Mighty Life List
May 10 2017

Let’s Help this Woman Make Her Movie

bexyow

Did you ever want someone to succeed so badly that you get chills thinking about it? Rebecca is making a movie, and I want this for her. I want it so much my eyes are welling as I type.

Bex and I met almost a decade ago through the Internet, filming Momversation videos together. Remember those?

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I still cringe a little about that name, but neither of us was gonna turn down a pay check. Plus, those cheesy pre-taped conversations about post-baby bodies and keeping marriage spicy brought me one of my dearest friends.

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When Bex graduated high school, she was already a writer. She worked for the Chicken Soup series, specifically Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, and she already knew words were her thing. She was raised to be strong and independent, and it took. She told her very educated family that she wasn’t going to college. This went over well, as you might imagine, but Bex had a wild streak and wanted to get started on her life.

She was writing! She was wild! She was pregnant.

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A baby was not part of the plan, but Bex and her not-boyfriend Hal made a new plan. They married at a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas, just in time for their son Archer’s arrival.

dapperarcher

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Archer is an old soul, sweet and chill, with a head full of thoughts beyond his years.

A few years later, Fable was born with Rebecca’s eyes and artistic sensibility.

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Fable promptly covered herself in Elmer’s Glue and pen marks, and began hoarding decorative paper and stick-on gems.

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Bex and I became friends when she was in her twenties, sharing rooms at conferences and smoking a single cigarette on the balcony at night.

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We’ve sat on stoops in New York, jumped on hotel beds in Salt Lake City, clinked plastic cups of free wine in Florida.

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She met me in Austin when I was newly divorced, patted my back and told me to get laid.

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We eventually met each others’ families, and introduced our kids. A couple years after Fable was born Bex and Hal thought a third baby wouldn’t be a bad idea. I was boarding a plane when I read online that Bex was pregnant …with twins. The news hit me in the sternum. I called from the jetway.

“Twins. Fuck.”
“I am freaking out,” she said. “I am so scared.”
“Ok, girl. What do you need?”
“Money.”

So we talked about ways to get her more writing gigs, to get paid better, to get her on some campaigns.

bexwithchilds

Boheme and Reverie arrived just as Bex turned thirty, one with a head of blond curls, the other with a dark shag of Muppet hair.

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Bo’s trust is hard earned, and her brain shines right out her eyes. Revvie is all nurture and encouragement.

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Just like their mom.

Rebecca’s already impressive hustle shifted to high gear. As a mother of four, I have rarely seen her rest.

Through it all — sleepless nights, epic tantrums, the sheer logistical bullshit of getting four kids to all the places on time — Bex was writing a screenplay.

I didn’t know this until it was almost done.

fabletothefront

Most mothers who write have no time for unpaid work. You find it at unholy hours. You settle in to the keyboard at 3 a.m., because you’re pregnant with twins and there’s not enough room in your own skin. You’re awake at 1 a.m. because you had five cups of coffee to get through laundry, and homework, and peanut butter sandwiches, and bedtime stories for four. So you find a pen and hope you’ll get two or three hours of sleep before your kids wake with the sun.

The projects pulled from quiet, bone-weary moments are private — too fragile to bear scrutiny. So I was surprised, and humbled, when Bex told me she’d been working on a script. I asked if I could read it when she was done.

“Do you really want to?”
“What? Totally.”

familygolden

A few months later, we were leaving from a family visit. I had a twin clinging to each of my legs when Bex beckoned me to the desk in her guest room. Next to a cork board covered in pages from old Sassy magazines, she handed me her screenplay.

It seemed like a miracle. How?

gobexgo

But there it was, 110 pages warm from the home printer. Two years later, I’m still in awe.

CHANGING THE RATIO

“In 2014, 85% of films had no female directors, 80% had no female writers, 33% had no female producers, 78% had no female editors, and 92% had no female cinematographers.” (source)

This movie is Rebecca’s purpose, the thing that kept her up working in the dark while her babies slept. And right now, she’s filming it.

Rebecca’s movie is a reimagining of Peter Pan, set in the modern era and narrated from Wendy’s perspective. In PANS, “Wendy reclaims her power after being stripped of it by an assaulter and her female community who don’t believe her side of the story.”

I'M NOT SORRY — PansMovie.com from Rebecca Woolf on Vimeo.

As Bex puts it euphemistically on her Kickstarter page, “Raising money to fund a film about teenage girls rebelling against the nuances of rape culture is a bit of a challenge.” Ha.

But Bex is making it go. And she is freaking out. And she is scared.

“Ok, girl. What do you need?”
“Money.”

KICKSTARTER

The PANS Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing campaign. That means, if Bex fails to raise $100K, she gets none of the $37,000 that has already been offered. Which makes me feel a little like throwing up.

Last night, a film backer offered to donate $5,000 if we can bring in 100 new backers by Friday evening.

I know a lot of you have read Rebecca’s site. If she’s ever made you laugh or tear up or think, now is the right time to send some gratitude back her way.

pansrebeccawoolf

Bex needs $63,000 more to pay the actors, the crew, everyone working to make this movie real. So here’s how we can help:

• Fund Rebecca’s Kickstarter, because money is power and women need more of both
• Help change the ratio in film by telling your people about the PANS Kickstarter on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever you got.
• Maybe hit the thumbs up on Pan’s Facebook page if you want to keep up

Let’s do this. Let’s listen to each other, and help each other be heard.

bexmaggiedingding

I love you Bex. Ride or die.

PANS Kickstarter Campaign,
Girls Gone Child, Rebecca’s site
Rebecca’s Instagram
Pan’s Instagram
Rebecca Woolf’s Feminist Take on Peter Pan Hopes for Greenlight via Kickstarter

UPDATE: What the what? Huge thanks to those of you who have donated so far! With your help, Bex met the goal of 100 new supporters within a few hours. So quickly that the film backer offered an additional $5K if she can make it to 700 supporters by end of day today (Friday, May 12). This level of interest gives PANS a huge boost in the film community. More lady writers, producers, directors! The shift is starting, because of you. Thank you so much.

3 Responses to “Let’s Help this Woman Make Her Movie”

  • Hal Says:

    Maggie – words cannot express. Except in this case. Beautiful.

  • avb Says:

    “because money is power and women need more of both”

    YESSS! Let’s get Bec ALL OF THE MONEY!!!!

  • Amy Says:

    This is one of your best posts, for so many reasons. You’re a good friend.