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Episode 112

The First Real Working Mom On Film & L.A.'s Unhoused In Crisis

Episode  112
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Our guest is Joyce Chopra who broke bold ground as a female filmmaker in the 1970s with her award winning documentary short, Joyce at 34, profiling her own struggle as a working woman, to have and raise a child. The film’s existence thus proving that she could do both.

Her Sundance winning feature, (One of the first directed by a woman) Smooth Talk (1985) starring Treat Williams and Laura Dern opened doors to male dominated spaces that she treacherously navigated, paving paths for others to follow.

Joyce’s new book, Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond, tells her captivating stories.

Also joining us is Jan Perry a Los Angeles civic leader now serving as Executive Director of Shelter Partnership which helps provide essential needs to the unhoused. Jan shares that we can all work together to help address the homeless crisis in our cities.

More Path Links

Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond by Joyce Chopra

Lady Director at City Lights Books

Joyce Chopra on IMDB

Joyce at 34

Smooth Talk

Smooth Talk on IMDB

ByKids - Real World Films For Kids, By Kids

An American Girl on the Home Front

Joyce Chopra Films on Criterion

Shelter Partnership

Shelter Partnership on Facebook

Shelter Partnership on Twitter

Jan Perry


A Jazzman's Blues

Gift of Democracy

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Fritz Coleman (00:00:05):

Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman

Louise Palanker (00:00:07):

And I'm Louise

Fritz Coleman (00:00:08):

Poer. In the torrent of new content that explodes out of all media platforms, every week we try to cherry pick some that are worth your attention, and we also have amazing guests as well. This week we have two ladies who have made enormous contributions to the planet, one as a public servant and successful political leader in Los Angeles, Jan Perry. She's now the Executive Director of Shelter Partnership, which is deep in the fight against homelessness in Los Angeles. And we also have a lady who has been a pioneer in Women on film, Joyce Chopra. She's a producer and a director of both documentaries and features. She earned great notoriety at a time when men dominated the field even more than they try to Now. She's written a wonderful new memoir about banging her head against the glass ceiling called Lady Director Joyce will be with us in a moment, as will Jan, but first Weezy, what do you have?

Louise Palanker (00:01:00):

Oh, Fritz, I've been watching. Have you, have you watched tv? Have you <laugh>? You should try it. I've been watching on the tv. You're probably on your tablet or on your phone even. You could watch, uh, Netflix. And I saw this week a Jasmine's Blues, and I'm gonna tell you about it. A Jasmine's blues is especially close to the heart of Tyler Perry because it's his first screenplay, the first screenplay he ever wrote 26 years ago at long last. His partnership with Netflix has brought it to life. In 1987, an unsolved murder compels an elderly black woman to grab her cane and hike into town where she deposits a purse full of letters onto the desk of a bigoted southern lawmaker. As he reads, we travel back in time to the Deep South in 1937, where a boy called Bio falls in love with a girl called Bucket Tyler Perry's Taylor, forbidden love and family, intrigue and spools, 40 years of secrets and lies against a soundtrack of Duke Joint Blues. And it pulls back the cover on a Hidden World in which certain light-skinned blacks might endeavor to escape the agony of racism, bypass passing as white, a dangerous practice fraught with its own brand of terror and heartbreak. Jazz's blues stars, sole Pfeiffer, Joshua Boone and Amira Van. It's loaded with glorious Duke joint scenes and sounds, and the story just grabs you by the soul. And stirs vigorously a jazz man's blues is on Netflix.

Fritz Coleman (00:02:23):

I can't wait to see it. My friends have recommended it. I just haven't gotten around to it. It's just so compelling. It's right up my alley. My selection this time is the movie Amsterdam. Now, reviews of this film have been mixed, but I thought at the very least it would be like a masterclass in acting. You've got Christian Bale, you've got Robert De Niro, you also have John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Mike Myers, Michael Sheen, Chris Rock, even Taylor Swift, who does a really reasonable job. <laugh>. Thank

Louise Palanker (00:02:49):

You. It's so reasonable. No,

Fritz Coleman (00:02:52):

You like, well, not no, but, but you know, you, you, you lower your expectations for rock stars who are putting the costume gun <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (00:02:58):

That's your best compliment of Taylor's. So there

Fritz Coleman (00:03:00):

You go. Okay. This is supposed to be a 1930 screwball comedy as the movie notes in the first frames. It's based on a true story, but a story that few people are aware of. Three people meet in Europe during World War I. They are Burt a downer, and his elect doctor played by Christian Bale, Valerie, who is Margo. Robbie is a nurse. And John David Washington, who plays a lawyer. They all land in Amsterdam, where they spend time recovering from the war and forging a close friendship. In 1933, they all settled back in the US and that's where the high Jinx begins. They all get roped into intrigue when Liz, the Taylor Swift character, mysteriously convinces Bert again, a down in his luck doctor to do an autopsy on her dead father. Now it's built as a comedy. There's slapstick, there's mildly funny humor, gorgeous cinematography, but the movie doesn't really start to make sense until Robert De Niro shows up in the last third. He plays a retired general, and this is where the movie begins to shed light on a little known event in American history about the rise of fascism in the 1930s. All of it is done to reflect on the current threat to democracy as we approach the midterm elections. The point it makes is interesting, but you might get impatient waiting for the point to show up, but I liked it. Amsterdam was good.

Louise Palanker (00:04:21):

Wow. Well, you've got me intrigued.

Fritz Coleman (00:04:23):


Louise Palanker (00:04:23):

Right. As as to the point.

Fritz Coleman (00:04:25):

So happy to introduce my friend here. Jan Perry, uh, served as LA City Council person in the Ninth District for years. That area used to be known as what's called a food desert, and Jan was one that helped to enact restrictions on fast food restaurants to make people who lived in that area, uh, have the ability to buy healthier diets. She also served as general manager of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development. She's currently the Executive Director of Shelter Partnership. This is a nonprofit organization that is deep in the fight against homelessness in Los Angeles. Since its creation in the eighties, shelter partnership has distributed nearly 300 million worth of goods to 250 homeless shelters in Los Angeles. I also serve on the Board of Shelter Partnership. Very proud of that. We are the largest warehouse facility in the United States serving homeless needs. Jan, nice to have you here.

Jan Perry (00:05:19):

Good to be here. It's nice to see both. What

Fritz Coleman (00:05:22):

Brother dog are we hearing in the back? Cuz I thought you were disagreeing with something I was reading about

Jan Perry (00:05:25):

<laugh>. You know what? He he hates it when I get on Zooms. Oh,

Fritz Coleman (00:05:30):

I understand that. Yep.

Jan Perry (00:05:31):

Yeah. All right. Uh, we'll do the best we can. Oh,

Fritz Coleman (00:05:34):

Oh, no. It's, it's, we're, we're just glad to have the chance to talk. We wanna meet

Louise Palanker (00:05:37):

Doggy if he wants to be

Fritz Coleman (00:05:38):

On your lap. Okay. Yep. He can.

Jan Perry (00:05:40):

Next time. Next

Louise Palanker (00:05:41):


Fritz Coleman (00:05:42):

So, Jen Homelessness is, uh, yes. Turning out to be maybe the biggest issue in the la mayoral race, whoever gets elected, right? That will be the issue that will prove their worth. You agree?

