June 4, 2015

A Step Forward For Female-Driven Comedy

Caterine Moure

An Interview with Producer Jessica Elbaum

By Caterine Moure, WICF Guest Blog Contributor

[Cat Moure is an aspiring producer/comedian currently stuck in Florida until graduation. Find out if she makes it out alive by following her on Twitter @catmoure.]

The underrepresentation of women in the making of comedy (and film production in general) is no new discussion, but it’s a discussion that is gaining more attention, and with all that attention, there is more action being taken in solving this gender discrepancy.

Jessica Elbaum, producer of Bachelorette and executive producer of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, is one of the people that is taking action. After working under Will Ferrell’s and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions for 11 years, Elbaum learned the inner workings of the comedy world as an executive, and noticed an absence of women in the field that she wanted to address.

She hesitated when deciding to pitch the idea of a female-centric and driven production house.

"At the time that I produced Bacherlorette, it was a project that meant working with many amazing and talented women. I was out of the ‘dude environment.’ And I love working with Gary Sanchez and I will continue to in the future, but I started thinking about this idea of a company that would focus on women and give more opportunities for all the talented women in comedy to make film. I started thinking: why has no one come up with this? Are there enough opportunities for women to direct and write comedies?"

And it wasn't until a certain power in comedy told her to "go big or go home" that she took the leap of faith.

"Amy Poehler gave me the confidence to go forward with the project. She told me to do something big and do something important, and to do the things I believed in. Her saying that to me was so inspiring. Coming from someone like her, who has been so successful and has been such a prominent woman in comedy, it meant everything. Will and Adam couldn’t have been more supportive from the start, but hearing it from a woman, especially someone like Amy, gave me an extra push."

Elbaum’s idea hears criticism for isolating women in the comedy world. But she iterates that differentiating male and female comedy is not the purpose of this female-driven production company, which was named Gloria Sanchez Productions in correlation with Gary Sanchez.

Instead, the idea is for the company to act as a pipeline for women into comedy production. She assures critics that her vision for the company is bigger than the simplified male-or-female-comedy conversation.

"My vision for Gloria is to make good comedy. I'd rather not have that conversation about male or female comedy, but the statistics are there and women are underrepresented. Until that changes, we have to have some conversation. There's no real business model for Gloria but to make good movies. I went with my gut and thought about the market. It's a great time for something like this."

She was right. After Gloria Sanchez's launch last February, the company received a great response from critics and an influx of industry professionals interested in becoming a part of the project.

Already the company has produced Welcome to Me directed by Shira Piven starring Kristen Wiig and also produced Sleeping With Other People directed by Leslye Headland and starring Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis, in theatres August 12th of this year.

Ms. In The Biz Reviews Women in Comedy Festival

Tanya Perez in Resuscitation! A Love Story

Read This Great Write Up By WICF Filmmaker and Performer.

With 170+ contributing female bloggers, Ms. In The Biz is read in 193 countries with new posts Monday to Friday!

Founded by actress/producer/writer Helenna Santos, Ms. In The Biz is the premium online destination for women in entertainment who are looking for a positive community that shares resources, imparts wisdom, and fosters success.

With the firm belief that we are all stronger together, and seeing a need for a collaborative community of like-minded women in entertainment, Helenna created Ms. In the Biz as a hub for the next generation of female Hollywood Power Players.

About Tanya Perez

Tanya Perez is a recovering bicoastal actress currently living in NYC. Some of her TV and film credits include Orange Is the New Black, Blue Bloods, Madam Secretary, Hal Harltey's Ned Rifle and The Girl from Monday, ABC Family's Jane By Design and Law & Order. Her most notable stage appearances were in Seattle Rep's production of Anna in the Tropics, Sonia Flew at both CATF and Laguna Playhouse, and her sold-out solo show at the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Her self-produced webseries Itty P & DJ Model-T was nominated for two StayTuned TV-ITVF awards for Best Comedy and Best Actress in a Comedy. She is also incredibly talented with balloons, laughs inappropriately during movies, and loves her four-legged roommate Tia Tortilla.

May 1, 2015

Have You Seen The New Webseries 'Meals With Mary'? It's Hilarious!

Search for Mary Dolan on facebook and like her!

MEALS WITH MARY, an irreverent new cooking webseries, premieres February 25th, right here at www.mealswithmary.com! Tune in for deliciously easy recipes and wild and wacky antics, all led by the inimitable Mary Dolan - a bizarre lovechild between Dame Edna and Ina Garten. The 8-episode first season tracks the fabulous foul-mouthed ex-vaudeville star and her uptight co-host, a camera-shy chef named Ruby Parker, as they make delicious food and delectable drama. Led by their hapless producer Kaz, this unlikely trio battles through the ups and downs of making a cooking show, including near-fires, drunken fights, and a budding on-set romance between Kaz & Ruby. Through it all, Mary teaches them, and us, that cooking is not just about food, it's also about feelings.

