A statement on their website is boldly simple yet deeply profound: “We only make Good things.” That’s Good With a capital G! The founders of Farsighted Creative, Maggie Hart and Brittany Zampella, are here to talk about what it means to not only create media that’s good but also put good into the world. They also share how their creative partnership’s power propelled them forward to create short films, write music, launch two podcasts, and work with ethically sourced clients. It’s refreshing to talk with two passionate professionals who are doing work that truly matters to themselves and the world.
About Farsighted Creative
From FarsightedCreative.com: “Everywhere you look today you can find something wrong with the world. Pandemics. Racism. Climate change. Conflict. Divisiveness. The list goes on, and it’s depressing. Sometimes we don’t need any more reminders of what’s wrong with the world – we need a vision for what can be. ‘Good’ content highlights better ways to love another, take care of our planet, fight injustice, and recognize the dignity of every human being. Whether it’s films, music, podcasts, or commercial work, our content is the antidote for the wrongs we see in the world.”
- Beauty and the Beast (2017)
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Sleeping At Last
- Joe Swanberg
- Duplass Brothers
- Netflix’s Most Popular Show Is an Overnight Success That Took 30 Years to Make
Maggie Hart (MH): Yeah. So I am Maggie, I have been a filmmaker… I don’t know, since I was like five years old, but I’ve been working in film for the last dozen years or so. Doing a lot of production, post production, writing all kinds of features, short films, working commercials and whatnot. And most recently, Brittany and I have founded our production company called Farsighted Creative, which does all kinds of film, podcasts, music, you name it.
Chris Martin (CM): Brittany, how about you?
Brittany Zampella (BZ): I am very new to the filmmaking kind of world of things. I’ve been doing music and creative stuff in that avenue for off and on for about 10 years, but Maggie and I met at the beginning of 2019. And around that time, I started to kind of fall in love with the entertainment industry and telling stories through that medium, all sorts of stuff related to that. And we just clicked and started to have ideas and jumped into creating a short film together that kind of sealed the deal on my love for filmmaking. So I’m very much a newbie, but love it, and with Farsighted I do kind of our marketing, Instagram page, content creation there and Maggie and I, kind of, tag team different projects that we’re working on. So yeah, it’s a blast.
CM: Oh, that’s really cool. I’m curious what was it about filmmaking that drew you in?
BZ: This is kind of a funny story. I, of all movies, was watching the live action Beauty and the Beast, and I know it’s not the best movie of all time, but for whatever reason there was something about that movie, particularly, the set design and just seeing one of my favorite Disney movies brought to life, which was wonderful, but there was something about the craft of that film that caused me to really want to do a deep dive into the behind the scenes workings of it. And I was kind of getting into interviews and panels and behind the scenes for all sorts of other things and slowly but surely just started to meet people in the industry. And it all started from really wanting to be an ally for people in the entertainment industry. I didn’t see myself being really hands-on, but as I got to know people, and then when I met Maggie, I was like, “This is the exact kind of person that I’d want to do projects with.” And then we just ended up doing stuff together. So it surprised me in a very fun way.
CM: So Maggie, the bar has been set with Brittany saying, you know, the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast. For you, wat was the film that was like, I want that?
MH: Well, I said I’ve been making films since I was five due to watching Jurassic Park when I was way too young. I don’t know why my parents let me watch it. Yeah, I remember the only way they’d let me watch it, is if they sat me down and they said, you can watch this just so you know it’s not real like the dinosaurs aren’t real. And my mom who had done some acting kind of explain the process of filmmaking and storytelling. And she was like, “It’s a fun story, but it’s not. You don’t have to be scared.” And I just remember wanting to make dinosaurs come to life. And I made all of these really terrible home movies with my dad’s video camera and that’s… yeah, that just kind of sealed the deal for me. I was making terrible videos in high school and then I went to film school and just kind of been doing it since then.
CM: I love the story of people discovering the video camera that their parents buy that they’re obviously not using except for special occasions.
CM: And it’s just… there’s something so exciting about just that mystery of… I know for my mom, her video camera was in this almost like a suitcase. And it was the allure of that blue suitcase. What was in there? Then you open it up and it has like the eyepiece and for me it was VHS and you’re just like, “What is this thing?”
