Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to words that move me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you get the information and inspiration. You need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson, and I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. Well, hello. Hello, my friend, Dana Wilson here. Welcome towards that. Move me. I'm jazzed that you are listening right now because today's episode is so sweet and so solid. Our guest today is Mimi cave. She is a dear friend of mine and also a huge inspiration. I think the world of her work, as you are about to hear <laugh> for, uh, several minutes on end.
Speaker 0 00:00:59 Um, but I'm also so thrilled by how generous she was in sharing. I can tell that she cares about, um, other people and is, is willing to let her lessons help guide future generations of, of makers, both filmmakers and move makers, um, which I'm pretty sure is all Y so, Hmm, before we get into the episode, we must, first of course, do the wins segment. And, uh, that is where I celebrate something going well in my world. And then I yield the floor to you. You tell me, or a passerby, anyone nearby, what's going well in your world. Uh, I think this is important because, uh, as Mimi and I will discuss in the podcast, there are ups and downs out there in this, in this pursuit of a professional creative life. And, uh, I do think it's important to celebrate the small stuff today.
Speaker 0 00:01:57 Well, and the big stuff I am celebrating, reconnecting with a very old friend. And when I tell you <laugh>, we have been friends since birth. What I actually mean is that our moms were friends while we were in the womb. And so when we came out, we linked up and made up a handshake and became friends immediately. Um, Rachel Verizon, uh, and I have been friends for my whole life. Our birthdays are near to each other. And, um, this year on our, almost the same birthdays, we shared some photos we caught up. Um, it was, it was very cathartic to feel the same love for a person that I have not connected with in a very, very long time, which for me was evidence that relationships are simply the thoughts that we have about other people. The relationship is not the time spent. The relationship is not the experiences shared.
Speaker 0 00:03:00 The relationship is the way you think about that person. And I have thought the world of her since we were born and I still think the world of her, it just lit me up to see her name on my phone. And, um, that's my win. This weekend is also me encouraging you to maybe reconnect with someone that you've known for a long, long time that you maybe haven't connected with in a long, long time. That is what I'm celebrating today. Rachel Verizon, I love ya. Oh, I'm sorry. Your last name is not Verizon anymore. That's how long it's been Rachel middle. Ow ski. Wow. How's that? Rachel middle OWK. I love you. My friend always have always will. Now it's your turn. What's going well in your world. Hit me.
Speaker 1 00:04:00 Yay.
Speaker 0 00:04:03 Congratulations. I'm so glad that you are winning. Please do keep it up. You're crushing it. All right. Now let's get to the good stuff. Our guest this week, Mimi cave director, creative director, dancer, choreographer writer, and dog, mom, to olive, the dog, which is very important. If you knew olive, you would know how important that actually is. Wow. Exceptional all the way around. That's it. I'm gonna stop my chat. I'm gonna throw you into the very capable hands, ears, words, words of Mimi cave. Enjoy <laugh>. You cannot see it, but I'm grinning ear to ear. Hello? Mimi cave. Welcome to the podcast.
Speaker 2 00:04:55 Hello?
Speaker 0 00:04:58 Oh man. Our,
Speaker 2 00:04:59 Oh man, our,
Speaker 0 00:05:01 Our, our right. Where do we begin? I feel like we've got a, a rich professional and personal history. There's uh, there's dog sitting in there. There's music videos in there. There's seaweed sisters in there. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, I truly don't know where to begin. Other than to state for the record. My love for you is immense. And my admiration of your work is like, I don't know another word that's bigger than colossal or like, I wanna say Olympic it's like Olympic level mean. I think Olympics
Speaker 2 00:05:39 Pull it back. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:05:44 My, my admiration for your work is mediocre. Great. There we go. But is actually really big.
Speaker 2 00:05:50 Thank you.
Speaker 0 00:05:51 <laugh>
Speaker 2 00:05:52 Thank you. And, and back to you friend.
Speaker 0 00:05:56 Oh, thank you. You appreciate it. Appreciate it. Um, so since I don't know where to start, we'll start this episode the way I start all of them, which is by letting you introduce yourself, um, which can be awkward, but you're gonna be great. Let us know whatever it is you want us to know about you?
Speaker 2 00:06:12 That's all right. Uh, this is always the hardest part for me. Um, my name is Mimi <laugh> <laugh> um, and yeah, I'm, I'm a, a multihyphenate I guess, or it used to be used to be more of a dancer and a filmmaker. And now I'm a bit more of just a filmmaker as these, uh, as these bones get creaky. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:06:36 I feel that,
Speaker 2 00:06:38 But that's kind of all I have
Speaker 0 00:06:39 Is that, is that it? That's the period. I'll take it
Speaker 2 00:06:42 Period on the sentence. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:06:43 Yeah. I'm a fan of simple. Um, and I'm also hearing you on the creaky bones part of this in our pre-role to the pod. I was talking about, uh, my sore, sore muscles from taking a dance class in heels yesterday. Um, yeah. Age it's happening. That's real.
Speaker 2 00:07:05 Yes. And although I couldn't join you, I, I saw the word heels and I immediately, my body actually hurt just, just looking at that word. So that's where I'm at. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:07:17 So when I try to put on contact lenses in the morning, I feel like my eyeball actually spits them out. And there, there are days also where I feel like my feet reject anything other than my CRO slides, try to put 'em in a sneaker. They're like Uhuh, Uhuh, we need foam or just a sock in general.
