Girl Props directors Adinah Dancyger, India Menuez, and Victoria Cronin talk about their creative process, and the challenges that come with collaboration.
When I was in high school, there was a crew of 8bit, punk, alt, and otherwise teen bands that played the all-ages DIY venue circuit. It was a small scene and most of it was centered around the music. Across New York City, there were kids who wanted to build a similar community for young visual artists. One of many the groups that came out of this community was Luck You Collective. In apartments, garages, and small gallery spaces, the collective ran silkscreening workshops for kids and curated their own shows.
Three of the Luck You members are Adinah Dancyger, Victoria Cronin, and India Menuez. Having met in middle school, these three women are setting out on a new kind of collaboration, co-directing and starring in Girl Props, a girl buddy movie that nods at classics like Ghost World and Thelma and Louise.
The film follows around four friends who go on a road trip filled with vulnerability, narcissism, and self-discovery. Victoria, India, and Adinah have assembled a team, including fellow Luck You member and friend Carmen Hall who is producing Girl Props, and have begun production. They’re raising funds over Kickstarter.
We spoke with the directors about their creative process, the challenges they foresee in making the project a reality, and what they hope to learn.
What is it like to work together? How do you navigate friendship and a creative working relationship?
We’ve been artistic collaborators for many years and friends for longer than that. With a project that includes traditional narrative, nontraditional narrative, and opportunities for improvisation, we have a difficult task at hand. Having three writers and directors equally invested in this project has been surprisingly the most relieving part. We all come from different backgrounds and have our different strengths in filmmaking, so that has factored into the way we divvy up the responsibilities. We’re honest and open with each other which feeds into the way we work.
What about your project stands out against other movies of the girl friend cinema trope?
What stands out most is how we’re making the film by moving away from a traditional hierarchy on set. It’s an experiment to have three people writing, directing, and performing. This structure will create an inherently different film. We’re not making a big budget movie and we don’t see our characters as icons. Each character acknowledges that their experience of self has two sides: how their experiences are perceived, and the experiences themselves.
What are some challenges you foresee in pulling this thing off?
While we’re excited for the challenge of working as three directors, we cannot deny that there will be conflicts of interests along the way. Given that it’s a road movie and we’ll be on our own road trip to make it, we may face some obstacles just as our characters do. While we’re making a movie about four women, we are aware that these are four very specific types of women and we don’t look to speak on behalf of all women. We hope we convey a unique experience that comes with some universality about the human experience. Also, it’s going to be hot!
Victoria, Adinah, and India at their Girl Props fundraiser at Elvis Guest House in Manhattan. Photo courtesy of Elise Gallant
To contribute to Girl Props, check out their Kickstarter!