A sit down with Lindsey Dryden

March 22, 2020
Credit: Roberta Matis // www.robertamatis.com
“I think that’s the point of any of the stories we’re telling right? if you’re doing anything creative involving storytelling you’re learning about other people, but you’re learning about yourself. I don’t think we’d do it otherwise”

The first introduction to Emmy award-winning director and producer Lindsey Dryden was a humble one. As she was sitting in front of the class with a soft but sheepish smile, her hands between her thighs and her heels bouncing to a rhythm of their own. She was nervous. But who wouldn’t be when faced with the biggest interview of their career, possibly. Not in status but in physical size as our class sat circling her with our notebooks open and pens ready. Eager to find out every detail about her and her filmmaking.

She started off the interview session with an introduction and a disclaimer. Telling us about her work and how it’s been on Netflix, has won awards at Sundance and even been shortlisted for the Oscars. Pretty big stuff if you ask me. 

In an early moment of quiet she proclaims, “can I admit, I’m quite hungover from last night… last night I won an award which I was not expecting and that was really nice.” Bringing forward a laugh, acting as an icebreaker in the room as it’s a sentiment almost all of us could identify with. Perhaps not the award element, but the post-night-out hangover. 

Changing the tone she kept on, bringing us further into her world dismissing the ‘glamourous side’ and telling us that  “the other [side] is really digging into the ethics and complexities of making stories happen and making it happen safely in certain situations when you’re dealing with very vulnerable people.” 

Moving forward the topic of her inspiration was brought up and she happily recounted her childhood. Growing up in a working-class family with no real creative inspirations until she moved to London where she got a taste of independent cinema. Inspired greatly by Spanish and Latin American directors.

Now she is working as executive producer for her current in a team of proud queer people. “I have the best time working with them cause they’re an all queer crew, they’re just my people, I just get to be with my people all the time.” As she says this, she has a smile that lights up her whole face, a sign of true happiness for her current position.

This smile quickly fades when she goes onto the topic of equality in the film industry. She took a more serious tone, really leaning into her words, adding more passion to her tone whilst physically leaning forward as she said, “I’m interested in redressing problematic balances. So, because the film industry has historically completely been dominated by certain people. I’m interested in how to make that different. And that’s about women, people of colour, that’s about queer people and disabled people. I choose to work with people who I think are sensitive to different perspectives to their own and again that could be anybody, typically that’s mostly women and typically that’s mostly queer people.”  

Winding down she recommends the work of Pedro Almodóvar. Her biggest inspiration. Who’s work you can see mirrored in her own.

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