MH: I remember I would do tape to tape little edits of my stuff. And then my family won one of those colorful IMAX that had the first version of iMovie on it. And I just remember being so excited to actually edit what I was filming. So that was… yeah. Just kind of learning about the whole process was really exciting.
CM: So was your dream to work in a studio or create your own studio?
MH: I have always wanted to create my own content and I shot a feature when I was in film school and it was very much just, “We have a weekend and this guy has a camera and this guy has some lights and my cousin is willing to act for me.” So we all just got together. So I always wanted to shoot my own content. And then I did spend some time in L.A. trying to work for a studio or get things picked up. I think the benefit of having a studio is the money aspect. I did get hired to write some scripts and I just didn’t like writing somebody else’s stories. I worked with some producers that I really meshed with, and that was really fun. And then I worked with others where they were sort of looking over my shoulder and just telling me which keys to press. And that’s part of the reason why meeting Brittany and kind of cultivating that love for telling her own stories and telling stories that we think will inspire people, really wanting to create those, made me really want to just create this production company and tell our own stories. Maybe, hopefully, someday allow other people to tell the stories that they really want to tell as well.
CM: One of the things that I really appreciate about Farsighted Creative and what you’re doing is, I like that it’s all about Good stories, but not only that, but you did “shift G” like “capital G”.
CM: And to me that says it’s not just a good story. It’s an objectively good story.
MH: Yeah, it was. And not just something where someone’s like, “Oh, that was good.” But something that’s really putting good into the world.
CM: Was that something that you were thinking before you met Brittany or was it the collaboration and partnership of working together where you really discovered that mission?
MH: Because I’ve been doing film and like every filmmaker doing wedding videos and that sort of thing, Farsighted Films was my production name for tax reasons since about 2011. And I had that idea, kind of, it was sort of the idea of being Farsighted and seeing into the future and making something that’s going to last past kind of all the content that’s floating around today. But it really was meeting Brittany, when I told her the idea she just lit up and was so supportive and it was kind of… it was in at a time in my life when I had just moved out of L.A. and I was a little kind of disillusioned by trying to work in the studio and trying to figure out where I fit in and all of this. And she was just very excited about the idea. And I was doing documentary work at a nonprofit where we worked and she would come in and just say, “Okay, I have an idea.” And so we ended up just talking and we’re like, “We should make some of this stuff, we should do this.” So it was kind of like the jolt of life that I needed in my life.
CM: And, Brittany, from your perspective, when someone’s disillusioned, you can kind of feel that energy. And so for you coming in with this new perspective, what were you seeing that maybe Maggie couldn’t at that time?
BZ: I remember that moment When Maggie told me about what Farsighted Films is and that whole vision, and I think what stood out to me the most was this idea of creating content that’s an antidote for the wrongs we see in the world. And what I was really drawn to is Maggie has a knack for writing rom-coms and that’s kind of what first got me interested because she writes rom-coms because she hates rom-coms, which we could talk more about. But it’s this idea that she saw the messages being told in our culture about love, about relationships that maybe aren’t always the healthiest things. And she wanted to write stories of love and relationships and authentic connection that gave people a way forward towards healthy relationships, which is the whole Farsighted vision of being able to look ahead and say, what’s the kind of the world we want to live in, what are the kinds of relationships you want to have? So I’m going to create content that steers people in that direction and hopefully inspires them to be more empathetic towards each other, to be more real and be more human. I hadn’t met anyone with that kind of drive yet. I personally really just dabbled in songwriting when it comes to the arts. And for me, I wanted to write songs that did the same thing, specifically, even like love songs or songs about relationships and family and connection, because I was seeing all of these toxic messages in our culture. So I felt very much a synergy and wanted to come alongside and say, hey, let’s make your stories happen because stories are the things that shape our understanding the most. So it just was like a shoo-in when I heard her explain all of that.
CM: Maggie, when you’re getting this level of energy from someone, what’s going on in your mind about… Is it an immediate kind of like, “Oh, wow, whoo! I can kind of heal from this disillusionment” or did it take a little bit to get into it?