Speaker 2 00:07:38 Yeah,
Speaker 0 00:07:38 Just a sock. But for, for whatever reason, it felt like welcoming my 36th year of life with a 10 in the morning burlesque class. It just felt like that was the best way to love on myself. And you know what I was right. It felt amazing only now when the lactic acid has built up, do I have any form of regret whatsoever? Um, okay, so Mimi, yes. Okay. I'm, I'm super stoked that you introduced yourself as a multi hyphenate. I find that empowering and awesome and great. Um, and one of the very many reasons I'm excited to talk to you today because I am interested in dance and choreography and filmmaking, and you are all three and really freaking good at them. Sorry, I'll stop that. But, uh, I suppose maybe this is where we'll start. I love talking about training. I love talking about what landed people, where they are. Um, could you talk a little bit about the, the training dance or otherwise that prepared you for the work that you are doing now?
Speaker 2 00:08:47 Um, you know, I think like when you're an artist of any type, you're kind of always following your instincts to a certain degree, obviously we have to like pay our bills and things. Um, but those two things combined, those two necessities, one being to scratch, whatever creative itch you're needing and the other two paying your rent. Um, I feel like it's just like the choices you make lead you down a road that you either plan for, or you really, really don't usually the latter. Um, I think that for me, um, I, I, I was dancing since I could walk. So I, I started dancing at, at three years old and, um, only really stopped when the pandemic hit. And, uh, yeah. And that's when I was now your age, Dana mm-hmm <affirmative> <laugh>, we don't need to get into numbers. Um <laugh> but so dance has always been a big part of my life.
Speaker 2 00:09:47 And, and for all the dancers out there, I think, you know, that if you grow up doing it and you continue to do it into adulthood, the reasons why you do it shift and change and grow. And if you can kind of adapt to those different reasons, it's really fulfilling to be able to continue to do it, if you can physically continue to do it. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> but I think also with that, whatever, if you're doing any sort of other art or any sort of other profession, whether you realize it or not dance is informing those things, your discipline for training your, um, spacial awareness, um, the ways in which you move through the world, the ways you treat other people around you, if you're growing up in a dance studio, there's just certain things that are ingrained in you in terms of like, yeah, how, how you behave, I guess, and, and how you see things, uh, how hard you work, all of that.
Speaker 2 00:10:41 So for me, um, I think dance is informative. Everything I've done, um, even in the ways that are just really not very obvious to others. Um, and in terms of film, I didn't really discover, I didn't even know I could do that as a job until I was in college. Like kind of like the, you know, like I just kind of light balled because growing up in the Midwest, um, is just not something you really think about, cuz there's no one else around you that is doing those things. You don't, no one's friends, parents are in the industry or anything like that, so you're not seeing it. So you're not knowing it's a possibility. Um, and in the eighties as a, as a, a young girl, especially not. So, um, yeah, so I think like once I, I discovered filmmaking, I really was interested in docs at first because I think my, my instinct is there were, it was the, the way in for me, like telling stories.
Speaker 2 00:11:43 But then on the flip side I was making these little weird dance films. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, just getting cameras and kind of like experimenting with angles and light and, um, coming from a very performance based mindset. I wasn't really, I didn't have any goals in terms of what I was trying to make. I didn't even know. Again, I was so clueless. It was just like something interesting and fun and intriguing to me. Um, so it was very guttural. And then, you know, as the years went on, I, I could go through a million different jobs I've had, but, um, I'll kind of leave it there because I think like those two things basically began to marry when I was in, in college and my early twenties and they never really unlinked. Um, and I think over the years, they've just, it's been this Seesaw a little bit and then sometimes they'll meet up in this really beautiful way together. But, um, yeah, they, they inform each other a great deal.
Speaker 0 00:12:45 Ooh, I'm taking some side notes because I, because always, I'm trying to name these episodes as I'm in, as I'm in them. I'm like, oh my God, that is such a beautiful theme. Like that's what I have to learn from you right now. Or that's what I hope to share, uh, with you right now. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I'm probably because it's so recent, but in burlesque slash cabaret class, that made me so sore, uh, Jillian Schmitz, who was the instructor started talking about, um, you know, theater like you do in a cabaret burlesque class. And she was talking about presence, um, and being interesting and how it's not usually the quote unquote best dancers that get our attention. It's the ones that are the most interesting. And what I'm hearing from you is that interesting might equal following your interests. Like you did the things that were interesting to you, maybe even without a plan.
Speaker 0 00:13:47 And that led to interesting work that led you to other interesting things. And I think it leads to your work being really, really interesting, which is not. Um, I, I really, I think, I don't even know if I've seen all your work, but I've seen everything that's on your website. I've seen everything that I've obviously been a part of, but I think you have a gift for having a very intense focus, but, but with kind of a soft finish, um, on humanness specifically on womanness, and it's one of my favorite things about your work. And even though it's like probably traditionally darker and I use that word in heavy quotations, mm-hmm, <affirmative> like darker than what I think my taste would traditionally gravitate towards. I love it. And when, when I'm watching, for example, a music video of yours, it ends and I start it over again.
