or inspiring.
Why do you think it is important to have a diversity of people telling stories and practicing the craft of filmmaking?
Film is one of the most meaningful mediums due to its capacity to inspire empathy. We are unfortunately living in an increasingly isolating and divisive world, and we need now, and always to prioritize voices that expand our worldview and our understanding of others. Storytelling will always be an essential way to do that.
Watch Lauren’s music video for American Authors, “Deep Water”, below.
How has your identity shaped the way you tell stories?
I was a music and movie devouring suburban misfit who relied a lot on her imagination to navigate school and family life. All my younger years of sneaking off to the city, skating in empty parking lots, doing weird witchy shit, performing theater, going to punk shows, and never saying no to a dare, have definitely crept into my filmmaking style. I’ve always been a person who is seeking to find some degree of truth in surreal and hard-to-compute situations. The work that I make is always motivated by that persistent, intuitive curiosity (wrapped in a stylized package.)
What is your message to young women breaking into the industry?
Always take a minute to look back on the past year or two of your career. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in every tiny success or failure. Think of your trajectory like a big flow chart; there will be a lot of peaks and valleys, but as long as you are steadily improving, and you feel more confident than you did the year before, you are doing great. Work hard and have faith that the universe is conspiring to get you to where you need to go.
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