When Sue (the founder of Empty Nesting) suggested I write about this I hadn’t really stopped to think about my age being a factor in starting a new enterprise, and that I think is key. We are all too bound up with gender, race and age restrictions that society ‘decides’ to impose. I hate the phrase ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ and think if you feel comfortable wearing short skirts, clingy dresses, skyscraper heels, and have long hair why not? Why should society dictate that we have to look a certain way once we are over 40, or say we are over the hill at 50 for looking sexy or attractive and cannot forge new careers so late in life, and even suggest that we all retire at 60?
I have 4 girls who have left the nest and one still at home as a teenager and it was she that started me on a route to the happiest and most successful thing I have ever done regarding work.
Our 15 year old wants to be an actress, and her last year’s long journey, which is a story in itself, will shortly be published on my blog. When your child is under 16 a parent or guardian has to accompany them to auditions, filming etc and it was here that the story began.
Having brought up 5 children and with a large house, garden and animals little time had been left for a full time career and I did not really want one, though I had spent numerous summer holidays and weekends teaching art and drama courses to young children at local schools and had 4 years with my own coffee shop, art centre, where I also taught art and drama and sold crafts and supplies, between child rearing stints.
I have also always loved photography and suddenly over a period of watching the films being made that our daughter was in , I thought I can do this with my arty and drama background. I got chatting to several of the directors and trained on set doing casting, location finding, photography etc all as an intern with no pay, but learning fast as I went. I just tried to be as willing and helpful as possible. Being older I found that I had a large collection of contacts I didn’t even think about before, lovely friends willing to lend their houses for location, my husbands clients, producers at BBC, ITV and Al Jazeera, owners of editing houses, etc etc.
Our daughter was in a play over the summer in London and I approached the writer David Fielding (one of the most original and compelling plays I had read for a long time) if I might make a trailer of the film and a mini documentary of the group, a behind the scenes look at the acting company. He and the play’s Director Suzanne McLean willingly agreed and the trailer was duly entered in a festival in America. If you become a finalist in this trailer the film is screened before 700 industry professionals like Paramount, 20th Century Fox, ABC etc who, if they like the trailer, will option the writer to purchase that script to be made into a film or tv series. A whole new world of opportunity opened up. And oh my goodness we are currently through to the finals and will be viewed by all those people for 6 weeks. I can hardly believe it, my first trailer such a success! I am still reeling from shock. Even if we don’t win, the accolade is enormous — to have got that far. About 70 trailers have been picked 1.30 to 2.30 minutes long out of thousands of entries, and we are one of them.
I so enjoyed every minute of the filming and I have been commissioned to do 2 more films and another mini documentary. I have set up a company, Lumino Films Ltd as I would like to read more scripts and offer the opportunity to every aspiring writer to make their story into a trailer and try to get it into next years Trailer Festival. The prize for the writer can be $500,000 or more so its well worth doing. I make the trailer as economically as possible and ask for a percentage of possible purchase fee from any third parties.
So if you have a story unpublished or published, a script hidden away in the depths of your computer contact me on www.luminofilms.co.uk and together we will try to start the journey for it to be the next blockbuster feature film.
So you see if you are over 50, something new and exciting can happen in your career!