February 3, 2021

Director Jen McGowan on Rust Creek, Building Relationships, and Finding Your Perspective

Jen McGowan is a film director whose first feature film, Kelly & Cal, won the Gamechanger Award at the South by Southwest film festival. Her most recent feature film, Rust Creek, is currently #5 on Netflix. Jen is also the founder of Glass Elevator, a networking and skill sharing site for women in the film industry, and recently directed episodes of The Purge and The Twilight Zone.

Rust Creek Posterjen mcgowan headshot









What you will learn:

  • How Jen has coped creatively and professionally amid the pandemic and political turmoil over the last year, and how screenplays have evolved throughout the pandemic. [0:00-11:53]
  • What was unique about her film Kelly & Cal, how Juliette Lewis went above and beyond to promote the film, and what tough decisions she had to make on that film with an indie budget, especially regarding music rights. [11:15-19:17]
  • The differences between working as a director on indie films without representation vs. being represented while working on studio films with larger budgets vs. directing television; how the freedom her parents provided growing up factored into her decision-making educationally and vocationally. [19:17-31:18]
  • What it was like making Rust Creek, from inception, to casting, to production, to making necessary scene cuts, and finally the premiere. [31:18-41:26]
  • How distribution of films work and the importance of festivals, especially for indie movies; how Netflix and other streaming services factor into the distribution strategy, relative to theater ticket sales. [41:26-46:20]
  • What Jen believes the turning point was for women in the film industry, based on her personal experience, what exciting (but secret) plans Jen has for the future, and advice she has for listeners interested in breaking into film. [46:20-55:41]

Resources Related Jen McGowan:

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