Being behind the camera of SUNDAY BRUNCH was an absolute blast. On set, things went smoothly and I credit this to our careful preparation.
It was very important to me, and all of us as creators, to make sure the show looked beautiful and polished. To make this a reality, I wanted to make sure we had strong creative talent in the key positions. Luckily, Nicola and I already had a relationship with Costume Designer, Aqua Catlin, from my first feature film, GOOD SATAN. After a search, we were incredibly lucky to find our Director of Photography, Frankie Guerrero, our Production Designer, Shawn Graves and our Editor, Keith Kuramoto. All of these individuals were critical to making the look and feel of the show what it is! And we were very lucky to secure amazing locations that not only added to the look, but were very production-friendly!
Casting was one of the best experiences ever. Of course, having talented folks is key! But you also want to make sure you have the right people playing the right parts. Some parts were easier to cast than others. For example, when Kenneth Michael-Glass read for the part for C Jay, Nicola, Kelsey and I all looked at each other and thought the same thing -- he was the guy!
I find it easier to direct people I know, or at least with whom I’m familiar, because every actor has a different way of working and when you already have a rapport with someone, it makes it easier to skip the awkward getting-to-know-you part, which can negatively affect a working relationship. But you very rarely have that opportunity! On the flip side, working with new people is exciting. You discover ways of directing and you often get results that you didn’t expect!
With SUNDAY BRUNCH, I had worked with Nicola on several different projects, and Kelsey more recently, so we already had a relationship. But it sometimes was hard for us to take off our co-creator/co-producer hats and focus in on our director/actor relationship. But we luckily were able to communicate with one another effectively and were able to get everything we needed!
I hadn’t worked with any of the other actors before which was exciting. While I couldn’t lean on any relationship we’d already established, again they often brought an element I wasn’t expecting. Tom Dagnino, who plays Yogi Warren, was a friend of mine, but I had never worked with him. But I knew he’d be game to go balls-to-the-wall with the character. He was an awesome sport – even when Aqua gave him skin-tight spandex to wear in his scenes! He wore them with finesse.
I find it hard to describe what it’s like to be a female director because I’ve never been a male director so I don’t really know the difference! I’m mostly just disappointed that there aren’t more female directors out there. It’s a Catch 22 – the more people see females directing, the more there will be, but there have to be those individuals willing to give people they don’t expect – namely women --the shot at directing in order for that to happen!
Luckily, I’ve never felt any sort of discrimination from anyone I was working with, but if I ever do, they’ll be the first to be fired! Okay, maybe not, but I would think twice about working with them again. I expect respect for myself and between everyone on the cast and crew. I really feel like the atmosphere of a set is often captured in the end product, and if there’s any bullshit, it will make it tough to create the product you want.
On SUNDAY BRUNCH, it was great. Everyone knew that we were making a female-driven show and everyone focused their talents on creating that product. We deal with a lot of female themes so in that sense I feel more informed than a man. But directors, as well as writers and actors, are constantly examining situations and experiences that are beyond their own so a man would’ve been capable of directing it too. But in my own biased opinion, I was the best candidate for the job!