Speaker 0 00:14:44 I don't feel like I've been satisfied. I don't feel like it was a little piece of like candy. I feel like that was substantial. I need more, let me, like, I want seconds. Um, so I, I don't know if that's deliberate and I don't know what the, um, what if your palette is something that's always been that way? Would you even consider your work dark? I mean, it's dark relative to, um, <affirmative> me, which is like a rainbow and a sprinkle, but <laugh>, I guess, what are, what are you drawn to in a project and how would you explain your palette? Are you drawn to dark? Is it dark? Yeah. Is it dark? Is what is
Speaker 2 00:15:24 Dark? I think I'm drawn at definitely not to literal dark, but I am drawn to, um, I think darker thematic ideas partially because those tend to be the things that allow my imagination to open up. And I guess the, the thing I've tried to do is not to question that and, and sort of just live in whatever it is that sparks my interest because, uh, yeah, I think those have tended to just be darker. And, and I guess for me, it's like a, it's a more that I have, like sort of darker or not darker, deeper psychological interests. And so that's where the humanity comes in. And I think that's just tends to be something I'm fascinated by, in terms of the fact that we're all just these, like, you know, <laugh> skin bags walking around and like we have these brains inside of us and these like muscles and all of these things that work together and like how incredibly different are filtered experiences are.
Speaker 2 00:16:34 And you, you cannot know what the other person is interior thoughts are. I just, I find like the fact that, you know, there's so many different type of types of, um, you know, psychological disorders and, and things ways in which the brain, um, compensates for itself and ways in which our chemicals balance out and ways in which, you know, our genetics take, like just all of this kind of like science around being human and, and how sort of, um, fragile it all is. I just find a lot of interest in that. And those themes tend to go into a little bit more of the sort of behind the curtain, maybe not as, uh, bright and cheery and presentational. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> thoughts, but, but, but again, like, I'm not usually thinking about that when I'm doing it, I'm just kind of following whatever the instinct is, because my biggest, the, my biggest fear and the thing that like, I think is the thing I struggle against is, um, stagnation and, and, and that feeling of like, oh, it, like, am I gonna be able to come up with X, Y, and Z for like a lot, lot of the, a lot of my job is like coming up with concepts, you know, and visual concepts and approaches and, um, storytelling through visuals.
Speaker 2 00:18:00 And, and, and there's this always this fear of, can I do it? Am I gonna be able to do it in an interesting way? And what I've learned is like, if you are, and I'm sorry, I'm getting a little bit heady, but if you're, if you are making decisions from an instinctual place and you find the time passing, and you're not really thinking about it, that's where you need to be. And that's when you know, you're in like your zone, right. If I'm in a situation where I am like, I don't know, <laugh> like, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I truly, I can't connect to that. I don't know. All my creative juices have completely been dried up. I don't, you know, then I'm like, I'm not in the right zone here. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> so for me, it's like, I'm just following the thing that allows me to keep flowing. And for whatever reason, I guess that tends to have a bit of darkness to it.
Speaker 0 00:18:56 I hear you, um, in that fear state, the moment where you're questioning or doubting or uncertain, if you can deliver, if you can, like, like, I think in that place, like flow state is not even an option. You're just like trying to white knuckle grip, the finish mm-hmm <affirmative>. Do you have a thought or a, like, checkpoint that helps you recalibrate to get back into flow? Or do you, is there a thought that helps you to not be afraid? What do you do from that place? Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:19:26 It depends on what part of the process I'm in, in terms of filmmaking, at least if I'm by myself versus if I'm on set and surrounded by people. Um, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I think when I'm around people, I use them, you know, it's like a great tool to say, like, I'm stuck, you know? And, and, and let's, let's kind of start from the beginning again. Let's try again, you know, does anyone have any ideas? <laugh>, mm-hmm <affirmative> cause I'm fresh out mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and so that's always good because I, I love, I do think for me personally, conversing and collaborating always gets my brain moving. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> because there's this feedback, this firing feedback that someone will say, it's almost like word association, someone will say something and you immediately imagine things, and then your brain can start to click back into a, a momentum. And when I'm by myself, when I'm like writing or things like that, um, that's harder because I have to sort of like figure out things that allow me to click back into that. And it usually takes a little longer because I don't have that immediate, uh, you know, I'm not immediately surrounded by this incredibly talented pool of people. So, um, yeah,
Speaker 0 00:20:45 It's, it's harder to play word association with yourself
Speaker 2 00:20:48 Than with a group. Yeah. In those. Yeah. And in those cases, it's like taking a break, uh, not for too long <laugh>, um, moving my body. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, maybe approaching it from a different angle if I can't, for some reason, crack something, uh, starting over listening to music, just getting, trying to do anything to sort of like shake it up, I guess
Speaker 0 00:21:11 Mm-hmm <affirmative> yes. UN underlying anything like when you were afraid, anything is better than fear. So even if it's like some other form of frustration or stuckness or something. Yeah. I, I, in my process as a performer and as a creator, I think fear is like a kiss of death. It will paralyze me. It will keep, like you said, the creative juices from flowing. It's not the, it's not the flow state for me. So I'm with you on that one. I would substitute anything else, uh, for fear
Speaker 2 00:21:44 <laugh> yeah. And for me, the, actually one of the scariest things, and it's why I, I didn't continue on with choreography is because for me, the, the most dread I've ever felt is creating movement sequences. I,
Speaker 0 00:21:59 I
Speaker 2 00:22:00 I'm really, really, my brain just doesn't wanna create something out of nothing. And that's how I feel choreography feels to me in, in my perception of it. It feels so daunting. And I, yeah, I just, it's not something that I have ever been able to easily find a way into and man, have I tried <laugh> um, wow. But I, I learned early on, like, I'm definitely more of a, in terms of the choreographer dancer world. I'm definitely more of a dancer. I like following. I like mimicking. I like perfecting. Um, you know, and then in terms of filmmaking, I'm much more into the directing, which is kind of a strange flip, but yeah, choreography's the scariest thing to me. So anyone who does it, I'm like you're, you already are like on a pedestal in, in my mind.
