Today we’d like to introduce you to Arden Grier and Roxanna Dunlop.
Arden and Roxanna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We are business partners, sisters, and best friends. We were raised watching films, making films and brainstorming ways to take down the patriarchy. We are now co-directors with an elevated aesthetic, a sly sense of humor, and a drive to rebuild an industry from the ground up with safe, challenging, and equal opportunities for women from all walks of life who have stories that need to be told. The term “power couple” does not do us justice.
Light Layer started a year and a half ago when we wanted to try our hand at filmmaking with our first short film titled “Say The Word.” Since then, we’ve done 12 projects in 12 months. This week marks our company’s official launch. We are here to champion female stories and hire women behind the lens, and we’re doing it all with champagne and a RED Scarlet.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Working alongside a family member can be really tough because you bring all of your years of baggage and family dynamic into a professional environment. It takes a lot of patience, dedication, and therapy (seriously, we’re in couples therapy together) to make it work, but we do so willingly. Collaborating creatively comes very easily to us – we love nothing more than to work and laugh alongside one another. And man, do we laugh. Sense of humor is everything to us, and usually, it’s the tool that gets us out of an argument and back on track with the work.
Another thing we obviously have struggled with is that as it turns out, a lot of people (a lot of men in particular) don’t like being told what to do by two 20-something young women. You know how many 30-something or 40-something men we’ve had to cradle egos for in order to get them to work with us? That’s the toughest thing. We are loud and bossy, and nobody likes being told what to do by a woman, it just reminds them of their mother. However, that’s also what gave us fuel for our mission. Hire a female crew. It takes like 6% more effort from producers and department heads to find female crew members when hiring their team. Then all of a sudden, you have a 50% male and 50% female crew, and the balance creates a dynamic, safe, and more efficient work environment for everyone.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Light Layer Productions – what should we know?
Light Layer is a full-service film production company. We’ve spent the last year building out a body of work, with a focus on telling female stories and hiring women behind the lens. We have been focusing mainly on short-form content, gearing up to catapult into the feature film world. We just read a feature script that we’re very excited to move into a development with.
We’re also building our community! As a company, we are creating a database of female filmmakers to provide to male allies who know about the #MeToo movement, and want to help, but aren’t sure how. We want to make it so easy for everyone to hire more women, that there’s no excuse. We are not hard to find, women are here, talented, and ready to work. Putting a stop to the boys-club culture that exists on film sets is where we can all start to make a change. When you have a diverse crew, it reflects in the end product of the film. We’re working in a collaborative art form – so let’s make sure our team members can all learn from one another.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Roxanna’s aggressive commitment and dedication set her apart from the rest. She lets nothing get in the way of what she wants. The woman will fight – blood, sweat and tears, all in – until she gets the absolute best out of herself and her team. – Written by Arden
Arden’s congenial personality and unapologetic sense of humor put everyone she meets in a trance. People want to know her and work with her because she is like a ray of light in an industry filled with darkness. – Written by Roxanna.
- Website: https://www.lightlayerproductions.com/
- Email: email@example.com, arden@lightlayerproductions
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lightlayerproductions/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lightlayerproductions/
- Twitter: @lightlayerprod
Michael J. Spear (the black and white), Anthony Williams (the one of us laughing), Other images are stills!