By Margarita Sophia Cortes
Our new column asks our members about their favorite tool, software, article of clothing, shoes on set, favorite scriptwriting software, etc.
Kathryn O’Kane – television director and producer
What is the one thing you can’t live without in production?
I LOVE a wipe board. Worlds are created on wipe boards. Recently I went to a meeting at Viacom, and the conference room had an entire wipe board wall. My fingers nearly tingled as we covered it in color-coded ideas by the end of the brainstorm session.
What are the essential tools in your production kit on location?
Comfortable shoes and a big tote to hold my phone, questions, callsheet and a pencil to adjust the schedule as the timing of the day shifts. I bought some awesome boots that feel like sneakers when I was going back and forth to Georgia to film on set of The Walking Dead, so I call them my zombie shoes. I’ve replaced them twice already because my feet feel great in them.
What do you do for nourishment?
On the road, I always have a poached egg on toast for breakfast before coming to set. It’s like a ritual. I can’t really eat much on shoot days, so the protein keeps me going until we break. Also, I try to figure out what my crew loves. When filming in Texas earlier this year, I had a small doc crew who were crazy for Topo Chico mineral water, so we made sure to stock it for the duration.
What do you bring to help de-stress?
Fitbit tracks my steps throughout the day and reminds me to walk around when I have a full day of sit-down interviews to conduct. And I have a couple of games on my phone which are a necessary distraction sometimes.
What’s the most out of the ordinary thing in your toolkit?
In this increasingly digital age, I still really like to work on paper. Writing in the margins, highlighting passages, and scribbling down notes really help me retain information. And studies have shown that using pen and paper boosts memory, so I’m sticking with it.
The second part of Christina Kiely's two-part interview with All In: The Fight for Democracy co-director Lisa Cortés, conducted on Zoom in anticipation of her participation at the NYWIFT 2020 Creative Workforce Summit: Documentary Makers, Industry and Funders in Conversation next week.READ MORE
All In: The Fight for Democracy is the essential new documentary the LA Times called “an eloquent history lesson on voting rights.” Co-directed by Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus, the film tells the painful history of voter suppression in America as it traces the story of gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her 2018 run in Georgia. Oscar-nominated producer NYWIFT Member Lisa Cortés (Precious, The Apollo, Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion) joined NYWIFT Board Member Christina Kiely to discuss All In: The Fight for Democracy, why it matters so much right now, how they pulled it off during the pandemic, and why Stacey Abrams’s story needed to be the spine of the film – apart from the fact that we love her.READ MORE
In early August, NYWIFT made Kris Rey’s new feature I Used to Go Here available for streaming and presented a conversation with the writer/director and lead actress Gillian Jacobs. I Used to Go Here is the story of a young woman in her mid-thirties, Kate Conklin, whose first novel has been released and the consequences of a lack-luster response to the book.READ MORE
Hailed by historian Robin Kelley as “one of the most powerful and inspiring documentaries of our era,” NYWIFT member Kavery Kaul’s Long Way from Home is the moving and provocative story of three remarkable girls entering ninth grade at top schools steeped in bias towards race, class, and culture. Though the film was made nearly 15 years ago, the issues still resonate in today’s climate of racial injustice and civil unrest. Kavery sat down to discuss how she put together this incredible portrait and what – if anything – has changed in our culture in the years since.READ MORE