A good eye and a great attitude–attributes necessary for many jobs, but especially important for a director making her way up in the business. For award-winning screenwriter and director Kim Garland, they’re inherent.

We spoke via Skype in mid-February–during the height of the cold snap hitting her home in New York City–she told me afterward she was nursing a cold. When asked if she was making it through all right, she laughed.

“Trying,” she said, a smile pulling at her lips. She did that a lot–smile, that is–and it was infectious: before long, we were both smiling and laughing together. Garland talks easily and laughs even easier, but she has plenty of reason for it:  She and her husband (and business partner) began their production company, City Kid Films,  in 2011, and from that her directorial debut, ‘Vivienne Again‘, won her the Kickstarter Jury Award at the Flyway Film Festival.

Courtesy: City Kid Films

‘Vivienne Again’
Courtesy: City Kid Films

Out of that short film came a second, ‘Deal Travis In’ (DestroyTheCyborg! reviewed both, you can read them here and here), and Garland promises a third and final short film for the trilogy.

“Before I write the third short, I’ve decided to take a step back and develop the world more fully,” she said in a later email (full disclosure: a part of our conversation somehow disappeared from the recording, so we asked a couple of follow-up questions via email), adding that she hopes that the last part of the ‘Resurrection Trilogy’, as it’s called, will complete the sort-of peep-holes into a world all its own (with hopes for a possible larger feature or serial project later).
Not bad for a woman who started her career in publishing–Garland worked for Random House before deciding to make the jump into film. But, she said, writing creatively bolstered and prepared her for screenwriting and directing.

“If you want to direct, write,” she said, turning serious for a moment. It’s advice she’s given before, in her monthly column for Script magazine, Write, Direct, Repeat. Through her writing, she offers tools to newbie (and wannabe) filmmakers in everything from landing a set job to hosting a table read. They seem to do the trick–many posts are littered with comments about how helpful Garland’s advice is for novices, though the director’s not far-off from that, herself (‘Vivienne Again’ having premiered in 2012).

Despite her successes, though, there is one thing Garland doesn’t look forward to in her future: the infamous gender biases, which have been garnering even more attention since the Oscars in early March.

'Deal Travis In' Courtesy: City Kid Films

‘Deal Travis In’
Courtesy: City Kid Films

“I’m a female filmmaker and I’ve seen the stats, they’re not pretty,” she wrote in an email, “I can’t be naive enough to expect I won’t have to prove myself, especially as a director, even more than a man would.”

However, Garland said she hasn’t experienced anything like that yet–though she attributes a lot of that to self-producing her own work–but tries to shy away from it, as well.

“[…] I’ve avoided being placed in the “women filmmakers” category you sometimes find at festivals,” she said, “I don’t really understand how gender is relevant in that case (you don’t see a male filmmakers category) but to this point I haven’t been placed in one of those screening blocks.”

But she does have a plan.

“[M]y goal is to create a body of work that can’t be ignored,” she wrote, “By the time I’m shopping around my first feature project to write and direct, I will have a collection of short films, in my sweet spot genres, that I’ve written and directed and toured with internationally.”

For this director, there’s no such thing as a ‘can’t-do’ attitude, and she plans to keep working to show what she’s made of: later this year, Garland will shoot a new sci-fi short (not within the ‘Resurrection Trilogy’ realm), and she said she is currently working on two feature horror scripts.

“I’m building the case now for why I should be seriously considered for the same type of projects a man would be considered for with the hope that if I arrive at the gatekeepers’ door fully ready to play, I will have a much better shot at being invited into the game.”

For more information on Kim Garland, you can visit her website.

‘Vivienne Again’, is available for viewing on YouTube or Vimeo. ‘Deal Travis In’ is available to Garland’s email list subscribers–you can sign up here.

About The Author

Amanda is a columnist for DestroyTheCyborg!, as well as a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for an ABC News affiliate in Kentucky and wrote in her spare time--now, she lives and works in London...and writes in her spare time. Follow her on Twitter @4mandastevenson.

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