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Friday, 14 October 2011

Fempire Fandom: Giving Voice to Fans and Friends

A long time ago in the year 2010 somewhere in the world one man and one woman were making love. Another man or woman was making a life changing discovery, but one particular woman with the help of one genius came up with WriteLikeCody (WLC), a website that mainly focused on Fempire member Diablo Cody, and not only that; the website was also a platform for the independent screenwriter/filmmaker to showcase their work and be heard. Before long WLC had a baby and that baby was called FempireFandom (FF)... And btw, the “intelligent” woman is me, Naledi Mokgwathi.

FF focuses on all of the fabulous four members of The Fempire, who are Dana Fox (What Happens In Vegas), Diablo Cody (Juno), Liz Meriwether (No Strings Attached) and Lorene Scafaria (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist). It also continues to further the mission of WLC, the mission of giving a voice to the independent filmmaker/screenwriter.

Over time, this very intelligent young woman (ahem) who came up with WLC (and now FF) got a chance to have a one-on-one with one of the members of the Fempire. The very wonderful Lorene Scafaria, who was open enough to talk about life as an aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker and what it feels like to get “there” if there actually exists.

In her words, “Even when you think you’re “there”, you’re never really “there”.  So you may as well enjoy the road until you get wherever… or “therever”.” Scafaria went on to tell us about her journey from the day she decided, “I'm leaving the east to be a successful screenwriter” to the time she handed in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist screenplay. 

The interview with Lorene Scafaria is very insightful and can be very inspirational to the aspiring screenwriter/filmmaker. One aspiring filmmaker Greg Pitts said, “The interview inspired me to work hard and see that everything is possible. She reminds me of myself and she makes me remember that perseverance is the name of the game.”

Yes, Scafaria does believe in perseverance. Asked what she did to keep on going she said, “I’m afraid you never have to stop telling yourself to keep going.  You have to be your own motivation, which can be tough.  I also have a pretty awesome mom who likes to remind me on a daily basis that things are going to be okay in a thick Jersey accent.  It’s tough to be a realist and an optimist.” You can read the rest of the interview under the One on One page on the Fempire Fandom website.

To my dear readers, with this article I would like to just prove that you also can "make it" despite the odds being against you. I did not only interview Lorene Scafaria, who I believe is a genius, but I also gave a voice to the independent filmmaker/screenwriter. People who, like Ms. Scafaria, have worked hard to get their work see the light of day despite limited resources.

Jeanne V. Bowerman is a writer/screenwriter turned filmmaker, who started showcasing her work on Twitter, and now she is working for Script-Magazine and is the founder of the weekly screenwriting chat commonly known as #scriptchat, which goes on every Sunday both in the UK (3pm London time) and the USA (8pm NY time). Bowerman has some very inspiring words that keep her going, words that she hopes will inspire the aspiring writer out there, “I can only share the three things that have worked for me personally: Never give up.  Always believe in yourself.  Fight for your passion. The reality is, if you can’t fight for yourself, who the hell will?"

 Elana Mugdan, CEO of Shivnath Productions, also had some very inspiring words for the aspiring filmmakers/writers. When I spoke to her, Mugdan had just completed her first feature film, which she directed and co-wrote. Mugdan who had to see her film from the ground said this, “Life is worth nothing without dreams." She went on to advise, “The best thing you can do is to ignore the rest of the world when everyone says “You can't”, or “You shouldn't”, and keep telling yourself “I can and I will”."

When I spoke to Ad Lane of Indywood films, he wanted to welcome my readers with open arms. He said, “To anyone chasing a dream, just please don’t ever give up, if you feel uninspired, come talk to me on twitter @INDYWOODFILMS; it always helps when you have a small group of people online who are going through the same thing."

And Travis Legge of Aegis Studios has some very harsh words for you, my dear readers. He says, “Quit now while you have the chance." He, however, hopes you will ignore his advice, even though you will have to get used to hearing it from a lot of people.

Chasing dreams is hard business. But if you keep at it, you've got a fighting chance.

Naledi Mokgwathi (@npc4eva) is an award winning journalist who won the 2007 Media Institute of Southern Africa award for productivity reporting. She currently runs a website called Fempire Fandom, which is a fansite for The Fempire and also a place where the aspiring/independent filmmaker/screenwriter can have a voice.