Jan Perry (00:05:55):

Yes, absolutely. And it has to be the one who has the, the plan that makes the most sense and that the voters believe can be accomplished. And they have to speak to how to implement, how to fund, uh, what the thresholds are that they have to meet, and with what, within what timeframe. This can't be theoretical. Uh, we've run out of time. We are beyond the tipping point of the number of people who are living on the street in 10 and in encampments, and in some cases just right out there in the open. And, uh, you know, it's not good for the people who are on the STR streets either. It's puts their lives at risk. They're subjected to untold violence. Uh, it shortens their lifespan. And if they didn't have mental health issues before they got there, the longer they stay out in the street, the greater the likelihood that they will develop mental health issues.

Fritz Coleman (00:06:51):

That's an interesting point. And while, while we're talking about that, are, are, are, are there any little glimmers of hope that you see in the solution of this problem? Like, uh, the development of, uh, transitional housing or, uh, the transition of, uh, abandoned hotels. Is, is there anything you see out there that looks like it might work on a larger scale?

Jan Perry (00:07:12):

Well, there's no one solution that will work, and there is so much to be done that any effort will move the needle even slightly in the other direction. Um, you know, people have their favorite approaches. Uh, some you may be reminded of the encampment that was in front of the Veterans Administration over there on San Vicente, and then they moved everyone inside the fence. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, and they had the support services, uh, inside there with a grouping of what, what are called tiny homes. Uh, while they had a bit of a blip on the screen, uh, with an accidental fire, it was a good structure to immediately get people off of the street, inside the fence in there for services. There were hygiene facilities, laundry facilities, and then to recreate a community that was safer and more stable so that you can begin to, uh, if you will minister to people or administer services, uh, to folks and to be able to pull them back in the other direction. That's just one example.

Louise Palanker (00:08:16):

Well, folks tend to look at homelessness as something that should be easily solved by the correct party if the correct party were in, you know, like the, the problem at the border, like, these problems should be easily solved. And they're, they are complex problems that are some sometimes could be seen as a symptom of a, of a greater societal problem. Every homeless person has a different story mm-hmm. <affirmative> and has different needs and a different reason why that they are currently without, without a home. Can you help people better understand the complexity and the compassion that's necessary for us to, to even approach solving this?

Jan Perry (00:08:55):

Well start with this compassion. Would you leave your own family member to live out there on the street? I wouldn't. So you have to start from that perspective that everything you do, the resources you direct, should be intended to get people off the street and into help and into recovery. And it starts there. Um, and a lot of folks are out there for a number of reasons. You'll rarely find someone who's out there because they just lost their job. It could be they lost their job and they've got other things going on. Uh, you can call that a, uh, dual diagnosis or a multifaceted diagnosis. Uh, some people are vets who, you know, are trying to recover from P T S D and haven't gotten into a, a very structured situation yet. Uh, people who are victims of sexual violence or violence in general, um, you know, women who've, uh, been beaten, people who have addiction issues, and of course people who have mental health issues and have just, you know, fallen through the cracks of our society and our provider network, or our, our continuum of care, if you will. And so they need help. They need structure. And while, while we deliberate, they continue to suffer and the community suffers as a whole.

Louise Palanker (00:10:13):

You've probably been asked this question before, and it may sound mm-hmm. <affirmative> completely naive to even ask it, but w when we see somebody who's on the street and asking for money, should we give that person money? Or should we hope that they would be better served through one of the programs that's providing help?

Jan Perry (00:10:34):

Um, I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be very blunt with you because Yeah. I have been asked that question a lot. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, giving somebody who's on the street money actually doesn't do that much good for them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But it might make you feel better. It, it makes you feel better. It's like when the people drive to Skid Row and they open their trunk and they give people sandwiches and then they go away. Did they advance their cause? I don't think so. I used to tell folks, if you really wanna help folks go rent space in the James Wood Center, which is right in the middle of Skid Row, make a hot meal, and then bring some social service providers in there and start providing services to people who've come directly from the street so that they can get help. Don't just drive in and drive out. That doesn't do anything.


Same thing goes with the money. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you give somebody some money. So you gave a homeless person some money today, and then what? There's no what after that? People need services. They need structure, they need somebody they can follow up with. Um, if you have a favorite provider, uh, you might ask them for their business cards and keep them in your car. And instead of, you know, giving people money, give them a card and say, call this number for help. And there are a fair number of people who live on the street who have burner phones. Okay? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So there is that ability to find a way to communicate, to call for help.

Fritz Coleman (00:11:56):

Well, well, this issue is part of your consciousness every single day of your life, cuz you're executive director mm-hmm. <affirmative> of Shelter partnership, discuss the business model. I'll tell you what drew me to Shelter partnership. You know, I've been hosting their events for 20 years or so, was the, was the brilliance of the simplicity of this organization with very few staff people. They do this huge amount of work and, uh, it describe how that works, Jen.

Jan Perry (00:12:25):

So, um, as, uh, as you know, you've been out to the warehouse, so the warehouses out in Bell, California, it's 105,000 square feet. And we do have a small staff, but they're very focused and very, very experienced. Uh, we receive new goods unused not for sale from, uh, the private sector, from corporations, from family owned businesses. And, uh, we distribute them throughout our network of about 300 social service providers in and around the, the county of Los Angeles. I was just on a call yesterday, um, with some of the staff and a group was expressing an interest from the Inland Inland Empire. Uh, so we have a little, little relationships building in Ventura, something in Orange County. So the words beginning to spread and we're sort of the, the ground zero for providing these new goods, not used goods, but new goods that are not for resale to support organizations who actually have clients who are unhoused.

Fritz Coleman (00:13:32):

Yeah. So you have a company like Gillette or Proctor and Gamble that have changed their packaging or their logo. And really most of the time the, the product inside the packaging is exactly the same as it was before, but they clear them off their shelves, and so they decide they'd like to donate 200,000 razors to shelter partnership. And then we sort of supply them to the homeless shelters. It's wonderful. Or mattresses or just daily living things, uh, bedding clothing at Christmastime toys. Uh, and it's, it's a, it's a constant flow of stuff. And, and we, we, we look for partnerships from two places from corporate. If you have a company that has a product that sort of meets the description that we're talking about, we'd love to hear from you. Or if you're an individual that understands the need and feels helpless in your work on homelessness, let us know. Shelter

Jan Perry (00:14:28):

Anyway. That's great. No, you, you, you captured it, uh, very, very well. And I kind of look at it as we're part of that human infrastructure delivery, uh, system with the connectivity to all of these organizations. And, uh, we're the hub and you're seeing that, uh, graphic right now.

Louise Palanker (00:14:47):

Now, do you have, uh, you can, you can choose to pass on this question, Jan, but do you ha do you have a mayoral candidate that you think is better suited to address this, this problem?

Jan Perry (00:14:59):

<laugh>, you're <laugh> you're funny.

Fritz Coleman (00:15:02):


Jan Perry (00:15:03):

Hard pass.

Louise Palanker (00:15:04):

Hard pass. Okay.

Jan Perry (00:15:06):

<laugh> not get, uh, hello. I work for a nonprofit,

Louise Palanker (00:15:09):

<laugh>. Got it. Got it. Okay. So I can say vote for We

Jan Perry (00:15:13):

Love everybody.

Louise Palanker (00:15:13):

Vote for Carry Bass

Jan Perry (00:15:15):

<laugh>. Well, it's your podcast. It's

Louise Palanker (00:15:17):

My podcast.

Jan Perry (00:15:18):

You can do whatever you want, but we love everyone. <laugh>

Fritz Coleman (00:15:23):

Homelessness in the United States has increased like 30% in since 2015 or something. So, uh, uh, how, how about Elliot County? Has the increase been as severe around here?

