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Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Filmmaker Cat Watson Aims To Bring Stronger, More Complex Female and Diverse Characters Behind the Camera as Well

What I feel people need now more than ever is understanding. Learning about what it’s like to be someone else can dramatically help with empathy. A movement I would love to see are films and shows going to countries around the world, using local talent, local crew, and local stories. There are so many people in the world who never leave their hometown and are therefore scared of the world outside but seeing these stories and relating to them can make a big impact.

  1. You do not have to take advice or suggestions you are given, listen to yourself. When I did my first short film at my Masters I took every bit of advice and every suggestion my Professor gave me. I changed things I didn’t want to change and ended up absolutely hating the film. The next film I made I changed the way I listened. When he made suggestions instead of taking them, I took his advice that there was an issue, but I changed things the way I wanted to. I ended up deeply proud of the film and it helped me to get funding for my award-winning short that it was a proof of concept for.
  2. Relationships are everything in this industry, watch every word you say and listen to everything. The way you act on set, in meetings, pitches, and internships can make or break you. Do not get involved in the drama, focus on you. What you say to one person goes all over a set when everyone is packed together. Listening is more important than talking and will get you a lot farther.
  3. Take every chance you get. All of them. Never let any opportunity pass you by. When I went to my first festival, Oaxaca FilmFest in Mexico, they offered an opportunity to pitch to the Head of Original Content for HBO Latin America. The email came out of the blue and we all only had four days to put the pitch together. I was so excited and worked hard to put everything together and was selected for the opportunity. Talking with others at the festival we all mentioned who we were pitching to and many were stunned I got selected for HBO. I came to find that for so many filmmakers there that since they hadn’t had anything ready, they just hadn’t submitted anything! Don’t take yourself out of the running for anything, there are plenty of other people who will do that
  4. Work in every role. If you want to be great at Directing, you need to understand every part of what makes a film. I have consistently found that Directing a film is a million times easier and better when you have worked in every department. I have watched other Directors get exactly what they want because they knew how to do it themselves. Department Heads can communicate with you so much better if you speak their language. For instance, I was Production Designer on a film and the Director told me, “I want cold colours, like reds and deep purples.” Those are not cold colours. Respect your crew and don’t ask them to do things you yourself aren’t prepared to do!
  5. Never let a “no” stop you from following your career. You are going to hear the word “no” a lot. I mean a lot. Often for absolutely unbelievable reasons. The first time I told someone on set that I wanted to be a horror Director, he looked at me and said “A horror Director? You can’t do that, you’re a woman, you’ll faint at the sight of blood.” No, he was not joking. He also told me I could never be a Set Dresser like him because I was too small to move a couch by myself. Now I’m an award-winning horror Director who can, in fact, move a couch.



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