Speaker 0 00:22:54 That is freaking awesome. That's very cool to hear. I did not know that about you. Um, and I, I share a bit of that. Um, it wasn't until, I mean, I still have my days, but owning the choreographer hat fully is also a challenge for me, because I think, I believe somewhere that I should love the process. Yeah. Like in order to really wave that flag with pride, it should, it should make me happy and be fulfilling. And it doesn't most of the time it's painful for me or, or arduous, maybe not painful, but just like, Ugh, the, um, yeah, that's that's and that's okay. Um, with me, but when I have, you know, 16 hour days of that, it does become not okay. Pretty quickly that it can be really tough, especially if, if I were to be doing it in a vacuum, but thankfully, you know, the type of work I'm doing, I'm regularly doing it alone. So that's, again, the how glad are we that it takes a village <laugh> we are very glad, uh, to have teammates. Yeah. Um, okay. Something you said a second ago about, about our like multitudes of difference, how everybody is, is a mysterious, did you say flesh bag or skin bag? I can't remember
Speaker 2 00:24:13 Skin, whatever. It was sounding great bag as it came outta my mouth.
Speaker 0 00:24:17 I'm with it. No, I'm with it. I, I think that is what we are. Sometimes I call it Michelle. Um, there's this shell of it's me. And then there's, you know, my inner workings and my experiences that make me who I am. Um, but I, one of the things I'm really glad about is that people can't read my mind, but one of the things that makes me most frustrated in the world is that I cannot read other people's. And I'm like, I just wish I'm like, if only I knew exactly what you were thinking I could deliver, or I could, you know, this would be somehow easier. But as soon as I remember, oh, wait, if I could know what they were thinking, then they could know what I was thinking. And I actually don't want that. I'm very glad to have the safety of my shell. Um, but I'm, now I'm thinking about the element of mystery in your work. And I'm wondering if, is it important to you that you always know what's going on in your character's mind? I'm thinking specifically, actually not of a theatrical thing, but of a music video you did for advanced joy a long, long time ago, long, long. I mean, what is that? I don't even know. Uh, the one that Devin Jameson steady cammed on the girls, bathing suits with goggles
Speaker 2 00:25:32 Girls bathing suits with goggles. Oh yeah. And they're like in Hawaii. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:25:37 Yes, yes. And I just thought it was the most mysterious thing. I had no idea what was going on in the minds of these people. Did you, or were you okay with the not knowing, were you just cur was the camera curious cuz we are up in there and yeah. Um, yeah, that's, that's, that's curious to me.
Speaker 2 00:25:58 Yeah. I had a, I had a, probably more of a knowing than people watching it cuz I had a story. Um, but, but then, you know, another layer of that is sort of like how the performers, um, translate my sort of like outline of a story into performance. And so they are probably the people that end up knowing the most. Um, but yeah, it's funny. I, um, that was such a fun thing to shoot because we had all this freedom. There was no one there, like we just went and made this story and I loved that. How strange it was and how kind of ephemeral it was. And um, yeah, and I, I have no idea how other people read it. That's the other thing, like I have such a bad gauge of my own work that when I watch, I watch things that I've made, I have no clue where it sits against other things people are watching. I just really don't, I've never been able to do that. I've never been able to remove myself. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> so I, I don't even try anymore. <laugh> <laugh> I just am like people say things about stuff I make and I go, well, that's interesting. I just am like, I have no clue really. So
Speaker 0 00:27:24 <laugh>, that's so interesting to me. And I'm thinking back on the night, um, you ever so kindly invited me to a screening of fresh before it came out on Hulu mm-hmm <affirmative> and afterwards we were kind all standing there talking about it in the parking lot. And I was convinced, I was like, the world's gonna fall in love. They're gonna be obsessed. This is like, it's like the next parasite it's gonna be so dark and people are gonna love it so much. And it's G I it's, I was committed to that. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and you were like, really, do you think, I mean, there was, I think at that point there was already, you had already gotten some, um, feedback, right? Had it, had it premiered, had it screened anywhere else or was that no.
Speaker 2 00:28:10 When you saw it? Um, no, it was, we had done audience screenings, which we, we did rate quite high on and, and the assumption was that the movie would be in theaters and really the only reason it wasn't was because of Aron. Um mm-hmm <affirmative> but at that point, no, we were, we weren't sure who was gonna buy it. We weren't sure where it was gonna go. So it was be, you saw it before Sundance, before, uh, Searchlight bought it. So, um, mm-hmm <affirmative> but we did know that theatrical audiences really loved it. Cool.