Jan Perry (00:15:34):

Uh, yeah. <laugh>, yeah. In case you haven't noticed. No, I have, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, you have. So I, I've got a few stats here. So we have roughly 70,000 homeless residents over the last five years. The number of folks in LA County, uh, has increased by about 20,000 people. It was 50,000 in 2017. It's, uh, 70,000 in 2022. And as you know, we are constantly the national news because of this disaster. And, uh, just a little side note, some of the fastest growing demographics in the community are people who are l gt l GT q plus people, ages 18 through 24, and older adults over the age of 65. So we've got issues on both ends of the age spectrum mm-hmm. <affirmative> young people and older people who are quite likely on fixed incomes and are being squeezed hard in this market.

Louise Palanker (00:16:46):

So we've got the boomers coming up mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's a large, large group of people who are, who are, uh, getting into the 65 plus group. And then we've got kids who may be kept whatever their wiring is, they kept it under wraps so that they could live out their childhood at home. But now they have the internet and ways to express themselves and recognize who the, who, their actual truth. Right. Who, who they actually truly are. And once they express that and sort of a certain type of a household that's considered like not a non-starter and you're gonna have to leave. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I, that's what I heard when you said those two demographics.

Jan Perry (00:17:22):

Yeah. Yes. And that's exactly why I brought it up, because it's, it's growing rapidly and, you know, there are some good providers, uh, you know, and I, I, I can't name all of 'em. So, uh, you know, I don't wanna forget one. Right. But, uh, that are, are targeted to people who are LGBTQ plus, um, you know, uh, in an area where younger people tend to congregate, um, just on the edge of Hollywood or into Hollywood. Um, and then for, for older adults, we have to just keep building housing that is affordable for people on a fixed income, and we have to move faster. We're not moving fast enough. Mm-hmm.

Fritz Coleman (00:18:01):

<affirmative>. Right. I, I just wanna mention before we run out of time that, um, the, there's never been a greater need for our, the services that Shelter partnership provides it right now. Right. And like other nonprofits, uh, COVID tagged us, you know, because the irony is that, uh, there was never a greater demand on the services we provide. Uh, and then there was never a greater strain on the surfaces we provide because of, uh, homelessness in the Covid environment. So, uh, I think it's just straight up, um, important for me to appeal to you. If any of this resonates with you, uh, go to shelter You can make a donation of any size. We have lots of opportunities. We have social events coming up. We had a bingo thing, we got all kinds of stuff going on. Check it out. You might wanna be a part of that. But I, I think if you, like a lot of the population in Southern California feel helpless about this, and every day you drive on an underpass, it seems to increase in its population. Um, this will make you feel empowered to help shelter partnership. Cause it is a direct line from your philanthropy to the homeless situation. We, we hope you'll give us a view.

Jan Perry (00:19:11):

That's right. That's right. Thank you first for saying that. Um, you know, we are, uh, we get a lot of philanthropic, uh, funding and we solicit private, uh, donors and just regular, regular folks. Everybody helps. And you know, when we, when you help us, we're able to help, um, thousands of people just stabilize their lives and get on a road to recovery. You'd be surprised what just getting a dental hygiene kit can do for someone's quality of life or their health, uh, their confidence and their self-esteem. Or to have a clean set of clothing so that you can go to a job interview and really get back on your feet. So everything is geared towards helping those who are already helping a client base and putting people on a road to recovery.

Fritz Coleman (00:20:03):

Well, you're doing a great job, lady. You've only been in that job for a year, but you're experience in navigating the political environment in LA's been so helpful in helping us be successful. So yeah, thank you for what you do, miss Jan. You're

Jan Perry (00:20:16):


Fritz Coleman (00:20:17):

And, uh, go to shelter for information. If you're a company that there's no minimum of that company can donate. Right? You, you have to give thousands of mattresses or something. You can just give a little amount if it, it has to be non-perishable though.

Jan Perry (00:20:30):

Yeah. Yes. And of course, uh, donations of money are always welcome. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there's no limit to that either

Fritz Coleman (00:20:37):

<laugh>. Okay.

Jan Perry (00:20:39):


Fritz Coleman (00:20:39):

Right. We'll talk to you. Talk to you guys later. Okay. Bye-Bye. Bye. Nice to meet You

Louise Palanker (00:20:42):

Bye-bye. Bye.

Fritz Coleman (00:20:43):

Our next guest has produced and directed a wide range of award-winning work. Films that have been seen in theaters and television and festivals all over the world. She's had amazing accomplishments like Joyce at 34 that we're gonna talk about. This is a documentary she started during her eighth month of pregnancy as a massive example of self abuse. It's about the conflicting demand of juggling a new baby, a career, and a marriage. The film was so groundbreaking that it's part of the Permanent collection at the New York Museum of Modern Art. She did Girls at 12, an interesting documentary on P b s and a fiction film that won a grand jury prize at Sundance, starring Laura Dern and Treat Williams called Smooth Talk. And The Lemon Sisters were two of my favorite humans. Diane Keaton and Carol Kane. And she has a new book out that we're gonna talk about that will drop the first week of November. You can pre-order it right now. It's called Lady Director Adventures in Hollywood Television and Beyond. Joyce Carroll Oats says, Joyce Chopra has written a devastatingly Frank, an unsparing memoir of her life as a film director, a woman director in a field notoriously dominated by men. The reader is astonished on her behalf at times infuriated, moved to laughter, then to tears. Lady Director is one of its kind, highly recommended. Joyce Choppa. Welcome. We're so happy to talk to you.

Joyce Chopra (00:22:11):

Oh, thank you. I loved hearing all of that phrase.

Fritz Coleman (00:22:14):

Does any of that ring ring familiar to you? Anything in your introduction?

Joyce Chopra (00:22:19):

<laugh>? I'm gonna tune in every day to have you read.

Fritz Coleman (00:22:22):

Fantastic. Look, listen, you were born in Coney Island, New York.

Joyce Chopra (00:22:26):

That's right.

Fritz Coleman (00:22:27):

Talk about your love of films, uh, germinating in Saturday matinee's when you were a child.

Joyce Chopra (00:22:33):

Oh, that's how I spent every weekend. My older brother would take me to the movies while my mama would cleaned the house. We, we were kicked out of the apartment <laugh>. And, uh, I could talk a lot about my mother. In fact, when you think about what she, she was a school teacher, third grade, and this was in the, uh, oh my God. In the forties. And she would get up and probably at six in the morning, make our lunch, get on the subway, go to work, come home, go shopping, cook, clean, prepare her next face. Listen, I can't imagine how she did it.

Louise Palanker (00:23:10):

When you, when you talk in your book about that scene in, in Joyce at 34, where your mom is having her, her fellow teachers over. Oh yes. You asked the question, you know, how did you juggle parenting and having, having a career? And I think the reason the scene stands out is, a, you asked the right question, but B, these are all teachers so they know how to present themselves. And, and, and when they spoke, it was beautifully. And they were saying things that I don't think had been said out loud before in public about experiences that, that all women have, if they attempt to be a mom and have a career.

Joyce Chopra (00:23:50):

I distinctly remember the question, you know, they got together probably every other month. They were all retired, as you said, and they would show pictures of their grandchildren and just gossip. That's what it was about. And I, these are women who'd had lunch, what, 30 years every day in this, in the lunchroom for teachers. And I asked, did you ever feel conflicted about working and being a parent? They had never, ever once talked about it. That was so, so they exploded in that conversation you're talking about. Right. Just exploded.

