Film director and writer, producer, script coach and a wonderful storyteller, Jane Foster is an amazing creative force. I was so lucky to recently meet her and be impressed by her determination, intensity and energy. I knew right away that I had to invite her for an interview to learn more about her passion in telling fascinating stories and sharing more about her art.
When I started working on films, there was a ‘light-bulb’ moment. I credit Ridley Scott for this. I was working with him for 2 days on some extra shots for a film, and he impressed me so much, I just thought – ‘wow’ this is what I’ve been searching for…. I’m a storyteller!Jane Foster
You have a fantastic story. From choreography to make-up artist and now to film director and screenwriter, you have such a wide range of fabulous projects. What was your drive and how do you currently blend them all into your work and art?
Jane: I came from a background which alas did not encourage me to think big, but I am a very big personality. In my early teenage years I suffered from very low self-esteem because of it, and I rebelled which didn’t help, but as the saying goes, ‘water finds its level,’ and right from early days I was always a creative, and studied ballet and choreography, because the movement helped me escape. The great thing about choosing hair and make-up as a career in my teens was that it was something I could rebel in, (pink hair and outrageous makeup), but it was also a business, so satisfied with the beliefs of my conservative, materially driven background.
Follow your heart above all, and work on yourself.Jane Foster
However, although I was good at it, I’ve also always been a storyteller. I wrote as a child and loved make-believe, and inventing stories for us all to play out in the back garden, although at the time I never realized how strong it was in me. But when I started working on films, there was a ‘light-bulb’ moment. I credit Ridley Scott for this. I was working with him for 2 days on some extra shots for a film, and he impressed me so much, I just thought – ‘wow’ this is what I’ve been searching for…. I’m a storyteller!
What are your stories about? What inspires you?
Jane: I get a kick out of blending deep feelings which are often hard to process, and layering them up in escapist genres like Supernatural, SciFi, Fantasy and Horror. I think we learn about the human condition far better one step removed. I certainly find straight dramas too hard to watch – Life’s tough enough! Yet I still want to learn and share what I feel.
How do you feel about the role of women today in film and their empowerment?
Jane: It’s a slow process, but women are inching into the roles that for so long have been seen as 100% male. It makes me angry that women still aren’t seen as capable of leading financially or creatively, or both, and this is hard to take for me. Yup, we seem to be taken more seriously in business (Thanks Margaret Thatcher), but somehow, we aren’t credited with being able to shift paradigms or have ‘creative vision.’ There’s still a deep, subtle but strong mistrust of creative women, and female power, that’s still not really spoken about. It’s not helped because some women are still too busy being fierce, drum banging, old fashioned feminist warriors, which in this industry sort of doesn’t work. What does work is true collaboration and respect of humanist values, which is how I approach the problem. On the bright side, there are some amazing men I’ve met who bravely, are glad to ‘let you in’ if you’re good.
What’s the best advice you would give to a young girl now?
Jane: Same as ever – Follow your heart above all, and work on yourself.
Life is a challenge if you choose love, because people’s fear will always fight you, and your own internal fear.Jane Foster
What story would you like to tell now? Something that you feel that is absolutely mandatory for the whole world to know.
Jane: Anything with an ecological, conservationist theme. People go on about climate change, which is very real, but what’s even more scary is we are losing our natural resources and killing everything we need just as fast.
What motivates you to do your very best?
Jane: Love, and trying to express it as much as possible.
What was the greatest challenge for you so far?
Jane: Hhmmmm – Life is a challenge if you choose love, because people’s fear will always fight you, and your own internal fear.
What makes someone beautiful? What is beauty for you?
Jane: A piece of work, or person imbued with love. No matter age, race whatever, it’s about love pure and simple.
What do you love most about yourself?
Jane: My sense of humour, have to, it’s saved me so many times.
If your life would have a soundtrack, what would that be? 🙂
Jane: ‘Shawshank Redemption’ by Thomas Newman or ‘Gattaca’ by Michael Nyman, or on a day where humour is my best weapon, ‘Conan the Barbarian,’ by Basil Poledouris.
What is your superpower?
Jane: I have great focus and can concentrate well for longer than the average without a break. People call it intensity.
What recent memory makes you smile the most? Or even laugh with all your heart? 🙂
Jane: My ex-partner has a brilliant sense of humour, and I miss that.
What does your happiness look like today?
Jane: Completion of ‘Day Six,’ my SciFi feature, and ‘Strigoi’s Jewel’, the funds to have my own home with a cat 😊 Filmmaking is financially tough!
What are your future plans and what are you excited about?
Jane: ‘Day Six’ and ‘Strigoi’s Jewel,’ ‘The Sea Queen’, and a few others!
Thank you so much, Jane, for your inspiring stories and wonderful thoughts! Wish you abundant creative power and looking forward to seeing your new projects!