Speaker 0 00:28:45 But, and even, so you, you, you, did you still, I mean, was there still uncertainty, are you still uncertain about it? Where do you stand about it? Where do stand on it now?
Speaker 2 00:28:55 That's so funny now, is that because of the platform it's on? Um, I still don't know because it didn't go to a box office box office numbers are really helpful for filmmakers to know. Yes. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> how things are being perceived. Um, yeah, but
Speaker 0 00:29:11 The other thing is money can't be faked or hidden.
Speaker 2 00:29:13 Yeah. And, and people showing up it's like word of mouth is it's such a big thing. And when it's in people's homes, there's no way to know, except for data and Hulu does not release their data. So we have, I have no clue. I have absolutely no clue. I'm living in a dark shadow of unknowing <laugh>. Um, and I actually, I can't tell if I like that or not, but either way it's like, I just I'll talk to people and they're like, oh, you made, made the, you know, and they'll be like, oh, it's doing so well. And I go, it is, how do you know <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:29:46 Right? Where are you getting that, that please point me in the direction of the information
Speaker 2 00:29:50 Please. Yeah. I actually think you, I think you can maybe find out how it's doing globally because it is, it is in most places in the world, you can see it on Disney plus. And um, those numbers are more read. I don't know though. I don't keep up with it. So I just really have no idea. Um,
Speaker 0 00:30:08 That streaming stuff gets sticky. It is hard, hard to tell. Yeah. Um, but I will tell all, all ye listeners, if you haven't already watched fresh on Hulu, um, really strongly encourage you to go do that. Cuz I was riveted beginning to very, very end. Um, if you know nothing about it, I will tell, I will say this the, the review that stuck not review, but the, the title, like the click bait thing that I read about it, that caught me the most somebody called <laugh> I, I Google a boy, boy eats girl romcom thriller. And it took me like a second read cause I was like, wait boy meets. Oh, Nope, boy eats girl romcom thriller. So that's all I'm gonna say, go enjoy fresh. Um, but Mimi process wise, no spoilers because I want everybody to see this and be as like caught up in it as I was. Um, but I love asking myself about my own work and I encourage my students to do this as well. I love to give some self feedback and I love to ask if there was anything that went exceptionally well that you think you want to recreate all the time that you work. And if there was anything that you would 100% do differently, if you had another stab at this, so what went well and what would you do differently?
Speaker 2 00:31:28 Um, you know, normally I have a clear gauge on those answers. I think because we made our film pro-vaccine pandemic. It was such a highly, um, we were on such high alert every day that, you know, we didn't know if we'd be shut down the next day or if we'd be able to keep going that there was this sense of urgency around everything, but also like in, in a way that I don't think can be, can ever be replicated
Speaker 0 00:32:00 Recreated.
Speaker 2 00:32:01 Yeah. And, and so, because I was operating on in this very sort of like high stress, high adrenaline kind of mode, um, I think a lot of things that decisions I made, I don't even remember <laugh>. Um, but that being said, um, trying to think of something that went really well. Well, I got, I got really good advice in the beginning of the process, it being my first feature length film, um, uh, and that advice, you know, for anyone doing a long form project out there was, uh, to take everything two days at a time. And I think that that really stuck with me and has continued to stay with me because when you're doing something that's on a large scale like that, and you're involving that many people, you know, hundreds of people <laugh>, um, mm-hmm <affirmative> and there's lots of money involved and all that.
Speaker 2 00:33:00 It's just, you can very easily, I think anyone can very easily kind of shut down or get overwhelmed. And of course I got overwhelmed all the time, but um, taking everything two days at a time, kind of like made it so that I could handle everything cuz I was like, well, I can't think about what's happening next week or next month or next year mm-hmm <affirmative> but I know I can think about today. And I know, I think I can think about tomorrow and beyond that I get a little stressed <laugh> so I tried to keep my focus quite narrow in terms of what was around me, time wise. And that was something that I, I did pretty well. Like I stuck to that in a way that I think was what got me through it. It's what allowed me to have a relatively smooth process, um, for a feature, regardless of doing it in a pandemic, um,
Speaker 0 00:33:55 Right. The fact that it was smooth, even given that circumstance is wild to me and, and speaks to your nature on set, which I can speak to. Cuz I've been on set with you many times. I, I have never heard you yell or raise your voice. It's never felt sweaty or tense. I mean, it's been hot, but not like, you know, clammy, you know, it's um, it's very calm and um, I think, I, I don't think we've worked together since fresh, but if that was your way before you learned that valuable lesson, about two days at a time, then I'm so excited for the next time, our creative cross cross path. <laugh> I say that all the time, our creative paths cross. Yes. Um, yeah, my, I think the idea of two days is more, I mean, you, you, as the leader of that ship cannot think one day at a time, cuz people need information about what will happen tomorrow.