Created by Satya Bhabha (NEW GIRL, KEY & PEELE) and Petey Gibson (TRANSPARENT), this hilarious & helpful new series brings us such episodes as ‘Get a Boyfriend, Make Him Lunch: Roast Beef Sandwich & Cheesy Kale Chips’ and ‘KimoNo You Didn’t: Soba Noodle Salad & Homemade Miso Soup.’ Director and co-writer Bhabha says “Creating Meals with Mary was an amazing process… even though Mary tried to ruin me at every turn.” Gibson agrees, “Yeah, Mary’s a real piece of work. The food was good, though.”

Ms. Dolan, ex-vaudevillian and a self-described “trifecta of song, dance, and very good looks”, couldn’t disagree more. “They were lucky to have me at all! I’ve cooked post-sex breakfast for Bing Crosby for Chrissakes!!”

April 24, 2015

'Open House' wins BEST COMEDY SHORT at WICF Film Night at The Brattle Theater

Carrie Barrett and Herbert Russell
Congratulations to Deb Hiett on winning Best Comedy Short at the 1st Annual WICF Film Night on Wednesday, April 22nd at The Brattle Theater.

About the film:
A twisted look at what happens when a house-hunting couple and a real estate agent have a truthful conversation (listening not required).
Watch it here: Open House

A little bit about Deb Hiett:
Deb Hiett
Writer/Actress/Accordionist Player Deb Hiett created short comedy films "Open House" (voted "Best Video Short" at iOWest's Funny Women LA Festival) and "A Bit of Counseling" (Audience Choice Award recipient in the L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival, Palm Beach International Film Festival, and Over The Fence Film Festival). Deb's newest stage play "Holding" is a semifinalist in the 2015 Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. In reviewing one of her original one-woman shows, New York City's Village Voice called her "the bold new voice in solo . . . a sure-shot writer." As an actress, Deb has appeared in "Arrested Development," "The Comeback," "Parks and Recreation," and "The Office," among many other shows, plays, commercials, and films, and was a founding member of the performance group "Orson Welk." DebHiett.com

'Death, Taxes and Apple Juice' wins Audience Favorite at WICF Film Night at The Brattle Theater!

Hannah Perreault and Claire Dauge-Roth
Congratulations to Tamar Halpern on winning The Audience Award at the 1st Annual WICF Film Night on Wednesday, April 22nd at The Brattle Theater.

About the film:
Two little girls try to figure out the meaning of life while preparing their taxes and drinking chardonnay.

A little bit about Tamar:
Tamar Halpern
Tamar Halpern wrote and directed the feature Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life starring Mira Sorvino, Michael Urie and Joe Pantoliano. Previous features include Shelf Life, "a whip smart film" (Variety) starring Betsy Brandt of Breaking Bad and the Michael J. Fox Show, and the documentary, Llyn Foulkes One Man Band, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and releases theatrically 2014-2015. www.tamarolandpictures.com

April 15, 2015

Love Funny Conversations? Check Out This New Web Series!

Web Series 'Conversations with Courtney' Has Its Host Talking With Famous Comedians On The Comedy Circuit

[Originally from Washington, D.C., Courtney Black is a sexy smarty with 2 Bachelor of Science degrees. But making people laugh is what this lady really has down to a science. The comedian shares her witty views on life, love, and adapting to the carefree ways of living in

About the Web Series:

The perfectly imperfect Los Angeles based comedian Courtney Black has a new web series titled “Conversations with Courtney” releasing every Wednesday. Living in Los Angeles and being a fixture on the comedy circuit enables Courtney to run into some interesting & more-famous-than-herself individuals. The series is funny, informative, and honest. Let’s see who Courtney has a conversation with next!

Check Out Some of these 'Conversations with Courtney'

Hannaibal Buress

Tiffany Haddish

April 6, 2015

It's Here! The WICF 2015 Trailer featuring Jane Lynch, Lily Tomlin and Cristela Alonzo

The WICF 2015 trailer, featuring headliners - Jane Lynch, Lily Tomlin, Cristela Alonzo, Aparna Nancherla, Kevin Allison, Sue Costello and Mary Mack!

Watch it! Share it! See it!  WICF 2015 Trailer

A BIG Thank you to the fabulous creative team behind our new trailer!

Directed and Edited 
Brad Braufman

'WICF Jingle' written and performed by Phoebe Nir & Bonnie Gleicher
"Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest Mussorgsky, performed by Skidmore College Orchestra

"Deniers" image -- derived from photo "242" by Jessica Smalley
"Drama Queens" image -- derived from photo "graphite charge" by Caitlin Worthington