Gaelle Mourre
’11
Gaelle Mourre
Art History, Spanish
Current Job:
Writer, producer, director at Self-Employed
Current City:
London, UK
High School:
Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle de Londres, London, UK
Post Graduation:
The London Film School, master's
Activities while at Skidmore:
Film theory, Vagina Monologues, Hanging out with friends (not very original but my friends are my best Skidmore memory)

Quick Pitch

I would say that there is no set path to follow. Career paths today are not what they used to be -- there is value in harnessing lateral professional mobility, which, if done with passion, will get you to where you want to go.

Nowadays, you don't have to start from the ground up in order to enter the industry, partly because most entry-level jobs require an unrealistic set of skills and experiences for someone who supposedly just got out of university. So I found that the answer to that was to network big-time and to create my own opportunities.

I would advise you to figure out what you want and then go out and talk to people about it, ask them for advice on how they got to where they are, and to remember you if the right opportunity comes along. You don't have to have a preformed network, by the way, so don't feel discouraged if you (or your family) don't have one. You can meet people by going to events, networking groups, openings, master classes ... I met one of my industry mentors through a job I did on deferred payment because I was interested in the content he was creating. That little leap of faith led to a friendship that also guides me in the industry.

So that's another important thing: find a mentor. You don't have to put an official label on the relationship for it to be just that, and it is so valuable to have.

And if you want to produce, write, or direct a film ... well just do it and make sure that you hold yourself to the highest professional standards. This is key, because you will learn from your mistakes, so if you set the bar high, your failures may be bigger, but your understanding will grow exponentially more than if you'd played it safe.

Don't worry about finding the widest audience, just think about who your audience is, and home in on that. Never aim to make a crowd pleaser at the beginning of your carrer. If that happens, congratulations! But the most important thing to focus on when you're starting out is to figure out what your voice is, because as you become more successful and get more work under your belt, having a consistency in style will help get your next project made. So you should be happy with this style because you're going to be working on it for a while. You can make a truly great film for not much money if you manage to build a community around the project.

Lastly, don't get discouraged, be patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The geniuses who rocket to stardom are the exception, not the rule, so if you're not one of them, that doesn't mean you won't get your own form of success. Figure out what success means to you and focus on that.

I'm trying to be brief, but there is so much to say about this industry, which I am still making my way in and have a long way to go in. These are tidbits I've gathered through my own, so far comparatively brief, experience. Hopefully these little nuggets are useful sparks of inspiration.

Biography

I am still working on my career, and always will be, but I can't stress enough how important it is to always keep in mind the big picture. I have always been very fortunate with my work because I've managed to find industry-related, fulfilling work to support me while I pursue my main focus, making stories. I have had many careers in just a few short years, all of which I draw from to inform my approach to filmmaking: festival marketing, screenwriting course coordinating, script and interview translating, trailer editing, TV broadcast editing, and most recently, commercial content production.

There are many who will focus on just the domain they want to progress in, and they are not wrong as they are ensuring they truly master one area. I have figured out that I want to earn a decent living now without compromising on the stories I tell, so that's why I have parallel careers.

I earn a decent income working on other people's or companies' projects, which I can save up and spend on experiences but also reinvest into my own films (which are never fully self-financed, but putting your money where your mouth is is vital when asking people to chip in with a guarantee of no monetary return), thus ensuring I really tell the stories I want to tell (which supports the point I made earlier about finding your own voice).

I also have a lot of different interests within the film world and absolutely love the prospect of being involved in festivals, producing, directing, and who knows what else. I am deeply aware that my time at Skidmore made me feel that I was allowed to think laterally and to value that.

I should also add that I have an incredibly supportive network around me, which I find essential. Friends who participate in my endeavours and support me, my boyfriend who is my creative partner and sounding board, my family, and more specifically, my parents, who not only support my career with encouragement, but have provided me with so much financial support so that I can now stand on my own two feet. Community is everything, and it starts with your nearest and dearest.

http://www.skidmore.edu/ctw/gaelle_mourre