MH: It was kind of a little bit of both. It was a little bit of getting a first shock of energy like, “Oh, I can still tell stories. I can still tell the stories that I want to tell.” But still kind of healing and slowly getting to the point where I was ready to sort of make the jump to actually kind of pursuing all of these types of things especially, as like a full-time job. It’s definitely quite the jump. But yeah, it’s interesting because I was wanting to really make a difference in the world. After doing some work in L.A., I pivoted to doing like documentary content and wanting to just really be focused on what’s the most direct path to making change. It was a great reminder that stories are such powerful agents of change and a great way to reach people and really move people and develop that empathy and connection. And so it was definitely just this breath of fresh air that made me feel like I was allowed to write and to work on those stories.
CM: It’s interesting how you go from… and I don’t think you’re alone in this, you go from the hopeful L.A. transplant to where you want to make change, you want to get hired, you want to be a part of this system and then you are exposed to it. And then the pendulum goes to documentary as a force of change because there is a lot of power in documentary. But I love how you went back and you’re like, “But rom-coms.” And movies with characters like Ghost Story, for example, where you’re telling a really good story, but it’s not a documentary it’s a short film narrative. And I love that because it allows you to almost go back to who you are, not just focusing just on an industry or a cause.
MH: Right. I mean, the thing that happened the second I moved to L.A., and I don’t want to bash L.A. because I met some wonderful people there. I’m still working with a lot of great people there, but the thing that happens is, the first second you arrive, they ask you what your brand is. And it made me feel like I had to pick, like I have to be a writer or I have to be a: this, that, or the other thing. And I think creating Farsighted and working with Brittany and hearing she want to do music. And I was like, “Well, I would love to do music and I also want to write books and I also want to make podcasts.” And so it was kind of just giving ourselves the permission to really create whatever we want to create. So we’re developing documentaries, podcasts, music videos, short films, feature films, just… but we realized that it’s all, our “brand” would be this really wanting to put good into the world. And I think figuring that out was huge for me personally, and the work that I do.
CM: Yeah, because what’s interesting is looking at your website, not only is it about the end result of the product, but also what goes into the product and the people you work with.
CM: Was that something that you talked about together in order to really make it the entire thing as opposed to just the story that you’re telling?
BZ: When we were creating our website and doing all of the official things you do and you’re about to kind of go public, we sat down and really wanted to flesh out what do we really mean by good content. And then we kind of just brainstormed what values were important to us and also reflected on what has been motivating us because even by the time our website went up and we went live on social media, we had already been doing some work and we already had a rhythm and some things that just kind of naturally happened in our working dynamics so it was almost like putting language to what was already there and reflecting and seeing, okay, what kind of things our company values and what are things that we want to do in the future? Like, next time we’re on set we want to have zero plastic waste and when we’re casting we want to have representation and all of those things. So it was kind of a fun way to really see what’s Farsighted’s DNA and to look back and go, okay like just who we are and what are we already doing, and then what do we want to continue to do and just kind of put pen to paper to verbalize that.
CM: That’s really cool and what I appreciate about that is the thing about values. And correct me if I’m speaking into something that I’m not maybe getting. When you’re setting your values together, is it a hundred percent in both of you or are there some of these values where one or both of you need to rise up and aspire to?
MH: I think we ultimately both really agree on what the values are. I think that we work really well because we’re so similar and we have this vision together. I think it’s fun what we both bring as far as I’m sort of the … for, as just a small example, I was sort of the environmentally conscious one. Brittany is also, but I was the one I was like, “We got to have green sets and it’s got to be environmentally friendly.” And I’m big on… I don’t know whether this’s kind of that sort of activism. And then Brittany is amazing at, she’s really thoughtful about, sort of, creating that connection and what our content says and really focusing on people and that sort of thing. It was fun when we were brainstorming, we’re both sharing these values and I would be like, “Yeah, we should have green sets.” And she’s like, “Oh, that’s a great idea.” And then she’s like, “We’ll do this.” And so it’s cool that we both kind of have these anchors that we both share.
