If we only rely on the people who are being disenfranchised to solve that disenfranchisement, then it will never change. In today’s episode we speak with Director and Filmmaker Jen McGowan whose recent feminist horror, Rustcreek was lauded by Harper’s Bazaar as being “Exactly What Hollywood Needs Right Now”. Jen is the founder of Glass Elevator, an international skill-sharing, networking, and jobs resource for professional women in film and television. The organization has over 4000 members and has been featured in Forbes as well as named Best in LA by LA weekly. In our conversation, Jen shares how she originally trained as an actor because she was good at it and enjoyed it, but realized that she didn’t find the working life of an actor fulfilling and decided to pursue directing in order to have a more active career. She worked her way up by starting out in production roles that are generally more open to women. Jen reflects on how it was only once she actively started pursuing directing that she realized she had never worked with a female cinematographer, sound engineer, or first assistant director in her working life. Later we discuss Glass Elevator and how it has helped women connect, and we hear some of the success stories of women who have found work through the platform. We also speak about the #MeToo movement and why disenfranchised people alone can’t solve disenfranchisement, the dominant culture needs to get onboard. For all this and much more, join us today!
Sn. 2, #17 Jen McGowan: Directing, Filmmaking and Feminist Horror Movies
Emily received her BA in Women’s Studies and JD from Temple University. Early on, she worked as a legal advocate for women in domestic violence cases. After practicing law, Emily began working on the business side of things. She is the co-owner of AAA School of Trucking, a truck and heavy equipment safety training firm, which she has spent the last 10 years growing into a thriving national business through government and military contracting and corporate partnerships.
As an executive in the transportation industry, darting from client meeting to trucking range required safety boots that met her style standards, and when she couldn’t find them anywhere, she created Juno Jones Shoes. Emily trained in shoemaking in Cuernavaca, Mexico and at the Brooklyn Shoe Space, and assembled a powerhouse team of designers, consultants, and industry experts to bring Juno Jones to life. Through Juno Jones Shoes, Emily is fulfilling her dream of not only providing women with safe, stylish footwear options for their jobs but of helping to normalize and empower women in traditionally male-dominated fields.
For more information go to junojonesshoes.com.
Jen McGowan is a director based in Los Angeles.
Her most recent feature film, the survival thriller, RUST CREEK, was released in theaters January 2019 by IFC Midnight and hailed as “the feminist thriller Hollywood needs right now” by Harpers Bazaar. It dropped on Netflix at #3 of all film & tv in the US and remained in the top ten for over a week.
McGowan’s first feature KELLY & CAL (Juliette Lewis & Cybill Shepherd) premiered at SXSW where she won the Gamechanger Award. The film was released theatrically by IFC Films to rave reviews. She got her start with award-winning short films, CONFESSIONS OF A LATE BLOOMER and TOUCH, which played at over a hundred festivals worldwide winning the majority.
In television she has directed The Purge for Blumhouse/USA and Twilight Zone for Monkeypaw/CBS All Access. With her partner Eliza Lee she co-created the series, Angelica, about the last remaining abortion clinic in a small Midwest town and Replica, the true story of a pair of unassuming high school teachers who after their deaths were discovered to have been prolific art thieves.
In partnership with Level Forward, she is the creator of Glass Elevator, an international skill- sharing, networking & jobs resource for professional women in film & television. With over 5,000 members, Glass Elevator was named Best in LA by LA Weekly, is part of the Sundance Women’s Initiative Resource and was featured in Forbes.
Take the Lead Foundation identified McGowan one of 50 Women Who Will Change the World in Media & Entertainment and WeForShe selected her for the 2019 DirectHer program. A Film Independent Fellow, finalist for the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, recipient of the AWD Breakout Award for Excellence in Directing she was named one of Vulture’s Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring.