Raechel Harding self funded her short film, Fixed on Fixed while holding down a day job. I worked with Rae as she went from the idea, to fleshing out the concept, location scouting and creating a timeline to deliver, promote and distribute the film. Fixed on Fixed has now been screened in NYC, Tokyo, Amsterdam and inspired a ton of young women to get on their bikes.
HC: What would you pass onto other women looking to do the same in their own film projects? And while holding down a day job?
01: Be serious about the project, if you aren’t passionate your energy and attention will way. Look at it as an investment in learning.
02: Surround yourself with people who are supportive and understanding. Many people don’t understand personal side projects so they are unable to relate, offering little support and occasionally becoming a negative impact.
03: There are many people out there who have done what you're attempting to do: find them and ask about their experiences, recommendations and outcome.
04: The lack of a deadline can be challenging therefore you have to find that self motivation but also be very kind to yourself along the way. If I didn’t look at the Fixed on Fixed edit for a couple of weeks I didn't beat myself up about it. I believed in the project and myself and knew it'd get done eventually.
05: You have chosen to do this so have fun, bottom line. As soon as you start to disengage or are not enjoying yourself step back and reflect and the why and what.
06: You need a realistic timeline. Over estimate how long things are going to take you. I had a lot of other projects on while I was making Fixed on Fixed, so by spending a day a week tapping away at it I prevented me from becoming overwhelmed and everything seemed achievable.
07: Break it down, every small step is contributing to the larger journey. The more you break down your idea the smoother things will run down the track. In my case, it was the narrative I tackled first. From there, I looked at each rider as separate stories to break it down again.
08: Surround yourself with people you respect and they respect you. This is key for reality checks, sharing your ideas and getting the right people involved.
09: Nothing is ever for free so always respect peoples time and understand that you will need to invest in their next project as payback. Personal projects are generally self funded and rely heavily on others, you are a part of a community.
10: I can not stress enough be open with your ideas (trust me you are not the first) and to peoples suggestions. Talk about your creative and lock in the wheels to set it in motion to do it. If you only talk about something people will move on and do it themselves.
11: Find a female role model who inspires you - life changing and if they can do it you can also.
12: View your participation as helping the industry as a whole. The film industry is very heavily male dominated, I accept this and understand it won’t change overnight but I can contribute to change by having more females in both my cast and crew. I mentor young females in the industry and discuss the many challenges they may encounter in a positive light so they continually feel inspired and important to the industry and therefore stick at it.
Images by Breeana Dunbar Photography.