BZ: Yeah. I would echo that. I think one of the cool things about our working dynamic is we are very, very similar, but we do have, we call it our yin and yang. We have our things that are very distinct to us, but we’re very supportive of those differences as well. So it’s not, say a chore for me to say, “Oh god, let’s just have zero plastic ways.” And she’s like, “Oh yeah.” I naturally don’t think about those things so that’s really amazing. And it allows, I feel like both of us to grow in the way we value each other and our individual values. And they kind of come together through Farsighted in a very respectful and honorable way towards each other and kind of creating the backbone of what we both do through the company.
CM: I like how you described your working dynamic and I’m curious since you both have such different kind of central passions. Brittany, you being in music and storytelling and Maggie, like visual storytelling and anti rom-coms and things like that. How does that working dynamic together kind of start to shift your thinking about the things that maybe you’re not great at, but you want to be better at?
BZ: One of the things I appreciate about her values for being green and stuff like that, it helps me see the value for them in my own life. I think it challenges me in a really sweet way. It’s not a shaming kind of way, it’s not an obligation or anything like that, but I really try to take a disposition of teachability and openness to see what can I learn from this person in general, just as a life principle. When it comes especially to people that I love and care about who are in my close sphere in life, it allows me to kind of see where areas that are lacking in my own life and how can I begin incorporating this in my own life and not in the same way, because we’re each, we have our own expressions of that, but it at least causes me to ask the question of in my unique wiring and my lifestyle, how can I incorporate some of these values that this person has and what does that look like for me? And it allows me to care about things that I may not have cared about before. Which I think even with the content we want to create, that’s part of the goal as well, as we want to put things out there that maybe people haven’t thought about or hadn’t valued, or hadn’t analyzed in their head and present it in a way that’s inspiring and gets them excited about pursuing some of these, whether it’s a social justice initiative or something from history or just relationships, we want them to get excited about how they can engage with that. And that’s kind of been my experience with what Maggie brings to the table specifically.
MH: For me, the thing that comes to mind is I think it’s so great to have a partner who can sort of manage expectations and, yeah. I mean, the way that we like to work is we, every so often we’ll just brainstorm what kind of projects we want to do, what would we like to do? And we like to pretend we’re the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “This is Phase One, what we’re doing.” And then we finish that. “Okay, what’s phase two.” And I am just always… I’m such a doer. I’m like, “Let’s make three features, five podcasts, let’s write two books.” Just go way over the top. And I was definitely such a … I used to just run myself ragged, like, drive with a case of red bull in the car kind of person, and then subsequently just completely burned out. So it ended up being a wash because I would work really hard for a month. And then I would burn out for three months. And one thing that’s amazing about Brittany and just having kind of that accountability, but also her sensibility of saying let’s just do these three things, we’ll do them really well. And one thing that she always tells me is, there’s no hands on the clock. We’re going to give them the time that they need. And what’s also great is we’re both so driven that I never worry about us getting lazy. So that’s really nice. And it’s something that’s in our values that we wanted to continue when we work with people on set, when we work with freelancers and stuff, is the idea of like, we’re not going to run people ragged. And really treat people with respect. And it really starts with us. And it’s a lot of Brittany telling me that I don’t have to finish everything in the next two hours, which has really been nice.
CM: I love the picture that you’re painting of collaboration because it’s incredibly healthy. Because I think, speaking for myself, sometimes collaboration is scary. It’s something that you want, but don’t want, at least for me. And so I’m curious, were you looking for a collaboration or did you just kind of stumble into it?
MH: For me in general, I’m a highly collaborative person. I love sharing scripts with people. I love bringing people into things, but it’s funny because we always joke that, when we met, I was sort of in transition doing some documentary work. I was finishing up some scripts for people. So I wasn’t super… it’s not like I was looking to find a partner to do this with. And in fact, when I was doing documentary work, it was sort of like a… it’s kind of a temporary thing and Brittany and I were kind of both talking about moving and being transient and stuff like that. And when I moved there, I was like, “What am I going to do? Make friends?” And yeah, it just happened really naturally. It was a very natural, just sort of chatting about things and sharing ideas and it’s just kind of… Here we are.