Speaker 0 00:34:52 Mm-hmm <affirmative> before they go home that night mm-hmm <affirmative> um, otherwise you have this work around the clock thing, which leads to burnout and nobody's working at, at, at their highest potential mm-hmm <affirmative> um, I love that. I'm gonna try to employ thank you for the golden nugget <laugh> um, we're gonna move on, but only a little bit move on, cuz I still wanna talk about, um, the dance and the use of movement in fresh. Um, Sebastian and Daisy obviously have some like more, what is obvious dance. They have a very cute, very human and I think Megan Lawson who choreographed it, who I'm so, so glad, um, you got to work with and they got to work with, and she got to do this work. Uh there's this lovingly very human couples dance. That's like absolutely the way you dance with someone when you're on a date in their living room <laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> versus at a club or something like that. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, it just felt so spot on, but also his, um, kitchen solo, which felt like, um, ritualistic and free. It felt like Tom cruise in the white shirt without pants. What was that movie again?
Speaker 2 00:36:05 Risky business.
Speaker 0 00:36:08 Thank you so much. It felt like risky business meets girl with the dragon tattoo. I'm so afraid of um, what's his name in the basement while Enya is playing? Oh yeah. Yeah. It was like, so spooky entertaining. Good. And I, I wonder how you explained what you wanted to her and how you guys arrived at that with Sebastian, cuz I'm assuming he was, um, you know, had to be game for all of that as well. Mm-hmm <affirmative> how did that all play out? I love that scene so much.
Speaker 2 00:36:41 Yeah. Well I think we would've probably involved Meg earlier if there was an a pandemic. Um, but you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> uh, having to quarantine and do all that stuff. We didn't get to be with her physically till pretty much the day we were on set. So, um, Sebastian and I, uh, had been kind of like talking about the dance for a long time, cuz it was a scene in the original script and it was very much something he was looking forward to, but probably also a little bit nervous about, and it's just sort of like a wild concept of a scene. Um mm-hmm <affirmative> but something people who read it and like the script really were drawn to including me. So, um, so yeah, so we basically like he and I he'd been kind of like coming up with some, some of his own moves for a while and I knew exactly what I wanted the scene to look like lighting wise and kind of energy wise. And so we kind of did a bit of blocking. We had a good chunk of time to shoot the scene. I, I wanna say almost a whole day. Um, and we,
Speaker 0 00:37:51 I thought you were gonna say like two days or three days <laugh> so almost a good amount of time is a day that's
Speaker 2 00:37:57 Well
Speaker 0 00:37:57 It does go by pretty quick. It, I mean it, it is it's fast, but yeah. Okay. Carry on.
Speaker 2 00:38:03 Well, I'm trying to think back to our process because, because things happened so fast, but I'm pretty sure what happened was that we, we got to set Meg was there and what I wanted was this sense of like he could improvise, but I needed him to hit his marks for camera. And so I, I sort of planned out his blocking in the space with him. Like you're gonna be here, you're gonna be here. And then what Meg helped with was kind of like harnessing some of his natural inclinations of movement into each of those moments. So like in this space you're going to, here are the, the three or four movements you're going to play with, once you get to this, uh, mark, it's gonna be these and so on. And then like, you know, once he, if he did something we really liked, obviously, you know, you're very aware of this process kind of saying, okay, keeping that, scratching, that editing as you're shooting mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and then throwing, you know, Meg and I throwing in ideas as we're shooting and also me kind of like being able to step in and help him maybe do a movement that in a slightly different way or a slightly different angle or how do we get his body, you know, to hit a certain, um, light.
Speaker 2 00:39:27 And, and so she was able to help, you know, translate the physicality. Um, nice. And then it was just about, you know, because actors, especially that caliber are so good at hitting their marks and you know, kind of basically memorization it's, it's so easy to work with in a way, like he can kind of like do it and store it in his brain and then do it exactly the same. Um, and, and actors that are like that are just also so good at taking notes that they can like shift something really tiny, that changes the whole energy of it. So, um, so Sebastian was like, so game that, I think that's also why it worked so well. Um, and this was sort of like all of us knew that this scene was like a very clear sort of apex moment of his character, um, in terms of shifting for the rest of the film, how he would act. So we knew there had to be sort of like a wink and a smile to it, even though it was quite dark. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> in terms of its context. So
Speaker 0 00:40:35 You right, totally. I can't wait for everyone to see this and understand. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:40:40 I was trying to say everything how, yeah, I was trying to say everything without giving away specifics,
Speaker 0 00:40:46 Uhhuh <affirmative> um, well it sounds like you had the right combination of, you know, obviously professionals, you have people at the top of their game doing what they're great at. But if I were to dissolve that, if we kind of took away the actual job descriptions of an actor and a choreographer, you had somebody who was game and somebody who's a really good guide. And when you have those two things and enough time in the shoot schedule, you can get the thing that you want. Um, it's so remarkable. I love that scene. In fact, I think I'm overdue for a rewatch, maybe
Speaker 2 00:41:21 <laugh>, you know, it's, it's also, what's so amazing about like one of my favorite things about working on that film was working with the camera operators. Um, it's another type of thing. Like when you get to a certain level of people that are like top of their game, you know, when you get to people who are shooting, you know, some of the best features in the world or some of the best TV shows in the world, like these operators are incredible. They're they're really, really instinctual. Um, any, any movements they're doing really? I like, I, I give them direction. The DP gives them direction, but they are using their instincts to translate mm-hmm, <affirmative> what I'm asking for. And mm-hmm, <affirmative> like, we just had like the best of the best, like our, a, our, a cam operator was just like, he did things in ways that like were just so much better than we even asked him to do. And so, especially in that scene, that was obviously like a big, important part of it was how he was moving. So, um, yeah. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> just put that out there. Cool.
