Galore Darling: Abigail Briley Bean Is A Filmmaker On The Rise
Women filmmakers are still a minority in the film industry, so we are super excited to be introducing you to Abigail Briley Bean who is definitely one to watch. Check out what she had to say about her blossoming career!
Photo Credit: Eddie Chacon
Tell us about what you do:
I direct films and music videos. Making films is tellings stories. As a director I see myself a lot like Joyce Carol Oates and that is to say that I want to tell each story the way it comes to me like a channel – no matter how disparate or strange each one is from the other – the through-line is my voice, my spirit.
How did you get into filmmaking?
It started out from being a lover of film. My family grew up in L.A. My dad was a director. My parents didn’t encourage me to go in that direction at all, probably because they knew how insane it was. I had to find my way to it on my own. And once I put it together that all that machinery on set was there for the ultimate goal of imparting feelings on a viewer through the magic of cinema – and that the director was in charge of that, that’s when I knew I wanted to direct.
Early on I worked for a producer that was making a Brian de Palma film. I remember Brian said to me that the only advice he had about making films was to have the guts to just get out there and do it. Soon after, I made my first short film. I loved the experience, and have kept doing it ever since and I hope I get to keep doing it.
Have you found it tough entering such a male dominated field?
I’m usually the intimidating one because I have a vision and know what I want. There have been awkward moments for sure. If I walk into a post house, I’m usually the only female there and people are surprised when they find out I’m the director. If it ever gets weird, I just channel an Amazon. It’s pretty wacky to me that when you look at a list of directors at any of the commercial production companies, they’re almost all male.
What’s your biggest challenge as a director?
I feel like there are literally endless challenges, but the biggest one for me right now is to make sure I don’t overthink things and let doubt seep in because then I’ll never make it to the starting gate with an idea. It’s always been a giant leap of faith – but then I look at the Marlon Brando mask on my wall or blast some Tupac and decide to take the plunge.
What’s the most exciting thing about directing?
The fireworks and what compels me the most is capturing human nature. You put that in – and it’s really all you need. I live for that feeling at the end of a take when I know, “We got it.” Same with when I’m writing or editing. It’s the same moment. That’s when your vision come to life.
Also, I’m always casting, always on the hunt for the thugs & angels around me who bring something special in themselves to a role or who might inspire a character for a new story. I work with people that light up the screen with emotional danger and romance.
What’s been your proudest moment?
I finally finished a draft of my first feature film! It’s taken more focus than anything I’ve ever done and although there’s still a lot of work to do – I’m really excited about it. All I can say at this point is, it’s a tale of redemption that smells like your boyfriend’s sweater heavy with the scent of Eternity.
My television series Savage Garden was selected as a finalist for the Austin Film Fest, so I’m headed there later this month. It’s a southern gothic story set in 1890s New Orleans that explores the birth of pop culture and prostitution.
I recently finished two new videos that I collaborated with Chloe Chaidez on for her group Kitten that will be coming later this month.
I’m currently writing a lot of treatments for short films and music videos, and will be pitching those very soon.