Louise Palanker (00:24:22):

Right. And they're each so, so good at expressing themselves because they spent their career in front of people speaking to

Joyce Chopra (00:24:29):

I never thought of that. Yes, that's

Louise Palanker (00:24:31):

Right. Yeah. But, you know, some of the points that they made about how if I'm, if I stay home, I'm depressed and that's not good for my kid. If I go to work, he misses that me. And that's not good for my kid. I, and she can, she's putting her hands down on the table. She said, I can't win.

Joyce Chopra (00:24:43):

She said, whatever we do is wrong, <laugh>. Right,

Louise Palanker (00:24:47):

Right, right, right. And so, and I don't, and, and Dina, our producer, was talking to me about that scene before the show today, and she said, nothing's changed. The whole point is that your childbearing years are right in the hub of you when you would be launching yourself Yeah. Into your career. That, that, so biology dictates that these two things are gonna struggle with one another.

Joyce Chopra (00:25:11):

No, you're right. Um, occasionally I'll be at a screening and afterwards young will say, do you have any advice for us? <laugh>? I didn't know <laugh>. No. Have a, have a husband who will share in the work.

Louise Palanker (00:25:24):


Joyce Chopra (00:25:25):

And luckily I did. I mean, it took a little bit of arguments, <laugh>, but, but even then, I did most of the work. It always would wind up that way. I was the one who would think about, what are we gonna have for dinner tonight? What are we gonna have dinner? That wouldn't occur to him, but he would be happy to clean up or cook something. But I was,

Louise Palanker (00:25:45):

You were the point person on the home front. He

Joyce Chopra (00:25:47):

Just, it didn't enter his mind.

Louise Palanker (00:25:50):

It did, it didn't. <laugh>. And every, every person is different. Every couple is different. And you know, and every marriage is different. But at least I, it felt like he was open to hearing you.

Joyce Chopra (00:25:59):

Yes, he was. He was indeed.

Louise Palanker (00:26:02):

And he was super, he was super handsome.

Fritz Coleman (00:26:04):

<laugh>. Well,

Joyce Chopra (00:26:06):

Yeah. I have to, I'm sorry. I have to point out, I was extremely lucky. He was a, he was a writer. He, he died a while ago, but that meant he was home so that I, he could be there. Mm-hmm. You know, even though he had a APL study that was his own, and, and he had a, he had to write. But that was, that was really extremely lucky to have

Louise Palanker (00:26:27):

That. And also a gift for your daughter to know that he was die.

Joyce Chopra (00:26:31):

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. She had her daddy. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:26:33):

Well, before we discuss your very interesting film career, let's talk about your very interesting life before your interesting film career. You graduated from Brandis University and started Club 47. This is two blocks from Harvard Square. It was a music, coffee house where people like Joan Baez and Bob Dylan played at the start of their careers. You have to have some interesting stories or encounters during that period of time.

Joyce Chopra (00:27:00):

Well, I had wanted to be an actress. I went to the A school in New York called The Neighborhood Playhouse. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I was living at home with my family. And I just, I loved them, but I wasn't used to being at home. I'd been away for four years. So I began to get anxiety attacks, taking the subway into Manhattan. And I didn't know what they were, because nobody ever talked about that. But, you know, the, this New York subway train would suddenly stop in the middle of a tunnel and you could sit there for a half hour and no way to get out of the train. So anyway, I lasted about a half year. I went back up to, um, Cambridge, mass. Brandeis is about a half hour out away from Cambridge. Anyway, I, I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't wanna be a secretary, which was about the only thing I could kind of, if I learned dictation, maybe I could get a job as a secretary.


Anyway, I brought into a classmate, we said, let's start our own business. And it was wasn't gonna have music. It was just going to be, um, a coffee, um, place where you could come and hang out. And we'd have newspapers, whatever. And then a friend just came, do you want us to play? A musician said, do you want us to play opening night? We said, oh, that would be great. So we started out as a jazz club. We were a jazz club for about a year. And it was only, I tell it in the book, uh, um, very pleasant person came by and said, uh, the, the daughter of a friend of mine is a freshman in BU who's a folk singer now. No, we don't do folk music. We're a jazz club. <laugh>. And, uh, he said, well, would you at least, oh, just listen to her on that night.


You're close Monday night. So, okay. And so this young, how old was Joan? Probably about 18. This young girl came in with her long black hair and she went up on our little stage. And her voice in that space, you know, is just extraordinary. So we hired her to do Wednesday and Thursday, our slow nights for $10 a night. And that's how we came to hire. She sang there for about two years. And one by one, all these folk musicians started showing up and it just built out of that. Wow. So, yeah. Yeah. And it was, was a complete chance.

Louise Palanker (00:29:24):

Well, I bet it was the time. And that, you know, sometimes circumstances meet the time and meet the location and boom, off, off you go. So I wanted to talk a little bit about documentary filmmaking, because when you c when you come into it, it's kind of default for you cuz it's not what you wanted to do. But it was right at the time where, as you describe in your book, people could put a camera on their shoulder and follow someone around. So you come in halfway through the making of a film called Primary. Can you talk about that?

Joyce Chopra (00:29:58):

This is, I have to place it for your people listening. This was 1960 and I had been trying to get a job. I had no idea how to do it. Um, I didn't think to go to Los Angeles cuz I had never heard of a women director. I really didn't know of any. And there weren't any books about it. So I went to New York and very traditionally I slept on friend's couches. And I had a long list of names and I was just about ready to give up. And somebody said, well you should, I'm gonna send a, a recommendation letter here, go and visit my friends' over at blah blah address. And I said, I don't want, I didn't say to this person who was a good documentary film director. I said, I didn't want to do documentaries. I wanted to do fiction film, but it was the only opportunity I had. So I wandered into this place and the guy came out very harried and he was named Penny Baker. I don't know who the hell he was. And he wasn't known then, I mean, at all. He, he and another few other people had. Okay. So I give a whole background about handheld cameras cuz I can go on and on about that if you'd want.

Louise Palanker (00:31:07):

I just, I would, I I just thought it was fascinating that before that film, this had never been done. And I just think it

Fritz Coleman (00:31:14):

You Right. It was Cinema verte starting in the

Louise Palanker (00:31:16):

United States. Yeah, exactly.

Joyce Chopra (00:31:17):

Exactly. No, what, what Penny Bock and a guy named Bob Drew did. Until then, cameras were very heavy and they were on tripods and they did very traditional filming of public events, let's say. And Penny, baker and Leeka used transistors to make the cameras portable enough so you can put it on your shoulder and have a tape recorder that was separate from the camera. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> that meant you could follow people. Now, when I looked at that film, I didn't know what he, penny Baker says here, I'm busy, sit down and watch this film. We just finished called Primary about the Kennedy Humphrey primary fight in Wisconsin, 1960. I look at it and I, he comes in and I don't know what to say to him because I don't know why it's special. <laugh>, I took it for granted because in features you see cameras following people through rooms. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I was tongue tied, but he hired me anyway from $50 a week. And it was the beginning of a revolution in documentary. And what you see on tv all report or reportage, is using handheld cameras.

Fritz Coleman (00:32:25):

And Penny Baker shot the 1968 Monterey Pop Festival. Yes. Which was the explosion of Jimmy Hendrix. Yes. And, uh, and Janice Joplin. And that, that's an iconic piece of filmmaker.

