@sistersfred @ladyhelmer @_erinfrederick
1) Why did you decide to get into this industry?
Kyle: I’ve loved films since I can remember, and of course dabbled with my parents’ camcorder when I was younger. But it wasn’t until I began to formally study film and video production in college as part of my art history major, that I began to consider film as a career that I wanted to seriously pursue. Prior to working behind the camera, I wanted to be a professional choreographer or art curator; combining multiple art forms to tell a story has always fascinated me. After working as a PA and AD on indie film sets after college, I knew that film is where I belong.
Erin: We come from a very literary family who’s always been big movie fans. At some point Kyle and I realized we have the exact same taste in books and movies, which was a shock because we’re rather different otherwise. From that realization our separate specialities in filmmaking evolved naturally — I started acting and eventually writing, Kyle started directing and writing, we currently produce together — and now we complement one another quite nicely.
2) What’s a defining moment in your life?
Kyle: When I started choreographing for my college dance company, I found an amazing creative freedom that established the way I approach story and the creative process to this day. I think it’s so important to give yourself the time and space to play, and to let ideas develop organically.
Erin: ‘Among Mountain Crags’ is the first film I’ve produced. I’ve taken to producing naturally — it’s mostly just common sense, after all. The realization that I can write a script, produce it (thereby having some power over my story), and act in it is empowering.
3) What is your biggest concern with the future?
Kyle: I’m always finding new sources of inspiration, but my biggest concern is how to find the financial resources to make these films happen. The positive side of facing these struggles from the outset of my career is that it’s forced me to be resourceful and think outside the box with regards to production plans and timelines. I have a lot of practice with battling through uncertainty.
Erin: My biggest concern is financial, as well. I want to do good work and — more importantly — be able to provide the people who work with us and are taking a chance on us with legitimate, viable paychecks.
4) What is a successful moment in your career so far?
Kyle: Production on ‘Among Mountain Crags’!
Erin: Making ‘Among Mountain Crags’ (Kyle and my first feature film) happen! It’s rather magical to take a story from just an idea you had one day all the way into production and have other talented artists be just as excited about it as you are. It’s always an honor when someone wants to get involved.
5) What advice do you have for other women in the industry?
Kyle: Don’t be daunted by a seeming lack of support or recognition — and don’t compare your journey to that of other people. If you keep finding ways to make work that you’re passionate about and can stand behind, that’s what matters. And don’t be afraid to go after every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how daunting.
Erin: I think women are focused on being ‘nice,’ which men don’t seem to care too much about. I’m young but at this point I could care less if a random film guy thinks I’m mean. Be gracious, don’t be competitive with other women, but stand up for yourself. No one is going to hand you anything. Most importantly: do good work. Bust balls (sorry, Mom).
6) What, if anything, do you collect?
Kyle: I have a lot of interesting art prints, photographs, and paintings — including my own work — that I’ve been unintentionally collecting and slowly framing over the past several years. One of these days I’ll have a solid home base where I can display them!
Erin: I don’t really collect anything other than books. Lots of old books I’ve bought used or stolen from my uncle, especially. Mostly English, some French (I majored in French in college), a handful of German and Spanish, a dash of Latin. I’m also a clothes horse — I can’t help it! If I weren’t a filmmaker I like to think I’d be an opera singer, a production designer, or I’d work in publishing.
7) What are you working on next? In addition, if people want to find out more about you, where can they find you on social media?
Kyle: I have a very modest personal instagram page: @ladyhelmer, and another that I share with my sister Erin: @sistersfred.
Right now I’m working on fundraising for and prepping my first feature along with my sister, Erin. I’m also developing another indie drama, an original TV pilot, and a documentary feature concept that I hope to get going over the next few years. And I’m not ruling out expanding my production handle to help develop and produce work by other filmmakers!
Erin: Kyle and I have a joint “The Frederick Sisters” Instagram account @sistersfred. My personal Instagram handle is @_erinfrederick_. We also have an ‘Among Mountain Crags’ Facebook page.
I’m putting the finishing touches on my second feature-length script, ‘Vagabundus’ (a sweeping love story that begins in Edwardian Manhattan and moves to a secluded sheep farm in Texas). Kyle and I are fine-tuning our five year plan for a joint production company with our own original material. The prospective slate makes me weak in the knees.