Speaker 0 00:42:29 Do you wanna, do you wanna shout them out? Who are your, your teammates? I know you also had a great relationship with the DP.
Speaker 2 00:42:36 Yeah. Uh, Pavel palki is my DP. Um, thank the, thank the heavens above for that. Um <laugh> um, but yeah, we had a, we had a pretty killer operating team. Our, a cam operators were split between two people, Steve and Dan, sorry, Steven Dean. You can I'll repeat that. Two people, Steve M Dean. Um, and then we had, uh, an incredible, um, focus, puller, Christian, who was just like, never had to even check his work once. Cuz he was just like such an all star. Um, yeah. It's so important when you're that're working. Yeah. When you're working with people like that, like after a couple days, like our, we, you know, we shop for 30 days and after a couple days you go, oh, like I don't even have to, I don't even have to that. Doesn't have to cross my mind because that person is so good at what they do that like I get to just, when you have people around you like that, you get to just focus on the core of it and your, your world becomes a lot. Yes. I don't know it it's it's a really beautiful thing. I love filmmaking <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:43:47 Ugh. That is the aim. Is it not like that is the aim. I talk a lot on the podcast about progress over perfection. I know so many of us are stifled, especially artists, dancers in particular, stifled by um, perfectionism and a whole lot of imposter syndrome. And um, so on the podcast, I talk a lot about the idea of being enough and that sometimes progress is enough. Perfection is not necessary most of the time, but man, oh man, when you have a team that can pull off a perfect take, which I mean we're humans. So does that exist? I don't know, but I'll tell you this. When it comes to instincts, having great instincts and having the technical chops to pull off difficult shit, it's so important because it saves so much time. Like not only the time moving forward, where you didn't have to explain the minutia of exactly everything that you wanted, let alone teach it to them.
Speaker 0 00:44:45 Like you didn't have to explain it and you didn't have to teach 'em how to do it, but you also didn't have to go back and do things again. So you're saving time by having a great team by having capable people. You save time in the beginning while you're shooting and at the end. Um, and I'm harping on this. I'm underlining this because I just worked with, uh, me and Riley Higgins. My assistant just worked with a group of 91, 7 to 10 year olds and they don't have instincts yet. They have the instincts to play and to talk mm-hmm <affirmative>, which are, which sort of push you back on the timeline. But everything else has to be explained like how the wings work on the side of the stage. We have to be able to talk about where you should stand while you're back there. And I'm here to choreograph what the audience sees. And yet we're having to have conversations and little micro trainings about how to mm-hmm, <affirmative> be how to stand in the wings while you're backstage. So
Speaker 2 00:45:45 Yes, but you are that person. They will always remember teaching them that that's a huge
Speaker 0 00:45:51 Thing that is true. They will hear my voice in their 16 year old heads saying if you can see them, they can see you back up, back up <laugh> um, but yeah, that's, I think we, we're all aspiring to get to a place where we have strong instincts and strong technical chops. Um, and it is all, that's all part of the journey, but we all wanna be on those teams. And I'm reminded also of one of my favorite quotes to come out of my favorite artist, Tom Sachs, his studio. Uh, one of my favorite quotes is it will not fail because of me, which of course has two meanings. It means it won't be my fault that it sucks. Like I'm not gonna do anything to ruin it, but it also means I will save it. Like it will not fail because of me. I will swoop in and save it and also I will not ruin it.
Speaker 0 00:46:45 Um, and I, I, I love that. And it sounds like you have had a team of people that were, you know, determined to make this thing go. It sounds like, it sounds like it did. And I hope, uh, I hope that even if it didn't you feel like it did <laugh> since it is a mystery after all it is a mystery. Um, okay. Uh, question now what's up next for you. I know this, this big, big, fresh was a big deal for you. Are you excited about things on the horizon what's going on? Are you allowed to talk about anything?
Speaker 2 00:47:16 Yeah, I, I can talk about things. Um, I, I am, yeah. I, I, I don't even know saying the things I'm doing out loud doesn't feel real. So I mm-hmm <affirmative> so it's kind of like, I I'm I'm maybe need to, this is giving me practice to, to learn how to talk <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:47:40 Oh, good, good, good to come get it.
Speaker 2 00:47:42 Learn how to talk and be able to stand on my own two feet about the things that are coming, cuz the things that are coming are big and um,
Speaker 0 00:47:50 Olympic Gargan, they're
Speaker 2 00:47:52 Olympic they're Olympic. I am doing a, a thriller called Holland, Michigan, and I am doing it with Nicole Kidman
Speaker 0 00:48:05 As
Speaker 2 00:48:05 You are guy Garcia Barnell and we are shooting that. We're gonna start prepping in October of this year and we'll be shooting beginning of next year. Awesome. That is what's next. Um, I also have a few other things, uh, that I don't need to mention, but I'm, I'm working on some scripts with some writers, which is super, super fun. And I am, uh, hopefully potentially, um, directing a pilot of a TV show. That's really, really exciting. That's like a period piece. Um, but I can't speak about it more than that. Okay.
