Special Election started when I quit my first reporting job three and a half years ago. I’d promoted from associate reporter to reporter to senior reporter in the three years I’d spent at that company. I didn’t want to leave. But my coworker had been sexually harassing me for over a year and, even with my numerous complaints to the HR, he’d been promoted to be my boss. When I gave my notice I was praised for the work I’d done — aside from the whole harassment issue. Later I learned that I wasn’t alone, that this man had harassed several other women at my workplace, and that the company had let four women leave because they valued this man more than the women he pushed out. It was then that I imagined a character like Laura Greene. I wanted to tell the story of an ambitious young woman who tries to work through traditional channels to make change for the greater good only to find that she can be devalued for her gender.
With this script I wanted to show the hurdles that young women face, how difficult it can be to be taken seriously when you’re part of a much-maligned generation (millennials), and how hurtful it can be to be judged for something that’s seemingly out of your control. The details of the narrative became clearer after the 2016 election, which has reportedly inspired women across the country to run for public office. I wanted to examine what a failed campaign might look like and showcase a character that will still care, fight and push for change even if she doesn’t win.
Filmed in the spring of 2017. Coming soon.
In 2007 Vanity Fair published Christopher Hitchen’s essay “Why Women Aren’t Funny.” The piece elicited immediate outrage and dozens of think pieces working to prove Hitchens wrong. And he is wrong. But it’s still a topic of debate today—with every new female comedic voice we seem to be asking, Is she funny, really? Do we only care because she’s a woman? It’s an awful debate and one that has only served to make the comedy community—a boy’s club if there ever was one—more gendered. But worse, it has taken away the space for failure from women, something inherent and necessary to defining a comedic voice. With Unfunny, I wanted to examine what it looks like for a young woman to fail, over and over again, at defining her own comedic identity in the face of a male-dominated comedy world.
Unfunny was made in the spring of 2015. It screened at the Zero Film Festival.
Made in Spring 2013 the film, This Would Be Easier If You’d Understand, is a 20 minute dramatic narrative short that focuses on a young woman who seeks a support system after she’s had an abortion. It screened at the Big Apple Film Festival, New York No Limits, and New Filmmakers New York. We also had a premiere screening at the book store Bluestockings. We live in a culture that regularly talks about abortion, but those conversations generally focus on the political aspect of the issue and rarely humanize the story. Many women have abortions and yet so few of them speak openly about the experience, whether that be for the sake of privacy or the fear of being shamed.
“Stylish and believable,” said Words of Choice’s Cindy Cooper in her review.