BZ: There’s two things that come to mind with that. One is just, there’s a moment when we were at our previous job and we’re just talking and sharing ideas back and forth and having this kind of inspirational moment. And someone says, “Oh, you guys should just record yourselves having conversations.” And Maggie says, “That’s called podcast.” It’s like one, just as an example of how naturally in our conversation and having similar interests and kind of enjoying learning about each other, it just played out. And then it really was just… I remember a specific day when we were sitting down and talking about our dream job, so to speak. And Maggie asked me, “What would you do if you could do anything?” And I just literally described Farsighted. I said, “I want to write music and I want to do movie stuff with you and podcasts and books.” And she was like, “Well, sounds like we just need a production company that does all those things.” And I was like, “Okay.” And then we just did it. It kind of just… Again, it’s an example of stuff just playing out naturally. And I don’t know if we know either of us thought…well, I’m pretty sure either of us didn’t think we would just start a company together when we first started to become friends, but it’s really a testimony to, yeah, just our connection and willingness to support each other and help us accomplish both our individual dreams and our kind of collective vision, too. So there wasn’t like a specific moment where we’re like, “Let’s have a sit-down or whatever.” It just kind of played out over time.
CM: That’s cool. One of the short films that you have available is called Ghost Story. And I laughed many times throughout that short film, it was so well done. I think when Empathy Elf shows up I lost it. I thought that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen, but where did the collaboration begin with that project?
MH: So that one’s fun. That was the first short that we shot together. And it was one of those things we were… The DP who shot that, Chris Commons, basically, just said we should shoot a short. And he was like, “Do you have any scripts? ” And I had a little sketch basically, the first scene was a little sketch that I had written like 10 years ago or something. So I filled out the script and then I showed it to Brittany and she gave me some notes and we just kind of decided to shoot it. I sent Chris the script and before I knew it, he had all of the crew and a bunch of suggestions for the cast. And I was like, “Well, I guess we’re making this thing.” And then it was amazing because we had everyone on the crew except for an assistant director. And I asked Brittany, I was like, “Just come and be my assistant director.” And it was her first time ever on a set.
CM: Oh, wow.
MH: And she crushed it. Because I had seen, having worked with her a little bit, just she had really great sensibilities and was very on top of things. And I was like, “I think she would make an amazing assistant director.” And yeah. So that brought her in to do that and now we just want to be on set all the time.
CM: That’s cool. Brittany, from your experience, what was going through your head when you’re brought in to do something you’ve never done before?
BZ: I mean, all the things: shock, terror, excitement. I remember getting the texts from Maggie when she was like, “Chris wants to do a short in six weeks” and I was like, “Okay.” And I remember asking Maggie several times, clarifying, “Are you sure you want me to be an assistant director because I have never done this before, which of course she knew. And it really was, I think, the perfect way to do that for the first time, because Maggie having so much experience in both directing and AD-ing and stuff before, essentially took me under her wing and helped to a lot with the pre-production. And it was a really great learning experience from that vantage point. I was definitely the… I was so nervous on their first day of shooting because I just had no idea what to expect, I didn’t know. And I’m naturally like kind of a warm people person, but I can tap into what I call my Jersey side. I’m originally from New Jersey and if you’ve been to the Northeast, you know there’s like a certain energy about getting things done. So I discovered I just had to like tap into that a bit and then it was fun and allowed me to be a bit more assertive and time crunchy. So I think why I was amazed about overall was, one, how exhilarating it is being on set. That’s where like I mentioned earlier, I really fell in love with being on set. That feeling of we worked 12 hours and I still have like that buzz and want to keep doing it. And it was just a fun script and story. So we had a blast every day of shooting, even the stressful times, there was such a lightness and a joy kind of in the air that was also important for us to create the atmosphere onset. But then also just seeing that… I don’t know, I was surprised at how many of my other skills just kind of translated into being an AD because I was doing more administrative stuff and kind of project managing at the time. So it was cool to see the overlap and that, “Oh, it’s just like project managing and keeping everyone in line”, which I’m kind of already doing. So I was surprised that in some ways it was easier than I expected and just got me excited to be able to do that again in the future.
