Ep 14: Marquette Jones – Get your movie made, win at grad school and crack the film festival.
Marquette Jones is from Youngstown, Ohio, not far from where I grew up. She’s an alumna of NYU’s graduate film program, but before becoming a filmmaker, Marquette was a public interest attorney in Oakland, California.
Her work includes her most recent film, Forgiving Chris Brown, along with Round on Both Sides, Tunk, Heroes Wanted and Streets 2 Suites. She has also produce many other projects from short films, to commercials and PSAs for the Women in Film program.
“Have a plan and work your plan.”
When she is not busy writing, producing, or directing, Marquette indulges her obsession with color through her ever-growing nail polish collection.
In this conversation we get into everything. When it comes to filmmaking, we learn her thoughts on grad school – the good and the bad, her strategy for submitting to film festivals – they are detailed, how she writes, directs and staffs up for her films, and some writing advice she received from Spike Lee himself.
“Fund your film with a fish fry.”
We talk about her winding path from law degree to a creative career, her advocacy for women in film, and we even learn about her desire to read minds as a child. There is a ton valuable information and Marquette is a joy to listen to.
If you want to hear more shows like this, rate us on iTunes and let us know.
6 Key Takeaways
- At grad school take advantage of the community and the equipment. Don’t wait be assigned a project. Make as many things as you can.
- When staffing up for a production, only hire people you don’t have to watch.
- Your eyes should be on the thing after the thing. Always be prepared with your next project. You must be ready when opportunity strikes.
- When writing ask yourself, “What would really happen in this situation?” Use music to put yourself into the mood of the characters. Write a draft from each characters perspective.
- Movies made by women filmmakers make up a small percentage of what makes it to theaters. Support your women filmmakers. Listen to Marquette’s podcast Directing Magic.
- The film festival circuit gives you something to talk about and promote on social media. Being accepted legitimizes your film, brings awareness and attracts potential support for future projects.
Follow Marquette Jones
- Twitter @Marquette_Jones
- Marquette on IMDB
- Hotcomb Pictures
- Directing Magic Podcast
Forgiving Chris Brown
Forgiving Chris Brown is a dark comedy short that follows the follies of “Rihanna”, “Halle” and “Tina”. These stylish girlfriends hope to heal their battered hearts through the old-fashioned way – Revenge.
Show Notes (Ep 14)
The ins and outs of Directing the NYU thesis film, Round on Both Sides. [03:11]
How to handle the pressure while directing. [09:50]
Early days in Ohio, reading minds, and budding creativity. [19:29]
Law school to film school. The realization. [22:35]
What Marquette didn’t learn from NYU, but should have. [27:38]
Working with and learning from the legend, Spike Lee. [38:09]
Lessons learned from moving to Los Angeles. [45:58]
The roles of marketing and self-promotion in your success as a filmmaker. [53:15]
Experiencing the icky side of LA as a woman filmmaker. [59:27]
- Gender Inequality in Film infographic
- Directors Guild of America (DGA)
- The Oscars
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Women in Film PSA Program
- Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers
- Film Fatales
- Directing Magic – a podcast by and for women filmmakers
- 1and1 Domain and Web Hosting
- GoDaddy Domain and Web Hosting
The making of Forgiving Chris Brown. [01:21:16]
- Forgiving Chris Brown
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Craig’s List – Crew Gigs, Los Angeles
- Canon EOS C300 Cinema Camcorder
- High Desert International Film Festival
- Rainier Independent Film Festival
- HolyShorts Festival
Mastering the film festival circuit. [01:34:12]
Final questions, likes and advice for filmmakers. [01:48:54]
- Federico Fellini
- Wes Anderson
- Data-ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else