Entrepreneur & Filmmaker Layne Marie Williams
SimplySxy has the pleasure to interview Layne Marie Williams, filmmaker and founder of Women of The Now (WoTN). Learn about what inspires Layne Marie, how WoTN is striving to provide more opportunities for women in the entertainment industry and who she’ll love to collaborate with if given the opportunity!
What inspired you to start Women Of The Now?
While Co-Founding The Women’s Film Festival in 2013, the folks I was making movies with at the time in Philadelphia, PA – we called ourselves Women of The Now. WoTN has now grown into a well known 501c3 organization in Chicago, IL that provides training, resources, and community to womxn and gender non-conforming filmmakers.
We were making films and we needed more chances to showcase, build, develop, you name it, our work. Wild determination and a whole lotta grit launched me into it all. I was 23 at the time. I don’t think I had any idea what I was in for! I’ve loved and been deeply challenged every moment of it. It’s made me who I am.
How is WoTN working to provide more opportunities for women in the entertainment industry?
We are in the midst of a really exciting evolution right now – we just turned three years old and are really focusing on best practices, our mission statement, and metrics in order to become more sustainable for the years to come. We have been living by the statement “Do less better” so what that means is strengthening and growing our core team, creating events that are both educational and provide chances to network, as well as building up the technological side of our Database and beyond (you can find this on our website!) where womxn and gender non-conforming filmmakers can join the database to be considered for future job opportunities.
What is a typical day like for you?
Ohhhh it really depends. Everyday sincerely looks vastly different for me. Right now with quarantine, I’m in Alabama with my mom and stepdad. I live in Chicago (though I am about to move to LA!) but I got stuck in Alabama because of COVID-19 after attending my little brother’s (what ended up being veryyy tiny) wedding. It’s sincerely been lovely though. If I had to be stuck anywhere, this is the place to be y’all. Truly. It’s peaceful. So much nature. It’s home.
We have three dogs so I spend a lot of time hugging them LOL. I’ve been feeling like a wild wolf woman. I write, I drink cognac, I have lots and lots of zoom meetings and phone calls. My dogs will howl and I howl right back. I kayak, paddle board, I pulled two giant splinters out of my foot this week. I just started reading Irish fairy tales and this super spooky book a best friend recommended by the great Tana French for inspiration. It’s incredibly isolating, it’s glaringly glorious, it’s totally how I’m supposed to spend my time right now.
Do you have any favorite quotes or mottos you like to use in life?
“Little by little, one travels far.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
If you could collaborate with anyone past or present, who will it be?
Guillermo del Toro and Marilyn Monroe. So basically del Toro and I need to collab on a spooky sexy monster movie about Marilyn.
Which flavor best describes you?
Hmmm. It would definitely need to be pink and green. Probably some kind of lollipop flavored like cotton candy and sour apple.
What tips can you give to women aspiring to go into the entertainment industry and what they should expect?
Oooh this question is always a doozy because I want to give a different answer every time now…
Have fun. Have fun with it. Because it is not always going to be fun. In fact, most of your days will not be fun. You will have interactions and meetings that are so hard. Remind yourself why you absolutely cannot stand the idea of doing anything else but this work. And that’s because it has the power to be wickedly fun. We get to play pretend, we roll cameras and make art for people to absorb and carry on into their lives…hopefully a little bit, maybe even severely, changed afterwards. We get to entertain! Remember the fun. Otherwise, do something else. It’s truly such a life of uncertainty, do something else if it doesn’t absolutely fill you up with ridiculous joy and merriment. That’s what keeps you vibrating.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Layne. One question before we end, how do you define “sexy”?
Oooh I love this question. This is a new one. I define sexy when I feel the utmost like myself. I think that LMW has a dirty martini in hand, is wearing something fabulous, and is probably laughing so hard she’s thrown her whole head back and on into the lap of whoever is next to her. Whoops.
Follow the amazing Layne Marie on:
WoTN IG: @womenofthenow.chi
Check out my films @scutly_movie and @veiledtractate on IG (they also have Facebook movie pages where you can stay up to date on any screenings happening near you!) You can also learn more about another film I directed “Golden Voices” at https://www.goldpointstudio.com/gps-films
Images by Layne Marie
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