Women’s Panel (SBIFF, 2011): USA

Reviewed by Ron Christianson viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2011

on January 29th, 2011 at 2:PM at the Lobero Theater, I had the pleasure of attending the Women’s Panel “Creative Forces: Women in the Biz” Presented by Lynda.com, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The event was moderated by Madelyn Hammond and consisted of five amazingly talented women. Starting from the left, the panel consisted of Darla K. Anderson (Producer of Toy Story 3), Colleen Atwood (Costume designer for Alice in Wonderland), Gloria Borders (Executive Visual Effects Producer), Lesley Chilcott (Producer of Waiting for Superman), last but not least, Alix Madigan (Producer of Winter’s Bone). The women spoke of how each one of them got their starts, what inspires them, and who their mentors are.

Colleen Atwood spoke of previous movies she had a part in, they include; Philadelphia, Edward Scissor Hands, and Silence of the Lambs. She mentioned that working again with Johnny Depp, she has got to know him personally and enjoys working with him.

Gloria Borders mentioned that George Lucas is her mentor and reveled a funny story while working at Lucas Films, how Steve Jobs handed Gloria an early I Phone to look at, thinking it was a gift, she thanked Steve Jobs only to clarify that it belonged to him and it wasn’t a gift, and asked for the phone back. She also had a hand in the sound effects of the Star Wars, Return of the Jedi and an Oscar for terminator.

Darla K. Anderson seemed to be the real power horse working at Pixar, working on 4 projects; Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc, Cars, and A Bugs Life. Darla has been introduced into the Guinness Book of World Records for being part of the Highest Grossing film at the box office of all time.

Alix Madigan gave the audience an insight as how the process went on producing Winter’s Bone. She went into detail on how the filming process would effect the locals of a small town in Missouri, and how she gained their trust, ultimately involving locals in the shoot, which was a 3 year process, start to finish.

Leslie Chilcott disclosed how she was involved in the early on development of MTV, and won an Oscar for the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” with Al Gore. Leslie also spoke of the possibilities of producing an Independent film and posting it on YouTube for the whole world to see.

It was an enjoyable evening, I found it entertaining, and informative, definitely a great addition to the Film Festivals mix of panels.

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