CM: Yeah. Oh, that’s cool. I love hearing stories of that because it’s a good testament to what it takes to continue growing and you need those initial moments of putting yourself in a position that you’ve never done before. And I’m curious what do you have planned for Maggie to step into something she hasn’t done before?
BZ: Oh, that’s a great question. I mean, that’s hard because there’s not much Maggie hasn’t done, to be honest. I definitely, one of my goals for the years to write some more original songs. She’s been the camera operator and we’ve done a couple of the music video things that she’s done. Yeah. I mean, other than just like ideas for different music videos, truly, there’s not much she hasn’t already done. So I don’t know what I can throw her way.
MH: I was really worried you were going to say something like background vocals or a duet.
BZ: I mean, I could. We can get you a little djembe or something and just…
MH: I’ll do tambourine, I’ll do a little tambourine, little kazoo, something like that.
BZ: Yeah. So we’ll get the triangle for you. You know what I’ll do is, I’ll do… I don’t know if you’re familiar with Sleeping At Last, Chris?
CM: Mm-mm (negative).
BZ: But he’s a singer/songwriter. And he puts this things in his songs called fingerprints, which are like little recordings of, that family and friends sent into his life that he layers really deeply within his stuff so you can’t… it might be someone like going for a walk and you hear their footsteps and you can’t hear them doing footsteps in the song, but they’re like layered within the music and the very fun, it’s a way he like incorporates the people in his life and his music.
CM: Yeah, that’s cool.
BZ: So I’ll just we’ll put some Maggie fingerprints…
MH: Yeah, just use my fingerprints–that’ll be great.
CM: Words of wisdom.
MH: There you go.
CM: At the subconscious level.
BZ: Perfect. Maggie’s going to do spoken word on that first EP…
BZ: Start practicing.
CM: That’s so awesome. And what I appreciate about, I get a sense of your bantering and what you do back and forth in maybe a collaborative spirit. That’s cool.
MH: We have a good time.
BZ: Lots of laughter.
CM: That’s good. One of the things that I’m constantly thinking about as I’m sure you are, is the business model of media and independent film moving forward into the age of tech and free content. Is this something that you think a lot about and what is the business model of telling good stories?
MH: We want to be mindful. We want to make sure we’re making money and making a living and whatnot. I think as far as our business model, one of our values is ethically sourced clients. So we do some work for some advertising and that sort of thing, but it’s all… we want to do it for companies that have the same vision that we do, are putting something good into the world themselves. So whether they’re nonprofits or cool companies that are making great products. We do a lot of ads for a company that’s making amazing wellness products for women that’s like very body positive and female forward and that sort of thing. So, that’s part of our model as well. I think as far as we would love, we’re working on getting funding and that sort of thing for some of our more narrative projects. If I would have to name our business model, I like to call it the Joe Swanberg, Duplass Brothers business model. I don’t know if you’re familiar with them. They’re indie filmmakers. They started the Mumblecore Movement in the early 2000s. Joe Swanberg did like Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas, and the Duplass Brothers have done a whole slew of independent films. They had an HBO series. They’re big producers now because they were so successful at making tiny indie films. But all that to say, Joe Swanberg said that his model was, he was just going to keep making films until somebody noticed that he was making films.
CM: I love that.
MH: Yeah. He’s from Chicago and Drinking Buddies I think was the first… he got a lot of notoriety from Drinking Buddies and he said a lot of people think it’s his first film. And he said, it’s actually my 15th film. And he was just making films until people noticed. He has a Netflix show now. We really just want to make the projects that allow us to provide us income that allow us to keep doing this. And then also really just… what do we really want to make and hopefully somebody notices at some point.
CM: I love that clarity because sometimes it can get really discouraging looking at maybe how things used to be. And I’m always searching for a new way to do it a new way to approach it. And the more we can learn from one another, the more hope I feel for myself. And I think more people feel that sense of hope to keep making because it’s hard to make stuff.
MH: There’s so many people making stuff too.
