Girl Improved’s




We’re looking for all sorts of people in the field to volunteer as Guest Filmmaker Mentors. Each mentor brings a unique perspective to their feedback based on their personal experience.

What is the smArt of Filmmaking?
If you’re not familiar with the process, adolescent girls are given a new set of parameters each month. They make a film on their smArtphone and bring it into the club meeting. Every film must follow the Girl Improved Manifest (at least 50% of the characters are females with clear-cut goals not centered around romance). Guest Filmmaker Mentors (ahem… YOU) then give feedback as we screen them one by one.

How does it work?

  1. The Guest Filmmaker Mentors are volunteer;
  2. We need you for approximately 2 hours;
  3. We film the process for educational and marketing purposes, so you’ll have to be comfortable signing a release;
  4. All participants are in the room for each screening and feedback session. They gain valuable feedback for their own work by hearing/seeing others;
  5. There are two Guest Filmmaker Mentors;
  6. Schedule: Short time to chat with the girls, then we screen the films individually and both mentors together give about 5 minutes of discussion/advice/tips/feedback for each film. Up to 7 films get individual feedback, up to 5 films after that are screened, but without feedback;
  7. The two Guest Filmmaker Mentors pick a film for the Jury Award. (Note: Please have a back-up film in mind, as we want to share the love and not give the same film the Audience Award and the Jury Award);
  8. You can find more info about the program on our smArt of Filmmaking page.

What kind of feedback?
We ask that all Guest Filmmaker Mentors strive to keep all suggestions constructive and comments respectful with no intentional cursing. Film theory and practical tips are extremely useful. I.e. “This reminded me of ‘Film Name.’ You might watch it to see how the filmmaker evoked the same mood.” VS “I liked it.” OR “Here’s a lighting tip: if you’re outside, aim to shoot in the shade to avoid bars of light across your actors.” VS “You need to do some research on lighting techniques.”

End each individual session with a ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Well done’ or ‘Great job.’

We post a headshot and link to your website on our smArt page. We also post you on our Facebook page. And if Andee can find the time, she occasionally gets the word out on Twitter and/or Instagram, too.

Why smArtphones?
Simple – more than ¾ of US teens have or have access to smartphones. If the girls use what they have, and if what they have is easy and economical, they’re more likely to create their films. However, we want to go beyond simple smartphone video skills and train them in the art of filmmaking.

A “smArt of Filmmaking” Guest Filmmaker Mentor:

  • Can embrace the limitations of a small screen and a less robust platform to advise girls on how to create work of a high artistic standard;
  • Has professional experience in their field;
  • Has tips and tricks for working with no budget and by yourself;
  • Can give permission for the club meeting to be filmed and released on our website/media platform for subscribers;
  • Acknowledges that there is no pay for their involvement (until we score a grant or something);
  • Enjoys working with adolescents;
  • Connects with our mission statement and is committed to helping the next generation of female filmmakers;
  • Believes in empowering girls.

Are you interested? If so, let us know. Additionally, if you know of any filmmakers who would be perfect for this, please share this url with them or send us their contact info.

Why is the Girl Improved smART of FILMMAKING Project necessary?

It’s no secret that women comprise only 26% of the creators in the film industry. In the 1980s, psychologist Carol Dweck conducted a series of studies on 5th grade girls and boys. Subsequent research proved that “bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.” Thus, the higher the girl’s IQ, the more likely she is to give up when presented with something particularly challenging or complicated.

The girls from this study are the players in today’s industry. Perhaps our brilliant girls are defeating themselves? When confronted with the challenges and obstacles inherent to filmmaking, perhaps our girls simply feel they’re not smart enough to do it.

By giving girls the skills needed to craft original stories easily, economically and efficiently, the Girl Improved smArt of Filmmaking Project will begin to tackle the doubt that comes with filmmaking challenges and prepare the generation of creators needed to break the glass ceiling in the entertainment industry.