Listen: A Unicorn In 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
"Know a couple years from. Yeah well e- even I met on the film festival route. We were There's no good or bad on it. But we were invisible. We were not regarded equal to our appears in you. You know the story of course. A lot of people know when eva won best director at Sundance most people come off that mountain with that title and are offered give they get lease a phone call from a studio but they're usually offered some some crazy. You know prestigious film or at least invite to come in and speak about it. So what's tricky is. Did Not get that call afterwards and it was two years. I think Before she was anywhere near film discussion Maybe because she's a black woman Perhaps just sliced something to do with mammograms I and Melanin But she what's interesting is so we were going along we would go out Marin festival. It was really brutal. We never saw reflections of ourselves so I was in agony and so is she didn't know that every time she got into film festival she would say. Do you know Victoria Mahoney. Every time I got in say. Do you ever do rene because I just wanted to see someone on the route. It wasn't the obvious usual suspects but we'd never met and I think it was a year or so before we actually sat in a room together and then in the stretch stretch a long stretch of time where no one would meet me. No let me know. And we'll talk to me same for her. We formed an incredible alliance of wellbeing and we took great. Care of each other mentally spiritually creatively. We crack jokes and kept our sense of humor and What's tricky is one day in the middle of trying to just get jobs Eva gave a had sent me a note. That said I'm doing this show Queen Sugar and You know what screw them all. Let's just keep hiring each other. And she asked me if I'd come directing episode and that was a turning point that was a catalyst in severe way. We're talking with Victoria Mahoney. She is the second unit director on Star Wars the rise of skywalker. I'm going to play a clip from your first first film as Director and writer from twenty. Eleven the movie's called yelling to the sky. So my parents bought me in the first place. Something my parents bought me in the first ars plays day We could be handled and little man on Oslo's Day or your mark although go. This is the opening scene in the movie and I love that line. Just keep on running all the way home. These these are women who are not going to be intimidated be cowed. They're gonNA do what they think they can do. And they're gonNA show everybody up Feels like that's almost the story of this film as well and story of my life. It's great to hear that clip. I have to tell you And just a day where we went to shoot that and we had you know the film we made it eighteen days. Two dollars fifty eighty cents and a band aid and we only had to take maximum. There was no way to get around making that film more. So that meant you know it was for real cavity style which people don't honor now when you go back and watch Kesse various work their shots out of focus. Whatever and they're just as baffled just as beautiful just as strong but we kind of live by? That was like what we got in the bin what we got in the cloud. We're losing light the sky. We were under canopy trees because we need it for the different skin tones. And then you know we're racing and to get that shot and what it meant for the crew to unify and one of the things I loved about making the film was every single person. was there because of the film and wanted to be there. No one was there because they didn't get the job and Everyone had the right spirit. It was just. I love that film. It tested by metal found out who I was as a storyteller. How do you preserve that feeling that you're just describing? You have to shoot in eighteen days you only only get two takes with Star Wars. Where eighteen days doesn't it like days don't even exist? It's weeks months. It's like how many hundreds of takes how many visual effects can we add. Had that the the math is not even calculable the difference how do you make sure that artists as a filmmaker are working in the same way even if the scale is grossly different. Well it's funny you should ask that because there's There was a stretch of time that we were in Jordan. I was there five weeks second unit crew and. Jj was there three weeks and and in the middle of that you know we were all challenging the perfect way that you can imagine hundred plus degrees sand 35-millimeter. It was crazy. It was so beautiful and amazing. And you can't imagine everything that when calibrating the efficiency of this but there was a stretch of let's say seventy two hours we got our asses beat for real like properly getting ashby where you just cannot get yourself in line the crew that whether it was all about Mother Nature one point you know it was really pissed and I went and I'm Jj and I would tap in every morning and every night so he'd be on one side and I'd be another side of the desert and I went to him and I was like I said how to go like listen good. It really wasn't good. He said what did you learn. I said I learned that mother. Nature is a great leveler. I- I could be in Brooklyn shooting right now in film for two dollars and fifty cents and it doesn't matter if the concern is in the sky. I was begging the same way I was in New York with the shot. You just you have to have that shot that minute. That second and it didn't matter how many tools we had. How many toys how much the budget was we couldn't come back to Jordan? So the restrictions believe it or not still exist and still for me because you you know. There's a boot in my neck. I wasn't shooting thirty takes of anything ever and so I didn't want that going back to anybody back in California that you were still going to be that incredibly filmmaker. Who's tell me what I have and I'll get it done? That's IT and timing dollar and I keep to that. I mean you know pilots I've done. TV shows I've done. It's just like how much money you have. And we're not going to dime over a day over an hour over and that's something. I hold in regard but that came from all my India and that I spent my own money for countless short films in my house but I paid my own money so I care for that money and how we spent it in the same way that I went to work on stars like I was GonNa be the one that I didn't want a phone call from. Jj Kathy here. Popeye Grenell San with you. Do and why. Hi coming up. More with Director Victoria. Mahoney she tells me about the sacrifices that she made to start her filmmaking career.."