A Gal’s Guide to Making a Movie, Part Eight: The Wildcard

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GalsGudie3x3v2A Gal’s Guide to Making a Movie is a new weekly written series by Erin Bagwell. To view the whole series click here.

Part Eight: The Wildcard

After Marie Forleo’s newsletter went out, and our Kickstarter campaign was funded I got hundreds of emails from people all around the world wanting to support the film. One of those emails was from a Canadian gal named Komal Minhas.

On Sat, Aug 30, 2014 at 11:31 PM, Komal wrote:

Hi Erin,

My name is Komal Minhas, I am a founder from Canada, I launched my company KoMedia last year and focus on visual storytelling (film and photography) and I am also a contributor for Huffington Post. I am interested in investing in the film anywhere above $5,000-$10,000, but would like to find out more about what this could look like. I would also love to know if you’re looking for more support on the filming and production end. Basically, I love what you’re doing and want to be part of it. Let’s chat? I am away in Europe and India until Sept 13th (working with Coca Cola on their 5by20 women’s entrepreneurship initiative in India, may be a great connecting point for the film as well), but would love to connect soon to find out what you need and how I can help.

Looking forward to connecting!

– Komal

When I didn’t respond within 24 hours she wrote me again:

Sitting here in Rome talking about this project with three of my closest friends late into the night, thinking deeply about making this investment at the executive producer level and wanting to see if we will make a good match.

Hope to hear from you soon.

– Komal

Rome? Coca-cola? $10K? Who the hell was this gal?

We got on a Skype call to connect and she told me a little bit more about KoMedia. As an Indo-Canadian women she felt a deep connection to empower women globally and felt like the Kickstarter video I made had been speaking directly to her.

My first impression of Komal was that she was crazy. A good crazy. She had a boldness and a confidence in her skin that felt like she was 20 years older than she was. She was also committed enough in Dream, Girl to invest her time and money in the production. She offered to come on set and provide some camera equipment to help us film the first week of interviews. I told her I wasn’t sure I needed an Executive Producer (I wasn’t willing to give up any creative control since we had already been funded) but was open to figuring out ways to work together, so she came down to NYC from Ottawa to see the beginnings of the film unfold.

Over the next few weeks Komal and I got on weekly, then daily calls to figure out a strategy for Dream, Girl. I made her our “Head of Strategic Partnerships” a title and job I made up for her to help us secure publicity and financial support from brands who were interested in supporting female entrepreneurs.

For the first time since the start of Dream, Girl I felt like I had someone in the trenches with me, who felt the emotional weight of what I was trying to do. Having support from your partners and friends is great, and Sal was physically there (and still here) with me every step of this journey- but there is something different about having someone feel the pressure with you. It’s like the difference between being on a rollercoaster and hearing about it.

Komal became an emotional support and sounding board that was invaluable to my creative process. She was also really smart. She challenged my vision for the film, and encouraged me to think really big with it. She always shoots way over the moon, and we were both really aggressive about setting really big plans in motion to make the mission around the film (as well as the film itself) a success.

What I didn’t know at that time was that Komal wouldn’t just become an invaluable asset to the growth of the film, she would become my best friend. I couldn’t go a day without talking to her about the film and the business that eventually we would run side by side.

She would become a sister to me, and the biggest wildcard of this journey. I never set out to find a partner to help amplify our mission but like Ava DuVernay says “if your dream only involves you, it’s not big enough.”

We also had an incredible foundation to our relationship because being on set that first week was one of the most incredible and empowering experiences of my life, and everyone on set felt the magic of that.

And in true Dream, Girl fashion our first interview out the gate for the film was with a charming little entrepreneur named Marie Forleo.

Production had begun.

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Erin Bagwell is the founder of Feminist Wednesday and the director of Dream, Girl. Follow Erin on instagram at @erin.bagwell

Join us next Wednesday to hear the next part of Erin’s story. Or sign up for Feminist Wednesday’s newsletter to get it right to your inbox.

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