Listen: Star Wars, Victoria Mahoney And Octavia Butler discussed on The Frame
"Let's return to our conversation with Victoria. Mahoney she was the second unit director for Star Wars the rise of Skywalker and she's she's got a lot more in the pipeline including the first TV adaptation of work. By the late SCI FI novelist Octavia Butler before Mahoney made history as the first woman woman and person of color to have directing duties on a star wars movie. She was a struggling indie filmmaker and before that she was an actress. Mahoney talks about the personal sacrifices acker Fai to move from acting to making her first feature film. I went back to waiting tables and I Hadn't done it for years. I was waiting tables and people who I had done fancy chops we will come in and see me and I'm telling you that I held my Chin up and look them straight in the eye and had no shame in my game I was just like I didn't even I was. I knew what I was doing in every nickel and every time that I made from cocktail waitressing went into short films again as I said that I made in my house because I knew that I needed to work to learn grow and people wouldn't hire me so I thought I'll hire myself. I make my own house in my own way but I had to be behind the camera so I you know over time I lived in the red I shadowed for years. You don't get money for shadowing you go to work for five weeks on. A job is basically an unpaid intern showing. Yeah and just trying to learn watching and mostly someone's therapist because they spent so much time with these guys would just complain complain to look at them. Like I was taking three buses passes to get there by five. Am in the dark and who knows where in California and they would complain about. How horrible something? Whatever then I'd directors all so many directors tried to talk meant guys charge? Talk me out of directing TV. Can you imagine right now my whole career my well being my health insurance everything has come from that. I was open to making television. Television has been kinder. If you know you know Hollywood has not been quick to hire me as a first unit director since then till now ten years two thousand nine to now ten years do you think being a second unit director on Star Wars will change that I know it has because I already know the stuff that I'm in discussions about the yes. Yes and the minute. Jj made that's what hit the point. Was He watermark me jumping into the gang house exactly the point. That's a great phrase watermark. Do because because it is somebody else who has to say. This person is legit rather than that person's work yet that's sad. It is heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking because think of I for me if we didn't have this shape shifting in the landscape if you didn't have that moment where she was able to bring me into TV. And I didn't have of this footage. 'cause I assembled something. Jj asked me to send him to things. And I went in the night and made these clips we sat and put all the stuff together with action explosions things. I'd done. That people weren't regarding thing even though it was there you could go watch it still. It was like we're GONNA get a girl to do action so I don that new watch my film. But if he didn't have that amount of work to reference I I would have been in trouble so. TV ended up being a place. Where film is still not studios as you said? Big Budget Franchise Films Studios Way behind the curve. We're talking with Victoria Mahoney. She is the second unit director on Star Wars. The rise of skywalker own asking about the stories that you wanNA tell there are a couple of projects you're working on one of them is is the Michigan Jordan peele upcoming. HBO Series lovecraft country. HP lovecraft has his own history with racism. And I'm curious. What about lovecraft country and what they can say about where we are and where we need to get to? We'll meet Green. Did this amazing thing that every aspect of what you just pointed out. She flipped it. And it's so bang on. It was an alarmingly exciting job for me to step into their things that I got to play with on the job that people have not done in any realm of black folks so just full stop and The the actors that I got to work with Misha's scripts her words The production design the skull. John Paul Jones Black Man. I've known for thirty years since we were kids and he did some magical stuff on it but what we got to play with when it hits the audience is you will be amazed and it has his bitter sweetness. That most of idea does is that it's so exciting. I and it's heartbreaking because you think two thousand nineteen nineteen I WANNA ask about another writer with whom you're working in that is Octavia Butler. Who is a great science fiction writer? She's also an African American woman. That is called Don John. Coming from producer David Rene and Charles King what about Octavia Butler and what she represents. Well she represents the world to me because that trilogy of books it was called Zeno Genesis serious when I came out now. It's called Lily's brewed. We're calling dawn. And when I read that book I was deeply impacted because I didn't feel reflected in the world and a lot of which you know so subversive it's about slavery colonialism and I'm actually well and he and and coexistence and it's done in this really lovely light light way that you just you need it and then it it's you afterwards. So I took the three books and put them into a series and I should tell you that the first time and we went out to pitch it the buyers were very homogenized and we did not get any traction and no one knew what to do and they looked like they were just. There was no way they were going to give eva myself in Charles one hundred million dollars to make a TV series. It was just it was not even I mean it was like polite light courtesy that they medicine tick the box. I'm telling you and then you know I went and did star was my my business if it was doing when they see us and then we came back we went another pitch around and all the places places. We went musical chairs. Different people at from the CEOS and we had a great experience it was a bidding war and will make announcement soon but it's extremely exciting and and everything that I saw. When I was a young person read that book? That's what's in the show and it's it's really fun. And it's a love letter to Octavia and what she meant to me into many many many kids like me still does so. There's a young black girl who goes to see star wars and you're sitting next to her and you're leaning over during the movie Eh. What are you gonNa say what scene I shot that I did that? What would you point out Well I probably wouldn't say that in a way that it's the same as any DP would never say i. That's my frame. You know because Seoul school but what I would say probably is. You can do that not that I would say. Yes you come Victoria. Thank you so much for coming in Anki so much John for having me that was writer. Director Victoria Mahoney. Ain't she was the second unit director for Star Wars the rise of skywalker. And that'll do it for today. We have more share with you. But you have to sign up at the frame dot org slash slash newsletter of John Horne. Thanks for listening. We're back here tomorrow at the Broadcast Center.."