This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating with a look back at some of the amazing women directors who’ve joined us at Directors UK to share insights of their craft.
From groundbreaking documentaries to award-winning drama, there’s so much expertise to explore. Scroll below for a journey through amazing podcast episodes — and listen and subscribe yourself on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and more.
In this episode, Chloé Zhao and DoP Joshua James Richards were in conversation with Asif Kapadia about the Golden Globe-winning Nomadland.
“We enter into a world, and we populate the world with characters that are authentic to it. Then we set a set of rules ahead of time of how we want to make the film – how we want our crew to behave, how we treat unpredictable weather, what lenses we use – and then lots of planning. Once we go into the actual days of filming, there’s a lot of ‘allowing things to happen’ and finding moments of freedom.” — Chloé Zhao
The amazing Regina King joined fellow director Beeban Kidron to discuss the making of her debut film, One Night in Miami.
“What is my own personal call to action? That’s something that only you can figure out: what is your responsibility as an artist? How can you use your platform? There is something within all of us, a human instinct, to want to be a part of something that can shift hate to love.” — Regina King
Lynne Ramsay joined producer Jim Wilson to discuss her impactful thriller, You Were Never Really Here.
“It was this electric way of filming. I thought I had three days to shoot the action sequences, and I’d never done action sequences, but you realise you’ve only got only half a day. But I’m good in a corner.” — Lynne Ramsay
Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés
Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés joined Darcia Martin to discuss their feature documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy, not long before the Democratic Party took back the senate.
“There has been a tremendous interest, support, funding for diverse stories. The lens has broadened, not only in reaction to this movement and these moments, but also in recognition of audiences and the range of stories that people are interested in.” — Liz Garbus
Greta Gerwig joined Mike Leigh in conversation about her Oscar-nominated adaptation of Little Women.
“The growth between the first film and the first film...is exponential. You learn so much. A great piece of advice I got was “you only don’t know what you’re doing once”, which I think is true – but between Ladybird and Little Women I think I got better at two distinct things: I became better at blocking, and concurrent with that, I got better at using the camera. I deliberately made everything in Ladybird static, because I was so scared of making a problem in the edit. In this movie, I wanted the camera to be much more of a dancer...and that required me to let go of some superficial control of what every shot was.” — Greta Gerwig
Rose Glass joined Edgar Wright in conversation about her debut horror, Saint Maud.
“I started getting interested in films when I was around 12, it was whenever Lord of the Rings came out. I started looking on the internet for how things were made, and behind the scenes stuff. It was the first time I thought about the fact that making a film was a job that somebody could have. I discovered IMDb and was constantly trawling through lists of 100 weirdest whatevers and ordering weird things from Amazon and being like ‘woah, this is cool!’ and making films at home with my two friends. Since then, every decision in my life has been geared towards ‘trying to make a film, trying to make a film’.” — Rose Glass
Waad Al-Kateab joined co-director Edward Watts for a conversation on the making of the award-winning For Sama, hosted by Tom Roberts.
“The film is very hopeful. I’m very hopeful. My feeling towards the story now is that I am so strong, what we did was something very important, and everyone – not just me – who lived through this experience, they are all proud of what we went through. I’m still feeling that strength until now...I don’t regret anything.” — Waad al-Kateb
Lulu Wang dropped by to talk about the making of The Farewell with Mariayah Kaderbhai.
“It was such a pure storytelling, just investigating and interviewing my family (for This American Life), and coming from a place of curiosity and compassion and empathy. When the Hollywood producers came to me I said I want to have the same process on the film – or I don’t want to make it at all. I’m not going to take it somewhere and have it watered down.” — Lulu Wang
In a recording that predates the Directors UK Podcast, Chanya Button spoke to fellow director Isabelle Sieb about the making of Burn Burn Burn.
“Everyone knows how important those key members of your team are – as a director, so much of what we do is about creating and nurturing those working relationships.” — Chanya Button
Greta Gerwig (again!)
Greta Gerwig has achieved the rare feat of appearing on the Directors UK Podcast twice — the first time was to discuss her hit debut film, Lady Bird.
“When we shot the prom scene, the ladies and gentlemen in my crew, myself included, were all in formal wear to make the actors feel more comfortable. So I had my grips in tuxedos, and I wore a prom dress. I like to do things that create camaraderie amongst everyone...and I believe that the energy of everyone on set ends up in the movie. Everybody matters, and I want everyone to know that they matter...I make an effort to make everyone feel like individuals, not just a cog.” — Greta Gerwig
Tamara Jenkins joined Beeban Kidron to discuss her latest film, Private Life (and the event was crashed by the film’s star, Kathryn Hahn, halfway through!)
“The authenticity and aliveness of dialogue comes through two things. I’m very rigorous with my dialogue, I spend a long time with it and I play it out – and then I have actors who are able to inhabit that dialogue and bring it to life.” — Tamara Jenkins
Co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton were guests on the first ever Directors UK Podcast! Thankfully our production skills have improved a little since then — but there is still plenty to enjoy in this discussion of the pulsating tennis drama, Battle of the Sexes.
“We watched the full match and boiled it down to our favourite ten minutes of plays...then we had our tennis doubles rehearse those plays...but they really had to win. When it came to shooting, we didn’t want it to be choreographed. They were really trying to win those points.” — Valerie Faris