Speaker 0 00:48:44 Don't speak about it. Don't speak about
Speaker 2 00:48:45 It. All of these things are really cool. And um, yeah, I'm, I'm mostly just focused on this next film and really excited. Someone's letting me make another film. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:48:55 We love that. Yes. Mimi, my brain just burst in half. I can't believe I didn't lead with this. Why did I not lead with this? You said writing and my brain went like holy freaking smokes. I don't even know if you are aware of this, but what my, this podcast words that move me started out as a book, which you were helping me to edit <laugh> yeah.
Speaker 2 00:49:20 What the heck? Dana,
Speaker 0 00:49:22 What the heck you were my editor for words that moved me when it was a book and you helped me check myself every time I wanted to use a fricking ellipsis <laugh> I was ellipsis daddy, everything was a run on sentence and you very gently were like, I think what you mean here is a comma <laugh> or I think that's a new sentence. I really, really appreciated that. And I love, I love that. That's another, another part of what makes our work history so rich and so much fun. Mm-hmm <affirmative> mm-hmm <affirmative> um, well thank you for all of that. And I'm sorry that I did not use your work. I turned it into a podcast, but the podcast is going really well. I have this awesome director on right now. Her name is Mimi CA she's so great. Can't we for you to hear the episode? Um, but uh, I I'm so excited for you and all it's to come. I know it's been ups and downs and you seem to take 'em all with so much grace. So I look up to you a lot for that. Thank you for sharing with us today.
Speaker 2 00:50:21 Thank you Dana. Oh my gosh. I feel like I just sat through just like a showering of compliments and I, uh, you know, I, I need you to know that. Well,
Speaker 0 00:50:32 You need to know how to be able. You need to know how to do that. Well,
Speaker 2 00:50:35 Excuse me. I'm I'm talking now. Miss, miss Dana. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:50:41 It's really hard when I can't see. Okay, go ahead. I think, I think you were about compliment me.
Speaker 2 00:50:44 I think I was about to compliment you and I think that's why your brain went. Let me just insert myself. Um, no, I, I think that what's so what's so wonderful about you is that you are a shining example of someone who also is just following the things that interest them. And I think that you have such a right spirit in terms of how you connect with people and when you are moving through the world in that way, I love that you're doing the podcast because you know, those of you who listen to this and haven't been with Dana in real life or been able to, you know, capture a little spark of her. Um, it's a pretty exquisite thing and she's a pretty exquisite person to be able to experience in person, let alone on a podcast. Anyways, I'm getting lost, but I'm just glad that you've expanded your creativity into other realms because I think that you, uh, I don't think one medium can contain all of it. So with
Speaker 0 00:51:51 That said, this is me receiving that. Thanks
Speaker 2 00:51:52 For having me <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:51:55 Wow. Thank you, Mimi. And, and, and look at us, do such a good job practicing receiving <laugh>. I know,
Speaker 2 00:52:02 I know. Well, um, I will gladly be of any, uh, sport I can to you in this venture. And um, I hope I get to hang out with you soon. <laugh>
Speaker 0 00:52:14 Yes. Dog hangs, friend hangs, move hangs. Oh, also Pilates hangs those of you who have never taken a Pilates class. Um, Mimi got me hooked and now I, I should, if I'd been taking all that Pilates, my legs would not be feeling the way they are today. Maybe, maybe get out there and work out everyone, work out and go watch fresh. That's where I will leave it right now. Thanks again, Mimi. Big, big, big love. I'll see, soon. Dana.
Speaker 2 00:52:41 Thank you. Bye bye.
Speaker 0 00:52:49 All right, my friend, what did you think of that? I think that conversation in true Mimi form was gentle and inspiring and focused, but also soft and dark, but not scary, but deep like dark because it's deep, not dark because it's without light. I hope that makes sense. Anyways, the things I really really loved about this episode is this notion of, um, knowing versus showing and how we can use mystery in our work, how even if the director or choreographer knows exactly what they want the character to be thinking the actor or the dancer in some cases have their own interpretation experience and performance like translation of that idea. And then even further, the audience will have their own. We won't ever fully fully know what people are thinking or what they think of our work, which I think is why it's even more important that we know what we think of our work, which, which is what makes it really important.
Speaker 0 00:54:07 I think for us to have ideas about our own work and be able to value it, um, to our own standards, I thought it was really interesting to hear that Mimi hasn't heard yet how fresh has done and thinking about myself, being in that position and how, how I might handle that, how it brings up a lot of good questions for me. Um, well I hope this conversation has inspired you. I hope it's, uh, lit a lovely fire under your bum to get out there into the world, to be a capable person with great instincts, somebody whose game, somebody who knows how to guide somebody who knows how to take direction. And yes, maybe even someone who knows how to direct. That is what I have for you today. My friends go out into the world, keep it very, very funky and also watch fresh.
Speaker 0 00:55:05 I will be linking to it in the show notes today. <laugh> all right. Y'all that's it for me S this podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by max Winnie logo and brand design by Bree res and big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor also massive, thanks to you. The mover, who is no stranger to taking action. So go take action. I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review into rating. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you. There. I will, 100% not stop you from visiting words that move me.com. If you wanna talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community. Oh, and also I will not stop you from visiting the Dana wilson.com. If you're curious about all the things that I do that are not words that move me related, all right, my friend, keep it funky. I'll talk to you.