Profiles

Producer Lydia Dean Pilcher to present at CSU-Pueblo

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Film and TV producer Lydia Dean Pilcher will be visiting the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus March 14, leading student workshops and giving a presentation on a range of topics in the film industry.

Lydia Dean Pilcher | Photo courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0212990/
Lydia Dean Pilcher | Photo courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0212990/

Pilcher, a producer with over 30 movies to her credit, has a diverse portfolio of movies ranging from large-scale releases to independent films and documentary. She was recently nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary “Cutie and the Boxer” in 2015 for “Best Documentary- Feature.”

The producer has made movies featuring a plethora of prominent names in filmmaking, including Wes Anderson, Barry Levinson, Tim Robbins, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Hopper and Lupita Nyong’o.

Based in New York City, N.Y., Pilcher currently runs her own production company, Cine Mosaic, which has become a prominent name in the independent film industry.

With a large number of films on her resume, Pilcher takes pride in the diverse range of voices she has sought when producing movies explaining that about half the movies she has produced were directed by women.

“There’s a lot of shift in today’s culture with women and diversity,” Pilcher said. She also talked about how the “demographic shift” happening today provides filmmakers with a chance to make “different” stories.

“You see a lot of different types of movies being (made) these days,” Pilcher said, later saying that the new generation has a lot to do with that as there is increasing number of diverse voices trying to be heard.

Pilcher referenced the controversy surround the 2016 Academy Awards as a sign of audiences wanting a wider range of voices being heard and stories being told.

One of Pilcher’s upcoming endeavors that really exemplify this diversity in storytelling is “Queen of Katwe,” a Disney film based on the life of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi. Set to release this September, Pilcher praised the production of the film and was excited about the unique narrative.

Commenting further on the current state of the film industry, Pilcher spoke about how the business has changed in regards to actually getting a film made.

“We’ve lost the mid-range studios,” she said, later elaborating that “you have either big budget movies … or independent style movies where people struggle just to get it made.”

One of Pilcher’s workshops that she will be leading on March 14 will be centered around the idea of “crowd funding” and building an audience.

Another part of filmmaking that Pilcher has championed is the idea of environmental sustainability in the film industry, or “greening” sets.

Sustainability will be the focus of Pilcher’s other workshop on March 14.

As a member of Producers Guild of America, Pilcher has become a leading figure among her peers in ensuring movie sets are “green” and environmentally sustainable in the future.

Her visit to CSU-Pueblo will mark Pilcher’s first visit to the city of Pueblo and the producer showed excitement about the visit. “I’m interested to learn about the students and see what they think about the film industry,” Pilcher said.

Having taught seminars to film students at New York University, Pilcher has experience talking to college crowds and reflected positively about the experience saying that it’s “always interesting” seeing the students input and seeing if “they think they’re being properly represented in movies and media.”

In giving insight to aspiring filmmakers, the producer says that she often tells the students “to find their personal vision.”

Pilcher’s workshops are free and open to the public. The first workshop will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. in LARC Room 109 and the second will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in LARC Room 108.

She will be giving a large presentation called “The Audience in Revolt: Culture Wars and Disruption in Hollywood,” which will take place in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom from 7 to 9 p.m. There will be a reception prior to the presentation at 6 p.m. in the OUC Ballroom where food will be served.