Joyce Chopra (00:32:36):

Absolutely. He's done great films. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:32:39):

Yeah. But it got it got you started. It, it's how you learned how to edit. It's how you learned how to create story and a lot of great skills that you acquired through, through documentary filmmaking. Correct.

Joyce Chopra (00:32:50):

Well, yes. I was, I I immediately was taken with editing. There's something I just understood. You could, what's like word processing, really, it's the same thing. You can move your words around. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you move your images around, you get different results. It's great. It's wonderful When material is good, it's great fun.

Louise Palanker (00:33:09):


Fritz Coleman (00:33:09):

What, what lessons did you learn working in, in his apprenticeship?

Joyce Chopra (00:33:15):

I don't know that, what did I learn?

Fritz Coleman (00:33:20):

But I mean, did Hi, did his style affect your style later on when you were

Joyce Chopra (00:33:24):

Director? Yes. Well, of course, yes. Now that I think about it. Well, well, Joyce at 34 is a variation on what they were doing in that, where that came about. You're referring to the film about, it was a year in my life when my baby was about to be born. And it goes through the first year. But I, I think I may have been the first to do a, a documentary about a pro private person. I mean, when you look at all the films that Ock Penny Bake and Bob Drew did, they're all public events, political music events. Uh, and when I told Penny Baker, he said, oh, it was crazy. What are you talking about? <laugh>? <laugh>, you know, who, who would be interested in a woman having a baby? It was just unheard of. Uh, so it's the same style as handheld camera. Uh, he said mine was more controlled. I, I knew I, I knew what I wanted to film. Whereas something like primary, the first film we're talking about, you have no con you're not controlling what you're f you're just following those characters. But still, I can't be more specific than that, but it's, it's, uh, it was a little radical that you would do private people that you and I followed it with a few more films, uh, about these three 12 year old girls.

Louise Palanker (00:34:50):

Oh, I love that. That was beautiful. And, and the idea that that yeah. To a man that, not that we're all different. Okay. All humans are different and we're all across gender spectrums, et cetera. But like two a guy in the film industry, the only important thing would be to get up close with something grand, you know, to give people an up close look at something grand. And as a woman, you're saying No, there's beauty in, in the unique, in the personal, in the, in the intimate there, there's beauty here. And, and you're talking to 50% of the population that would be like, yeah, <laugh>, I wanna see that movie. I wanna see these girls. I was a 12 year old girl. <laugh>.

Joyce Chopra (00:35:30):

Yeah. I tell you, you know, I, there were no distributors for films about women. And I, I luckily, again, it's just a coincidence of things coming together. I found out about these other women who had just started a co-op called New Day Films. I don't know if you know about New Day and when did I make, I made this in 73. So in 73 there were other people who had made documentaries about women, not many, but a few. And they happened to meet up at a festival and they said, nobody wants our films, but we know there's an audience. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So they started their own distribution.

Louise Palanker (00:36:07):

Right. You talked about that in your book. Yes.

Joyce Chopra (00:36:09):

Okay. And I joined it. And what it meant is, uh, we, we collaborated on putting out, well this is a co-op that started out with maybe seven or eight of us. And it's now probably got 150 members. And it's not just about women anymore. It's, it's a whole range of subjects. But we each had to, uh, do our own publicity. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I had to carry film cans to a library. You know, if I wanted to mail them, I would, let's see if I, in this picture somewhere, here I am. Yeah. There, that's me. <laugh>. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:36:41):

<laugh>. Yeah. That's awesome.

Joyce Chopra (00:36:43):

Uh, yes. Julia Reiser, who's won two Academy Awards by

Louise Palanker (00:36:46):

Now. Thank you Thomas, for finding that. That's

Joyce Chopra (00:36:49):

Awesome. Yeah. And, uh, but it was thrilling just to know that some, some library wanted to purchase my film and I would pack it up and go to the post office and I loved it.

Louise Palanker (00:37:00):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, now I wanna Yeah, go ahead. Finish.

Joyce Chopra (00:37:03):

Nothing else. That's good. This new day.

Louise Palanker (00:37:05):

I just thought that, you know, we could travel back to the dawn of film, you know, cuz everything that I've read about it and documentaries that I've watched about it, and women are playing like, kind of key roles in the silent film era. They were mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, they were happy to have women direct at, at the dawn of silent films when the role seemed Yeah. Secretarial in nature and maybe an extension of writing the story scenarios. But once men saw the power and the money potential in film, you got it. Women were pushed to the side. Talk about that dynamic a little bit. Cuz I find it so fascinating.

Joyce Chopra (00:37:39):

Well, you know, I, I only know about it superficially in a sense. Uh, certainly when I started I didn't know there'd ever been a woman director. There weren't any books about it. And it was only, uh, in recent, I don't think people started writing about that until the 1990s. Even Louis, I, I've been researching it is, it was astonishing. Uh, how, uh, yes. Early, early directors, right through the thirties, twenties and thirties. Um, and they directed Catherine Hepburn and you name them all, they were all being directed by women. Not all, I mean, not all the time, but women

Louise Palanker (00:38:18):

Often enough

Joyce Chopra (00:38:19):

Were directing. And then you're right, somewhere in the forties, they're all changed.

Louise Palanker (00:38:26):

It's marginalized. Now

Fritz Coleman (00:38:27):

That we know that there's, there's, um, um, a a lack of, uh, female directors in the, uh, fictional narrative type movie. But how, how is the balance in documentary films? Is it less or more or

Joyce Chopra (00:38:43):

It, it's, it's probably more than equal. No, I'd say it's equal. Hmm. But to start with, there were very few, I also, in the book, I say, uh, there was used to be an important film festival for documentaries called the American Film Festival. And they would have categories and it was a big deal to win the blue ribbon in your category. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And the year I did Joyce 34 with Claudia, we as a photographer, uh, I won the blue ribbon. And there was an article, I think it was in varieties reporting that for the first time, half the awards blue ribbons went to women. Um, and then, then the person concludes. But this will never happen in features cuz these money involved and documentaries don't involve money. Usually don't. Wow. And so,

Louise Palanker (00:39:37):

Yeah, it continues.

Fritz Coleman (00:39:38):

But, but lately, do you find that streaming of thank goodness has provided more platforms to expose documentary films? Because I can go a whole week and just watch documentaries on Netflix

Joyce Chopra (00:39:49):


Fritz Coleman (00:39:49):

That's wonderful. Yeah, it really is.

Joyce Chopra (00:39:50):


Fritz Coleman (00:39:51):

It's great. I don't know if it's any more lucrative for the documentarian, but it's certainly is great exposure.

Louise Palanker (00:39:55):

No, it's not. They, they're usual. You don't make money. You, you don't make money. You spend money. And so you have to find funding. It doesn't make money. But yes, they certainly are a, a beautiful art form and they're certainly celebrated and there's space for them in streaming media, which, you know, in celebration of them. So people like with music, people will continue to make music and documentaries whether they make money or not, just because of the joy of creation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I wanted to talk a little bit about your, um, 1985 feature, smooth Talk, because you experienced great success in a claim winning at Sundance, and then you met with the wind turbine of the Hollywood Studio system. And you talk about it very artfully and graciously in your book, but you, but you also don't really hold back in terms of talking about the individuals that were responsible for marginalizing you or pushing you aside or mowing over. And it's heartbreaking for the reader <laugh>. So

Joyce Chopra (00:40:50):

It's heart was heartbreaking for me.

