For those of you who have followed me since the end of last year, thank you! For those of you who have joined more recently, welcome! Hanging in with someone who is working on a film project can be a bit of a time commitment, and I appreciate yours. I hope you will stay for the finale.

When I started this project a year ago I thought I would be finishing up about now. To me, a year seemed like more than enough time to complete the film. I looked on in astonishment earlier this year when I met with Directors and Producers at Sundance who gave me their film timelines. Five years, three years, two and a half years. Why did it take them so long?  It took me some time to digest that news and look at my project in a more comprehensive light. Remember, I came from a corporate culture where everything I designed and implemented was done quickly.  I was very used to producing quality deliverables in short time frames. Why should this be any different?

December 31 will mark one year since I “retired” from my long career and headed out to follow my dream.  I never saw this as a hobby or part time gig, but rather my new job. Since the end of last year, I have developed the idea for the film structure, partnered with a production company, set up my own LLC, trademarked the Beyond Sixty Project, spent more time with entertainment lawyers than I wanted to and completed the first six interviews for the film, including the post production phases of the process.  Oh, I almost forgot one of the more exciting aspects of this process.  I am ready to ink a deal with our first sponsor!  Even with all of these milestones completed, I still questioned the timeline.

I had the opportunity to speak with an established Film Director out in LA a couple weeks ago and she implored me to get off the phone, go stand in front of a mirror and and tell myself that I have accomplished more in the last 11 months than any new film director or producer she has worked with, and she has been around the business of filmmaking for a while.  Needless to say, that call left me feeling pretty positive and a bit more realistic about time frames.

My production partners have kindly cautioned me to not get ahead of myself more than once. They were right too. We have a nice balance together. I am lucky to work with them and draw upon their experience when it comes to production timelines.  I think my pace adjustment is now almost at a level of comfort.

Recently a friend asked me what I hope to accomplish with the film. The answer was easy. I want to produce a high quality, full length documentary film about women over sixty.  I want to help tell their stories of resilience and continued relevance.  I do not want to re-tell the stories of famous women. I want to help tell the stories of women that people would not recognize if they passed them on the street.  I want this film to bring to light the incredible strength inherent in so many women and maybe figure out where it comes from.

There are lessons to be learned from women, especially those who have stayed in the game past sixty and continue to be relevant and in pursuit of challenges and personal improvement. I hope young women who see the final production will be moved to seek out older women as mentors.  I hope older women who see this will be inspired to try something new no matter how old they may be.  I hope men, young and old, will walk away with a deep sense of appreciation and admiration for women’s struggles and their hard earned accomplishments throughout history.

At this writing I have completed my first six interviews and have several more to go.  It has been incredibly rewarding spending time with each woman and I am humbled by their honesty, self-awareness and willingness to share their stories.  While they each come from different geographic locations and family backgrounds, the common thread of resilience is always there.  I am fascinated by this and in the process of researching this trait in women throughout history.

Now back to scheduling my next set of interviews, editing current footage and meeting with my partners to continue on to the next phase of this wonderful project.  Thank you for sharing in my journey and stay tuned.

May your day be filled with all good things!

Melissa

 

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