BZ: One thing too, that I think Maggie mentioned it earlier, is one of the things we say is, there’s no hands on the clock when it comes to making our plans. And we both have a really big desire to have impact. We want thousands and millions of people to see our stuff because we want them to be impacted with good stories and messages and all that stuff. And it can feel really intimidating because we’re like, “We just want to get this out there.” But it takes time and reminding ourselves that there truly are no hands on the clock. Our culture somehow says you have to arrive by 25 years old, which is just preposterous. So when we hear stories like the filmmakers who worked for years and years maybe. I’ve just read something about the creator of Queens Gambit and how they… it was 20 or 30 years that they pitched this film and they reworked it several times and now it’s one of the top series on Netflix in this last year. And those kind of stories are really encouraging to us because it reminds us to take a breath, that we just have to be diligent with what we have. Keep pumping stuff out, keep doing it. And to know that there’s another phrase: it takes 20 years to become an overnight success. Things really take time and just being at peace with what we have now is easier said than done, but I think remembering that nothing is wasted and it’s all playing into whenever we do have something that maybe gets more notoriety, we’ll hopefully be able to handle that with humility and just wisdom because we’ve put in the time and really had respect and love for our little baby projects. So just remembering that: there’s no hands on the clock, we’ve all got time, everything will be okay. Those little things, as cliche as they could sound, really do help us keep things in perspective and, and play the long game.
CM: I love that so much because it speaks to not only the need for that positive internal self-talk, but also phrases like that are almost like the external manifestation of positive self-talk.
MH: Yeah. Exactly.
CM: That’s definitely something I need to do here today. Thank you.
BZ: Yeah. We do it to ourselves every day.
MH: Yeah. What Brittany just said, I have her tell me every morning.
BZ: I mean, we… what’s the phrase… we basically ping-pong back and forth when it comes to encouragement for each other. So there are days where one of us is super inspired and confident about what we’re doing and the other is just down and “I want to give up on everything” and Maggie is like, “No, here’s all these things.” So again, it’s, whether it’s a business partner or a friend or family or podcasts like yours, just having these verbal reminders from a community in some way is so important because that’s another key I think to creating anything is: it takes a village.
CM: What I like, it’s not only how do you remind yourself of the positive messages that you need to hear, but how do you channel all of the emotions that you feel on a daily basis into your art? So how do you channel your anger, how do you channel your sadness, how do you channel your joy and happiness into the art that you’re making?
MH: That’s a great question.
BZ: It’s a great question.
CM: I don’t have an answer to it myself. I’m hoping you do.
MH: I think for me, it’s a couple of things. It kind of depends on what we’re doing, but I think realizing that art can be a channel for those things allows me to be really honest when I’m writing things. I’m writing a script now where the character is very much like me and sort of very frustrated by the things that I am also frustrated by in the world. And being able to incorporate that and say those things, for me, it’s really cathartic that I can put that into some sort of art as opposed to just posting it on Instagram or something like that.
MH: And that was something that came up a lot. It was very comforting to me this past few months with the election and everything going on in our country. We had done a podcast about the Women’s Suffrage movement for the 100 year centennial. And that ended up bringing up a lot of themes about what it means to be in a democracy and what voting is and the rights of people to vote and that sort of thing. And it was such a comfort to me to have, to be putting out something, almost, I was passionate about it, but it was insane to me how relevant it became as we were releasing it to have something that was addressing those issues. Again, instead of just sort of posting it on social media or something like that. So, yeah, I take comfort in being able to put content out there that speaks to the things that I care about.
CM: And I think what’s so powerful about the model that you’re choosing to use and I’m totally biased here because it’s the model that I’m trying to do as well, that when you’re not getting traction in one area, say short films, you can move to feature films or you can move to podcasts. You can move around and channel that energy in different ways. And I think that’s going to be more and more the model of the future as opposed to one track. You’re going to see multiple tracks of content being produced by people.
BZ: I think that was one of the things that amazed me when Maggie just said, “Let’s just create a company that does that.” I didn’t know that was possible.
CM: That’s awesome.
MH: Neither did I.