Louise Palanker (00:40:52):

<laugh>. Yeah. So give us a little thumbnail on what all went on. Oh,

Joyce Chopra (00:40:56):

Here's Lauren Tree. Hi.

Louise Palanker (00:40:58):

Yeah. <laugh>. What a cue.

Joyce Chopra (00:41:02):

Well, it was, it was a wonderful opportunity to make that film that, and that came about because of a TV program called American Playhouse. You guys remember that one? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, public television. Yeah. And that was for independent films. And they put up the most money they could, which was about a half a million dollars. You gotta find the rest. But it allowed me to make this film. And it was great because they, they didn't interfere at all. They were ideal producers. I mean, just supportive, doing everything Right.

Fritz Coleman (00:41:40):

Public television, you know, over and above the Ken Burns phenomenon. Yeah. But you have like p o v, you have Exactly. Independent lens. Yes. And, and, and Frontline to me is one of the greatest news documentaries ever. They, the PBS does some of the best documentary work ever. Yeah,

Joyce Chopra (00:41:57):

Yeah. No, it's just, it was, and I still had, uh, in the last, I'm gonna skip way ahead, but in the last 10 years or so, I've been doing, uh, documentaries that are on pbs

Louise Palanker (00:42:09):


Joyce Chopra (00:42:10):

Uh, that I've sort of come around, but it's, you know, I'm in my eighties and I'm glad I could still work. Maybe

Louise Palanker (00:42:19):

Is is that part of the GY Kids program where you have

Joyce Chopra (00:42:22):

That's right. By kids?

Louise Palanker (00:42:23):

Yes. Yeah, by kids. Okay. I didn't know how it was pronounced, but talk about, talk about that. I, it's fascinating and you've been all over the world doing this.

Joyce Chopra (00:42:30):

Uh, well, I've, who through friends, I met a woman who had started, uh, a nonprofit called Buy Kids. And initially she had Fort Foundation Money. Um, and the whole idea doesn't sound very original, but the way she was doing it worked out well is to get people like me to basically work for free to mentor young kids with cameras and help them make a documentary about what she would say globally relevant stories. But indeed, they were <laugh>. And the first one I did took me to India. She was school for Tribal Girls. And I'll test you the way I was. Do you know what tribal girls are? Or you've read my book? So, you

Louise Palanker (00:43:16):

Know, <laugh>, I only, only from the book, but I, I asked my husband and he, and he really is pretty articulate with world cultures, but he had not heard of it. So I think it's important. Isn't it amazing? Yeah. It's, it is amazing when you, you know, you describe them as the, the native people of India. Correct.

Fritz Coleman (00:43:30):

This is firing their hearts. Is that the movie you're talking about?

Joyce Chopra (00:43:33):

Fire, fire in our hearts Yeah. Is part of a song they sing. I think, I can't remember the situ. It wasn't even like a hundred million people living in India. Yeah. I mean, something is staggering. My friend who, uh, was running a nonprofit in India is the one who told me about it. She said, there's a school for tribal girls. And I said, you mean Delits? The said, no, no, Joyce, don't you know the tribals? I said, no, I don't. And I started reading about it. And these are the people who were the original inhabitants who were like, our Native American just pushed away.

Louise Palanker (00:44:08):

And what language did they speak?

Joyce Chopra (00:44:11):

Well, they're all over Indian. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I was, I got connected to this one organization that was in Mahara State, and they speak Mara, m a r a t i.

Louise Palanker (00:44:21):


Joyce Chopra (00:44:23):

Uh, and,

Louise Palanker (00:44:24):

And the girl, you found this remarkable girl, but circumstances in her life presented her with conflicts, age old conflicts. Correct.

Joyce Chopra (00:44:34):

She, this school had, when I was there, had about 200 girls starting the age of five through high school. Uh, who were from, they were the first in their families to be educated. And their stories were all remarkable. They all, most of them had already worked on the most lenient on junk piles, whatever, just to, to earn 5 cents a day. And the family was persuaded in each case to send their daughters to the school. And I asked, uh, I was emailing with a woman there who spoke English to help me select one girl that I could mentor. And this great young girl, uh, sh made this room. I hope you get to see it, because I'm, it's very touching.

Fritz Coleman (00:45:26):

That's what I wanted to ask you. Are these still, uh, accessible? That one in my beautiful Yes. You what, what she

Joyce Chopra (00:45:32):

Did all, if you go to, I don't know, go to buy kids b yk And if you can't figure out how to do it, I'll send you links to it, but Yes.

Louise Palanker (00:45:43):

Yeah, we'll put links in. We'll put the links in our show notes. I'm pretty sure I saw the one about the Nick Nicaragua, because everything that you writing, which, which one? The, the kid, the kids who, uh, who grow coffee?

Fritz Coleman (00:45:57):

My beautiful Nicaragua.

Joyce Chopra (00:45:59):

Oh, Nicaragua. My beautiful Nicaragua.

Louise Palanker (00:46:00):

Yeah. And that's on pbs, right? That one made it different

Joyce Chopra (00:46:03):

Place in three. I've done three, I've done a beautiful Nicaragua. Um, the last one I did is about a young girl Faith who has, uh, cerebral palsy, you know, that's it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that was shot not far from my home. Oh. So that was much, much easier to get to in Baltimore. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. Uh, but again, you, I just learned so much about the world and feel so grateful that I could still work and make, make movies.

Louise Palanker (00:46:30):

Oh, it's wonderful. Just wonderful. And you're giving the gift of this,

Joyce Chopra (00:46:35):

All these different stories, each

Louise Palanker (00:46:37):

One, these stories, but also the gift of filmmaking to each child that you hand a camera to now they have a voice. They, they know that they can capture their, their family. Exactly. Their story has meaning in, in the greater world. Uh, yeah. I wanted, I wanted to know if you might have some advice for men in any kind of field in terms of how they can participate in the inclusion of all, of all voices and all talents and all skills that may maybe have some microaggressions that we don't all recognize. All of us men, women, you know, everybody. But how can men help and, and lifting up women to where wherever they belong, wherever their talents might take them in whatever field?

Joyce Chopra (00:47:19):

Oh, gosh. That's a huge question,

Louise Palanker (00:47:21):

<laugh>. I know, I know. But I, I, I just think, what do you think? I think there's a,

Joyce Chopra (00:47:25):

I'm m gonna interview you.

Louise Palanker (00:47:26):

I think there's a lot of men who really do care and really do want to be a part of the solution, but they don't even recognize where they're, they might be, you know, feeling, getting their feelings clipped and reacting in such a way that shuts the woman down so that at the next meeting she doesn't say something because mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, her opinion hurt your feelings or, or whatever. I don't know. Maybe it's human nature. Maybe it's not just male female dynamics, but I think more of it is male female dynamics than we're, than we're thinking about on the daily. But you were, your career put you in these places constantly where you're thinking, you know, how do I say this to this man so that he doesn't take it out on me and lets me have my creative voice and those types of dynamics.

Fritz Coleman (00:48:15):

It's testosterone poisoning, <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (00:48:20):

Well, I

Joyce Chopra (00:48:20):

Mean, Chris, what do you think? You're, you're our male representative.

Fritz Coleman (00:48:23):

Oh, no, I'm, I'm a bad example of my, uh, gender.

