The Friendly Toast certainly earned its name — very friendly William Yerxa gave us French Toast, appetizers of our choice and covered all of our tea and cocktails with which we toasted WIFV from our funky lounge chairs next to the entrance. He wrote us a receipt for $27.85 and said that there were no outstanding tabs. I’d call it outstanding generosity on his part.
One of my favorite things about these informal WIFVNE networking things is that it draws gregarious storytellers, engaged in the world beyond their own lawn in a passionate way. Beyond the possibility of getting hired on one of their projects, it is a joy to meet other women in film and video and helpful to discuss how to live as a creative, adventurous female engaged in a profession unlike most professions.
We also clarified the difference between BUFF, BIFF and BFF and exchanged notes on what film festivals are the best. We shared excitement over Camden Film Festival putting in such an effort to get industry reps out to New England, and agreed that inviting panelists to events who can help us strengthen our understanding and connection to the business side of this industry is good for all. Various of us planned to work together. I mentioned that the WIFVNE discount at RuleBoston Camera can turn your membership fee around pretty quickly so hope that it is still true.
In attendance: Adrian, a WIFVNE member from the 90’s who lives in Palmer, MA; firecracker DP Beth Cloutier who broke free from shooting fashion; Joan Debrow, newly resettled from Portsmouth, NH is the East Coast Director of Services for ART Payroll and can help with SAG arrangements for ultra low budget indies; Judy Richland instructor at Simmons Department of Communications and founder of the Simmons Cineastes (?) was enthused to meet us, become a member, and get her students involved. She also offers us meeting/event/screening space at Simmons! WIFVNE regular, the multi-tasking DP Brian Henderson came off of an narrative feature in Montana; and three fairly recent and very grounded BU grads, Jesse Beers- Altman who is editing at Uncommon (?) Productions in Waltham, Gwen Le Cochennac who is freelancing producing pieces for non-profit organizations, and Krystal Williams, and myself, Soundie Susan Bryant still salty from a National Geographic shoot in Point Judith.
I appreciate the efforts of all who have set it up, and at this point, with the Friendly Toast it is easy to run. Everyone joined in orienting each other and explaining that we get appetizers and a free first round.
It always reassures me to go to meetings to feel like I have a career not just another train to catch to a shoot. I think that knowing each other really helps — I’m sure members would be glad to book other women, and call for advice from someone they’ve met. I also feel that these women become friends not just colleagues. So I think that kind of stuff is really unique to an organization with this name.