Monday, February 10, 2014

Bucking the Odds

Faith Conroy is my hero.

Not because for the past two decades she has had steady work with the likes of Redford, Costner, Cruise, Witherspoon, Woo, Hopkins, Branagh, Whedon & other notables.

Not because she's a girl from the east who has carved a niche for herself as script supervisor for big studio films in L.A.

Not because she knows how to ride and has written a true-to-life film about horses.

Not even because in a few weeks, she'll be traveling cross country in a bus with the likes of Skeet Ulrich and Christian Kane. (OK, maybe a little bit because of that...)

The reason Faith Conroy is my hero is simple: she refused to buy into the ageism and sexism everyone says abounds in the film industry. Perhaps even more impressive, she didn't allow herself to be constrained by a career box. After years of supervising other people's screenplays, she co-wrote a script of her own AND helped to produce it as well.

She got involved, took the reins, and got the movie made.

No matter how you cook the film industry stats, they show dismal career opportunities for women. According to the Huffington Post, screenplays written by people without a Y chromosome accounted for less than 10% of spec script sales from 2010 to 2012.

But my heroes don't let the odds tell them what can't be done. They saddle up, get their cowboy on, and ride.

Conroy teamed up with Oscar-winning producer Jim Wilson to make the independent feature 50 to 1 -- the true story of Kentucky Derby underdog Mine That Bird. Now that the film is finished, she is personally involved in promoting it and helping it find an audience -- things that only further elevate her in my Halls of Heroes.

Which brings me to that cross country bus trip...

The entire cast and crew of "50 to 1" have taken time out of their schedules and money out of their pockets to literally go on tour together. Starting in March, they're going to board a bus in New Mexico and make whistle stops across the country as they head toward Kentucky.

These days, it's easy to swallow the lie that the only way to "make it" is to sell a piece of yourself. But Conroy, Wilson, Kane, Ulrich & the rest of the tour are trying out a new paradigm. They're going to break through by giving of themselves.

They don't have a big studio backing their promotional efforts. Ten Furlongs LLC, the production company & distributor, exists solely because of this film. They don't care that the odds are stacked against them. They're going to do it anyway.

My heroes. 


Mary E Brewer said...

Faith Conroy is totally awesome! and i can't wait for the #50to1Tour or #50to1 the movie! Very excited!! I am hoping to get to meet her and the rest of the cast as well! thanks for sharing this! ♥

Fran said...

Family, friends and I are very excited to see #50to1themovie and greet the bus tour!! What an awesome way to make a movie and then promote it!! Thank you to all involved....Way to go!!!!

Ami Hendrickson said...

Mary & Fran,
Thanks for your comments. I'd love it if the movie and the tour could find its way north. I'm so impressed with the entire cast and crew's commitment to the project. That commitment raised everyone involved in my esteem.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see this movie! Love Christian Kane! Awesome that the entire cast and crew are taking time out of their busy schedule and their own money to promote this film by traveling across the country to promote this film that is sure to be "history making."

Sandy M. said...

Great read!! Faith is amazing!! I can't wait to see what I know is going to be an awesome movie .. how could it not be .. with Christian Kane and Skeet Ulrich? Hope the tour comes to Philly so I can meet these amazing people!

Unknown said...

I really admire Faith Conroy for pushing forward as a female in a male dominated world! I am also impressed with the whole idea of the "meet and greet" Bus Tour as a promotional tool for the small movies that get lost amongst the block buster movies. The Bus Tour serves as a personal invitation to see the film by the cast and crew in the movie! I am hoping the Bus Tour makes it to my city, but I will see "50 to 1" either way!

Faith Conroy said...

Thank you for your kind words, Ami. I cannot begin to express the depth of my gratitude to you and all of the others who have shown such kindness and support for the film. We are all looking forward to the tour and to saying hello to as many people across the country as we can! Faith Conroy

Ami Hendrickson said...

Sheila, Sandy, and Nona,
Thanks for commenting. Here's hoping each of you gets to welcome the tour to your hometown!

Ami Hendrickson said...

My hero. I am honored, and humbled, that you visited, read, and commented. Here's wishing you every good thing as you embark on the tour.