Louise Palanker (00:48:27):

Well, there's one place in the book where you kind of talk about what maybe where you maybe put your foot wrong with Sidney Pollock. And not that you Oh, I didn't, not that you should. I didn't know. Yeah, go ahead, Louise. I

Joyce Chopra (00:48:39):

Knew nothing. Yeah. Yeah. I really, I, I had, I was, I lived in Connecticut in the country. I made documentaries my whole life. I had no, I I, I had no idea how to handle it. When I think back after I made so many other films and dealt with all sorts of producers, I would've handled it entirely differently. It what, as I write in the book, what set us off was he called me into his office. We were in pre-production for Smooth Talk. And he said to me, without any preamble, Joyce, you gotta fire your cameramen. And I was so taken aback, I didn't know how to respond. So I, I bristled. And if, if he said that to me now, I'd say, oh, sydnee, what seems to be the problem, tell me. I wouldn't say it in a condescending voice like that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I would've tried to engage to find out. And then I'd say, didn't you see the movie you've all admired? Supposedly? No, I would've, I I <laugh> it goes to your question, I guess the, the word is to listen what's bothering him. Mm.

Louise Palanker (00:49:49):

You know, what, you know, what matters to you?

Joyce Chopra (00:49:51):

What's going, what's going on here? You know, what, help me. What can we do together? Or

Louise Palanker (00:49:57):

Yeah. Help me understand. Yeah. But you know, it felt like maybe at the age you were, it felt like he was saying something that he wouldn't say to a male director, you get right to choose your camera, man, you're the director. No, you're right. You're right. Putting your feet down and saying, excuse me. Plus you've got this person who you've told has this job and now you're responsible for, for him. And it it just offense upon on somebody. Yeah.

Joyce Chopra (00:50:17):

And he went on to, in my camp, he went on to have a wonderful career. He's, he was excellent. He died, unfortunately.

Louise Palanker (00:50:23):

But yeah, you talk about your friendship. That was, that was a really beautiful story.

Joyce Chopra (00:50:27):

Yeah. No, I, I really, I had no idea how to handle him. Well,

Louise Palanker (00:50:33):


Joyce Chopra (00:50:33):


Louise Palanker (00:50:34):

Our producer has some thoughts. She's a 30 something female. <laugh>. I'm 40. Oh, she's 40. Yeah.

Joyce Chopra (00:50:40):

Oh, you, you qualified

Louise Palanker (00:50:41):


Dina (00:50:43):

Um, so I actually, I don't have anything to say, but I do wanna ask a question to Joyce. Um, I kinda wanna steer the conversation back a little bit to smooth talk. I just think it's one of the best movies ever made. And, and I'm saying that complete, you know, not to flatter anything. That's honestly my thoughts. And, um, you talk in the book a little bit about like, the inspiration from Joyce Carlo's book and that line when, um, Mary Kay place character says, you know, I look in your eyes and all I see is trashy dreams that just so I love that line, it'll stay with me for the rest of my life. It captures sort of that powerful dynamic between mother and daughter in this incredible way. Yeah. And, um, I just, um, I mean, this isn't necessarily just about smooth talk, but if you, if you wouldn't mind just talking a little bit to, you allude in the book, um, the challenges of taking something that is written as a, as a short story or a novel Yeah. Something that's written and turning that into a visual, you know, putting it into a visual medium. Well,

Joyce Chopra (00:51:51):

I'm not the first to say this, but, uh, I've learned through experience working with either a short novel or a short story is easier to adapt than cuz I tried with Tom to, uh, adapt a very big novel theater, DRS Cystic Carey, which is god knows 800 pages. You know, it was gonna be a miniseries, but even then it's just too much. Uh, Joyce Carlo's story was very lean, but you just take a line like the one you were talking about. I look in your eyes and Oh, I see a trashy daydream. Or there's a, it starts, I think a first line is she was a familiar site around the shopping mall, something like that. And immediately all these scenes appear in your head. And the job that I had with my husband, who was the writer, was to flesh out this world from just a sentence, just a hint from Joyce Carro Loche. And that that was very productive. Uh, and that, that's sort of how it came about. Yeah. Because Joyce car laws doesn't create, you don't know where they live, you know nothing about them.

Louise Palanker (00:53:00):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you had to fill it all in. And, and that, that must have been rewarding.

Joyce Chopra (00:53:05):

It was, I say, and the book, it was the happiest time of my life working with Tom on that script, because again, we had American Playhouse producing and nobody should come and bother us. Right. Just let us alone. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:53:22):

So what about the storytelling difference between documentaries and feature, you know, fi fiction films, Uhhuh? I mean, uh, I'm, I'm guessing here, but it seems like when, when you do a fiction film, like your, your husband wrote the script and so you, you know, the three acts and you know, the beginning, middle, and end. But, but a documentary has to be left to its own momentum sometimes. Right. And you, you have to let the, the, the, the actual events tell the story. Uh, which do you find harder and which is more pleasing for you?

Joyce Chopra (00:53:53):

I wouldn't, I wouldn't really choose. I mean, in a document, the ones once, like Girls of 12, which you were talking about earlier, there is no resounding, you know, so many documentaries. Well, the easiest format is an election. Everybody's competing, blah, blah, blah. And it ends with the night of the election, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> or, or, or show is put on, or, you know, and the films that I've done largely don't have that structure. Uh, they just sort of flow, getting a feel for life. They don't have any resounding ending cuz there are no conclusions to the kinds of films I made.

Louise Palanker (00:54:29):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right.

Joyce Chopra (00:54:30):

And it's, it's, uh, it's a little scary in a way cuz you don't know what it's gonna to be. And so when I edit, I can't explain. I just sort of get a feel of maybe this theme should go with that scene. Well, well, Luis, you've done a documentary, which I haven't seen, but you, you must know what I'm talking about.

Louise Palanker (00:54:51):

I feel like it's, it's like making music. You have a feel for it. You understand the rhythms and the beats or, or you don't. Or you don't. Yeah. So it's, it's, I don't know that it's something that can be taught. Certainly a lot of the flow of story can be taught, but the actual editing of like, do I give this a moment to breathe before I lay in the next frame? Well, that I think is an instinctive, like a musical talent. Yeah. That you either have or you don't. How do you feel about that?

Joyce Chopra (00:55:24):

I might say this in the, you were pitting all the points I might have made in the book. For some reason I had an ability to do that. Right. And I don't know why. Right. I'm not saying I'm very good with camera, I just, for editing, I just, just filtered home in it, you know?

Fritz Coleman (00:55:43):

Do you have the same crew for all of your work?

Joyce Chopra (00:55:46):

No. Although I work mosh with Jim Glennon, who shot sch Smooth Talk. And who's the one that, uh, Sydney wanted me to fire? Ah,

Louise Palanker (00:55:56):

It's such an

Joyce Chopra (00:55:57):

Choice. It's still hers. Yeah. This is Tom. And I never, I

Media Path Team (00:56:02):

Never, you can't see me. No. Sorry, I'm just gonna jump in real quick. You can't see me, but I, I, I'm behind the tech, uh, I'm running the tech room, uh, in the Zoom and everything. Uh, I work as a cinematographer and I'm actually shooting my first feature in December. I'm curious, uh, I've shot a documentary feature. I've done dozens of shorts and things, but, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I'm curious if you have any advice for, for a cinematographer working with a director on a, a micro budget. It's like a hundred K feature. Very small. Um, oh, we're, you know, it's, it's based in la It's, it'll be small, but it'll, I'm very excited. I'm curious what, you know, I don't know your advice to a camera operator slash cinematographer.

Joyce Chopra (00:56:41):

You've been an operator before?

Media Path Team (00:56:43):

Yeah. Yeah. I, I came up as an, uh, a first assistant and then I did

Joyce Chopra (00:56:47):

The operator Jim Glennon.

