June Baby Productions
Sara, June Baby ProductionsQueens, NY
Two years ago, my old friend Kat invited me over to hang out. I hadn’t been to her house since middle school times so I was weirdly excited to see how her room had changed. I expected us to catch up over glasses filled with more ice cubes than wine and then watch her get ready for an awkward date she had with a random she met a bar. A seemingly typical “girl time”, except it wasn’t; that hang out turned out to be the antithesis of typical. We had no idea that that day would lead us to creating an empire together.
Kat studied drama at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City. After a frustrating run of auditioning for roles that pigeon held her as the “gangsta Latina friend” she decided to find her passion elsewhere. Kat worked at a casting agency while she got her Bachelors Degree in Advertising and Marketing at Fashion Institute of Technology. The combination of behind the scenes knowledge and real world experiences spurred her aggravation with how media portrays women. Here were two fields in the entertainment industry that Kat wanted to work in, but only under different standards.
That day in her room, (which used to be baby blue and was now mint green) Kat expressed her interest in wanting to start a feminist YouTube channel called TheeKatsMeoww. Naturally she was doubtful in putting herself out there; putting her face to her anonymous Tumblr posts and progressive tweets. I was blown away by the concept and was 100% committed to helping her get these videos running.
I studied film at Hunter College where I was constantly finding myself in male dominated classrooms; where a males voice and opinion saturated the conversations. I was always that feminist girl in the back, pointing out the point of view of the forgotten female voice; defending the choices of the prude as well as the liberated character; down right calling out the inauthenticity of some of my male classmates’ writings… It was an unnerving task to constantly be the one shedding light on these thoughts but worth it if I could make other girls in the classroom nod vigorously or cause a guy to sigh: “Hmmm you’re right”.
As two females torn between loving an industry yet hating what it stood for half the time, we made the courageous choice to do something about it. Our work ethic and passion to represent women correctly, realistically, and progressively in media resulted in creating a production company that respected the stories of women. With our birthdays falling on June 4th and June 5th we dubbed our company: June Baby Productions.
June Baby Productions is only two years young but the amount of knowledge and experience we have gained is incredible. We’ve had the good fortune of working on so many projects ranging from filming music videos for rapper Manny Miz in Brooklyn to following the break-dancers of 5 Crew Dynasty around 5 Pointz to interviewing Bronxites in the boogie down borough for Project Bronx. But we pride ourselves on the projects that are centered on women empowerment, like filming the ambitious entrepreneur Kate Northup and the edgy writers over at Feministing.
People have a huge misconception of girls and women working together; we're thought of as catty and emotional, which results in a horrible work environment. This is the farthest thing from the truth (at least at the JBP headquarters). I attribute all the success that June Baby Productions has had to the solid foundation of friendship. We're very similar in our thinking (maybe it’s a Gemini thing, who knows) yet we're constantly learning from one another. Our PMS doesn’t get in the way of our filming and editing; it's only helped sync our periods.
Being a female in the film industry is no joke. We are surrounded by guys with varying talents and skill sets equal to ours and yet we still second-guess ourselves when an opportunity knocks at our door. We can carry around just as much equipment as men, know just as many tricks on Final Cut as men, so what’s the deal?
It’s that men don’t leave their confidence at home next to their nail polish and Boy Meets World DVD set. SO LADIES, PACK THE CONFIDENCE FIRST!! When we catch one another doubting ourselves or not being authoritative when we should be, we call each other out and uplift one another. Kat sees in the strength in me when I doubt myself the most and I see the power in Kat when she's feeling her lowest.
Ultimately we love the work that we do, we love one another and we're on a mission to bring authentic female stories for the world to see which is a challenge we have no problem taking on.
Creating change in the world can be done alone but it’s all that much better when you're doing it with your best friend.