Hey Meredith! Give us a little self Bio…
I graduated from School of Visual Arts in New York with a Bachelors in Fine Arts. I have exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial, Reina Sofia Museum, MoMA, PS1 Museum, Venice Biennale and has a major film installation coming up at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (MOCAD) Fall of 2012. I have screened films at a number of festivals including Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Byron Bay, Hamburg International and Margaret Mead. In the spring of 2008 I directed my first documentary feature, The Ride, a documentary about cowboys and the American identity which screened at MoMA as part of an exhibition about the American West curated by Eva Respini. The Ride had it’s official World Premiere at the South by South West Film Festival in March of 2010. After that I immediately flew to Siberia to direct another feature documentary, Art Hard, about the world’s largest artwork in the world. I then went onto an ambitious four channel feature film entitled, North of South, West of East which was commissioned by Ballroom Marfa and screened at Sundance 2013. These four feature length narrative films play simultaneously in perfect symphony. I was selected for the Sundance 2013 Writers Lab as well as the 2013 Sundance Directors Lab for her feature film State Like Sleep, featuring Katherine Waterston and Michael Shannon, now in post production. I now live and work in Topanga.
How did you get into directing as your career path?
I started working in video art and one thing led to another. Though music videos for friends and documentary projects, I suddenly was a director. It was a very natural process and was just meant to be. I didn't go to film school but I've done pretty much every aspect of filmmaking from casting to accounting. I love it.
How does being a successful woman in a predominantly male-dominated field affect you?
You know, I've always worked with wonderful producers and incredible crews and have never had any bad experiences. I do however feel I have to be more prepared, decisive and informed than my male contemporaries, but that's in every field. I think women are held to a higher standard in general. Men are typically judged on potential whereas women are judged on experience so automatically there's a disadvantage. I'm lucky that I've been given great opportunities, been paid fairly and treated well, but I think it's also because I've chosen great people to work with and made demands of them. Mutual respect and accountability are the tools of the trade.
Tell us about your most recent film project.
State Like Sleep tracks like a murder mystery or deep psychological thriller but is really a story about a woman's grief. Katherine Waterston plays the lead role and grapples with the suicide of her husband as she packs up the home they shared in Brussels. While there, she discovers clues that lead her down a rabbit hole into his secret life at which point she begins to doubt the suicide and spin a narrative of foul play.
What inspires you?
Obviously, films inspire me, but random people do as well. I love eavesdropping on conversations. This is one of the reasons I love LA, there are so many characters and they talk as if they're the only ones in the coffee shop or gas station or wherever. I think everyone is used to being alone and in their cars so they don't think anyone could possibly be listening, meanwhile they're laying it on the line, talking about an ex-husband on parole or wife swapping.
Tell us about your dream lady date with your biggest role model.
Smoking cigarettes with Joan Didion as we drive the coast in her corvette. (I don't smoke, but I would with her)
What do you do to decompress?
I have a cat.
What is your favorite song to kick off your shoes and dance to?
Bombino's Nomad album.
What is an important piece of advice you will never forget?
Kathryn Bigelow told me to make the films I want to see. Sounds so simple, but it's very challenging to be truthful like that. I try and do that.