mini MUFF Profile: Thea Hollatz
“It’s such a shame that women have to fight so hard to have our stories told accurately, and in a way that isn’t peripheral to men. We have so much to say that hasn’t been said yet.”
In honour of our December feature Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, we have selected locally-directed music videos for our Mini MUFF program this month! Next up is Thea Hollatz’s video for “Something More” by Toronto artist RALPH.
Get to know more about Thea Hollatz and her video for RALPH’s “Something More”!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH FILMMAKING.
Thea Hollatz: I started making stop motion animations when I was in high school, and then I blacked out and ended up in film school in Toronto. I work primarily in the art department, and have been really fortunate with the people I’ve met and the films I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of. For example, earlier this year I production designed a feature film called Cardinal, which starred three women (Sheila McCarthy, Katie Boland, Grace Glowicki), and was produced by Kristy Neville and Marianna Margaret. It was a great experience, through and through.
TELL US ABOUT THE VIDEO YOU CREATED FOR “SOMETHING MORE”. WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
TH: Matt Bianchi, the co-director of the video, and I were tossing out a bunch of ideas and it became clear that we should treat the video with a bit of levity. We decided on party-seniors because the song is about the uncertainty one deals with in their 20s and we thought, “Who cares less about all of the questions they had in their 20s than people in their 60s and 70s?”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH A GROUP OF SENIORS? ANY UNFORESEEN CHALLENGES OR UNEXPECTED JOYS?
TH: The whole cast was so low maintenance and positive. They made the shoot day a breeze because they were always up for whatever was going on.
YOU CO-DIRECTED THIS VIDEO WITH MATT BIANCHI. HOW WAS THAT EXPERIENCE? HAVE YOU TWO TEAMED UP BEFORE AND/OR WILL YOU TEAM UP AGAIN?
TH: Working with Matt is an unrelenting good time. We’ve worked together in the art department on various jobs, but this was our first time directing as a team, or directing at all since university. We’re currently developing several ideas for music videos and other projects.
THE OUTFITS IN THIS VIDEO ARE PRETTY GLAM AND LUXURIOUS. CAN YOU SPEAK ABOUT YOUR WARDROBE TEAM AND WHERE THEY SOURCED THESE BEAUTIES? ALSO, DID YOU GET TO KEEP ANY OF THEM?
TH: I can’t really wrap my head around how Step did what she did with the budget she had. She rented a lot of the clothes from Berman and Co., Raffa’s were primarily from VSP Consignment, and her jewelry was from Carole Tanenbaum. I didn’t keep anything personally, but really I could not ever pull off what Raffa pulls off. Everything she wear is so beautiful and interesting.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOME/ALL OF THE OTHER AMAZING WOMEN WHO WORKED ON THIS VIDEO?
TH: We were so lucky to have tricked all of these wildly talented people into working on the video. It was produced by Part & Parcel Collective’s Nicole Powell and Katy Maravala, who are so hard working and creative, I don’t think they ever sleep. Maybe one of them sleeps while one of them works and they switch off, I don’t know what their system is.
The video was designed by Erika Lobko and Sarah Castle, who are so good as what they do, and are so easy-going about the miracles they pull off regularly. Kristy Neville is super-human and edited the video while editing and producing numerous other projects. Alison Sharp did hair and makeup, and her work speaks for itself. Steph Major, as mentioned, did all of the costumes. Of course, Raffa, who is so talented, obviously. Dream team.
IF YOU WERE REINCARNATED AS AN ICE CREAM FLAVOUR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
TH: Cherry Garcia, maybe. I just looked it up and the idea for the name was suggested by a woman named Jane Williamson who wasn’t given credit for it until she mailed the company a Cherry Garcia carton lid and said she was glad they made the flavour.
TELL US ABOUT WHY YOU ARE A FEMINIST AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO YOUR FILMMAKING.
TH: I’m a feminist because of how taxing it is not to be listened to. I’m really lucky that I have a voice at all, and I can’t imagine the frustration of women who are barely represented. It’s such a shame that women have to fight so hard to have our stories told accurately, and in a way that isn’t peripheral to men. We have so much to say that hasn’t been said yet.
It’s also way more fun being on the right side of history. In 150 years, I want to be able to enjoy my time as a bowl of Cherry Garcia, when attitudes have inevitably shifted to acknowledge, celebrate, and protect women and all marginalized people and their contributions.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE ABOUT FILMMAKING YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
TH: “Make what you like.”
WHAT MALE POP CULTURE ICON OR MOVIE/TV CHARACTER ARE YOU DREAMING WOULD GET A GENDER SWAP?
TH: It would be interesting to see how Whiplash would change with women playing Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons’ characters.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW/NEXT?
TH: Right now I’m writing a script for a short animated film I’d like to direct about a weather woman in the throws of menopause.
RECOMMEND ONE #MUFFAPPROVED FILM FOR OUR BLOG READERS:
TH: I’m really forgetful about films I’ve seen and liked, but I’ve recently watched as many of Torill Kove’s short animated films as I could find and they are perfect!