BZ: It’s a struggle. I always had what I felt like were different interests. And I think a lot of people might be in that same boat of maybe they want to do a podcast or they care about this issue or they like this art form. So it is really empowering to see that come out more and more, to see like-minded people want to kind of diversify their talent and also just find a home for all their different passions. That’s definitely been, I think, both of our experiences with the Farsighted and it’s really neat crossing paths with other people who are just so talented and have so much to offer and don’t have to be limited to one specific thing. And sometimes that does happen for people and that’s just as wonderful, but just not as common, but it’s becoming more common to see what they call, kind of, the slash career or the multi-hyphenated career. So it’s really neat.
MH: Well, I think it’s important, too, to really pay attention to what’s happening in the industry or all of those industries. And we want to be independent and do our own thing, but we also don’t want to just be completely deaf to trends or what, kind of, what people want to see. I had an idea for a book that I’m actually going to turn into a narrative podcast because podcasting is such a big thing right now, especially, I know a lot of filmmakers who are pivoting to podcasts considering nobody can film anything right now.
MH: So it’s great to be able to kind of move around and figure out what’s best for the content that you want to make.
CM: Well, and too, I think the first show that I remember watching recently was McMillions, the documentary about the monopoly fraud at McDonald’s back in the day. And that was like the first show that I remember clearly: “learn more, go behind the scenes in the podcast by the creators of the series”. So there was a lot of, I guess, synergy is the only word that comes up in my mind, how you can create symbiotic content that fuels that desire to learn more about something.
BZ: Yeah. That’s a good way to put that, it’s symbiotic.
CM: Yeah. Symbiosis sounds much better than synergy.
BZ: Sure. Yeah.
CM: Let’s drop business jargon. Let’s go for it.
MH: Yeah, there we go.
BZ: Yeah. Why not.
CM: So if you were to… I don’t know if “encourage” someone’s the right word because I feel you’ve been doing that the whole episode, but what advice would you give to someone who wants to tell their own good stories, but maybe are scared or not sure where to start?
BZ: Well, first comes to mind is really just to start doing it. It sounds really simple, but to just start doing it and even start putting yourself and your content out there with a peace and willingness for it to not be perfect. It’s really difficult to do that, but when you know that everybody’s in the same boat, everyone is just trying, everyone is creating, no one has arrived and also remembering that everyone has imposter syndrome. Everyone thinks that they’re not qualified or good enough. And there’s a real comfort that I find in that–that even the most accomplished creatives and people in the industry still have a hard time with their own work. We’re just, it reminds us of our humanity I think. So when you know we’re all in this together and we’re all just trying, I think that really helps. And then even just hearing that the world really does need what you specifically have to bring because I think it was C.S Lewis or someone who said that, if you… the story could have already been told, I’m very much paraphrasing, but he could have already told the story. So many people are telling the same kind of “story” but if you do it in your own way, it will inevitably be unique and creative because of who you are, which we see all the time. So just remembering, I think your unique voice and what you have to bring, it really is going to be different. And just getting over that hump of taking the first step. Yeah, nothing’s wasted and it’ll all lead you to whatever you end up doing next.
MH: I would completely agree with all of that. I think the only other thing that would be helpful in that, is that you’re not alone in the process and finding like-minded people, whether it’s people from a class you’re taking or, there’s tons of, especially these days, we just did an online networking event with female filmmakers last night and it was so cool. It’s really life-giving to meet people who share the same passions that you do. And whether you are fully collaborating with them or just bouncing ideas off of them or if they’re just someone who’s like, “I love that! Keep going.” I don’t think that creating is something that you can do completely alone. And I love finding people who can encourage you and support you and give you notes and help you learn humility and also support you as you create your own stuff. It’s super important.
CM: That’s awesome. Where can people go to learn more about Farsighted Creative and see the awesome work that you do?
MH: Our website is farsightedcreative.com. So that has a lot of information about us, our philosophy. We have two podcasts. We have our Farsighted Creative Podcast that is the two of us talking about our projects, our philosophy, and that sort of thing. That’s the Farsighted Creative Podcast. And then our podcast about the Women’s Suffrage Movement is called Waiting for Liberty. And both of those you can find on iTunes and Spotify. We’re also on YouTube and our Instagram is farsighted.creative so any one of the, we’re around, you can find us.