Behind the Scenes in Kansas: Day Three in Concordia
DAY THREE: THE BEAUTIFUL BROWN GRAND, THE BRILLIANT SUSAN SUTTON, AND FEMALE FILMMAKERS OF WICHITA
We were up at 5am on Thursday to drive to Concordia, Kansas, where we met Susan Sutton at the Orphan Train Museum. As someone who has been reading Sue Sutton's research materials for close to a year now, I can honestly say she's one of the smartest women I have ever met. She would give Louise a good run for her money with the meticulousness of her fact collecting. On top of all of this, she is also a great writer, and wrote one of the best stage plays I've ever read about the life of Louise Brooks. I was eagerly awaiting meeting her when I got to Kansas, and I was not disappointed. Walking around the beautiful Brown Grand Theatre (where Denishawn put on a production in 1922) with Sue was a dream, and discussing the life of Louise with her was so fulfilling because her thorough knowledge on the subject has left her fluent and able to hypothesize on every aspect; to compare my time with Sue to what Louise would say of her time with Lotte Eisner, Charlotte "got an education". Leaving Concordia was hard because both Shawn and I didn't want to leave Sue behind- she's lucky we didn't take her with us.
After thoroughly exploring every crevice of the Brown Grand that Louise would have stepped upon, we set up to do a sit down interview with Sue, for which our battery refused to work. We then went into improvisation mode, which took way more time than we expected or had, and found ourselves leaving a whole hour later than we had expected. We stopped at the slowest gas station in the world, where petrol comes out by the cent, and Shawn has a video of me screaming at it from the passengers seat of the car because my patience dissipated with the battery incident and we were way behind schedule. Shawn felt so bad that he bought me a cadbury egg in the convenience store.
We FINALLY got on the road and made it a whopping hour late to what ended up being a delightful experience with Female Filmmakers of Wichita, a group of filmmakers who are doing big and exciting things for women in film, their goal being to create a positive, safe space for women to share knowledge, network, support, encourage and promote women in all aspects of filmmaking. They were kind enough to have us to speak for them, and we learned a ton from chatting about different funding and production opportunities. FemFilmICT will surely be a great resource for all young female filmmakers in Wichita, and they have already been a great resource for this New York female filmmaker.