Media Path Team (00:56:48):

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Joyce Chopra (00:56:48):

James Glennon wasn't an operator. In fact, that problem was that he was Sidney product's operator on a lot of very well-known films. And what Sidney actually said, now that I'm remembering, he said, you gotta fire Jimmy cuz he talks too much.

Louise Palanker (00:57:03):

Oh, goodness.

Joyce Chopra (00:57:03):

And Oh wow. And the crew and the actors loved Glennon because he talked, he was funny, he relaxed people.

Louise Palanker (00:57:10):

Maybe Sydnee wanted to be the focal point. And he found that

Joyce Chopra (00:57:13):

Threatening. I don't know what it was, but then Oh, but he had a happy, he

Fritz Coleman (00:57:19):

Wanted you to do what he couldn't do when he employed them. He didn't have a guts to fire him. So he wanted you to do it.

Joyce Chopra (00:57:25):


Louise Palanker (00:57:25):

But what is, I think what Thomas is asking you,

Joyce Chopra (00:57:28):

I want, I wanna give advice

Louise Palanker (00:57:29):

About Yeah. The relationship between what Thomas is doing and the director, like

Joyce Chopra (00:57:34):

Jim said, the most important thing, Jim, Jim is the one who taught me, basically had a stage scenes. I'd never done a feature film in my life. I didn't know where to place the, how to do it, how to think about it. And he was a great teacher. And, but he said to me, just, just tell me what is the most important shot you have to get that tells this story mostly for you, is to make sure that in the rush of the day we do that shot. Yeah. And that somehow focus my brain around a whole bunch of things. Focus the most thing, just collaborate. Just collaborate. Just listen. It's the same. The question, what do you advise men? Collaborate. Listen,

Louise Palanker (00:58:17):

<laugh>. I like that. Is there something that, that Thomas can get before you break? Like, is there something that a cinematographer can grab just so that you have it in case you need it? Like, while everyone else is leaving the room is, or just like, I don't know, 20, 20 seconds of footage that he could grab that would be good coverage to have.

Joyce Chopra (00:58:37):

I don't understand your question. Say it again.

Louise Palanker (00:58:39):

Well, I'm not, I'm not a filmmaker in that, in that way, but I just know that with, in documentaries, like you wanna kind of like, I guess we call it spray the room, <laugh>. And, uh, you just want to, like, while you're there, you just wanna kind of like, you know, let's say I'm interviewing you and I've got my camera set up on you, like, as everyone else leaves the room. I, I just wanna get some more coverage. Is is it uhhuh more limiting when you're working with track?

Media Path Team (00:59:05):

I think, I mean, for those features specifically, there's, it's, it's pretty much all handheld. And I think I'll bring, uh, some of my documentary knowledge into it in the sense that I, I will get those small in between moments that you, you don't, when you're shooting a documentary, you don't maybe set out to go get them, but you're shooting, maybe you're with someone in their house or their space and you want to pick up, you know, the, the flavor of their space. You have these, you can get inserts and things of small things in their space. I feel like I'm gonna take on that approach to some of the scenes for sure. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, I feel like that's maybe what Weezy is alluding to, to focusing on is, is focusing on those small, intimate moments between things don't get lost in the, the shuffle.

Joyce Chopra (00:59:42):

Is there any way you could have a second camera?

Louise Palanker (00:59:45):


Media Path Team (00:59:46):


Joyce Chopra (00:59:48):

Would save so much

Media Path Team (00:59:50):

Time? Maybe, but I, I, I, I, I like shooting single camera cuz it gives me more control. And, and in the, in this scenario, I think I, uh, wouldn't be able to hire someone I trust with the right amount of money. You know what I mean? Even if you,

Joyce Chopra (01:00:04):


Media Path Team (01:00:04):

If you never used it? Yeah. Even friends need money though. Unfortunately. <laugh>. Uh, but it's more about that, that control. I, my first feature, I, I, we've talked about two camera and we just don't have much money to do it the right way, in my opinion.

Joyce Chopra (01:00:17):

Yes, I know. I,

Media Path Team (01:00:18):

Yeah. But more so I like the control <laugh>.

Joyce Chopra (01:00:23):

You want the control. Yeah. Cause I But you would still be

Media Path Team (01:00:26):

Controlling it. I, I would, but it's first feature, small budget we we're not gonna have.

Joyce Chopra (01:00:32):

Okay. I'll stay

Media Path Team (01:00:33):

Out of it. I'll, yeah. We're only, I feel like we're budgeted for a solid one camera team. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (01:00:37):

Let me ask you this, uh, uh, Joyce, there are many fantastic film schools in the country. Many of them right here. Uscs Film School, Chapman University. Now. How's a good one? Um, are there any that you've had experience with that that, that women who are starting out should look to? Because somehow they've um, they've, uh, championed the role of women in filmmaking.

Joyce Chopra (01:01:02):

I know nothing about film schools. Oh, okay. There weren't any when I started. And I really, I've never taught, I I honestly know Xero, you know, more than I do, probably. Mm. Because you talked to a lot of people.

Media Path Team (01:01:14):

Oh, is that right? AFI and LA That's a graduate program. Graduate program. But they're, uh, they give, um, they, they have, they're heavily focused on like elevating minority and female voice. Oh, behind, behind the camera. Yeah. They've got like a women's film, film festival and stuff.

Joyce Chopra (01:01:30):


Louise Palanker (01:01:31):

<affirmative>. Well, you must be, uh, asked to speak often. And I know you talked about this in the book. No, you're not a you're not asked to speak very often. Well,

Joyce Chopra (01:01:38):

Suddenly, suddenly there are a bunch. Oh. So some things you crush of the book and, uh, my publisher reaching out to you, so,

Louise Palanker (01:01:46):

Well, I guess everyone wants to talk about Marilyn because they're comparing your Marilyn, uh, with

Joyce Chopra (01:01:50):

Oh yes, I've done that. I I did an interview with Hollywood Reporter.

Louise Palanker (01:01:54):

Yeah, I saw that. And I guess Marilyn's like Princess Diana, we never tire her of hearing more about her. Right. Just, it's

Joyce Chopra (01:02:01):

Amazing. No, I, I almost didn't do that interview because I hadn't seen the movie and I wasn't glad to see it. But then Oh, well

Louise Palanker (01:02:10):

It's pretty shocking. I didn't make my way all the way through it cuz I couldn't, it was traumatized, but, uh, but I

Joyce Chopra (01:02:16):

Why, why couldn't you what for what reasons?

Louise Palanker (01:02:19):

I, I guess when I find that some, the content I'm watching on the screen is painful for the perform for the performers or just something anguishing is going on, I get where, like I say to myself, I don't think I'm enjoying this. Agree. This is actually painful, painful to sit through, but I understand what they were trying to do. And I will finish it. It's on Netflix. You can press pause and go back to it. But I had, I did about an hour and I'm like, oh my gosh, Marilyn <laugh>.

Joyce Chopra (01:02:46):

So did she cries one more time?

Louise Palanker (01:02:47):


Fritz Coleman (01:02:48):

It's more, I'll tell you what, that girl's performance I thought was phenomenal though. She was very good. She was very

Louise Palanker (01:02:53):

Good. But it's, it is a disturbing watch. So, I mean, as a kid I would say, oh yeah, if it's rated, you know, PG 17, I'm, I know it's gonna be upsetting. So I I think I'll stay away. Right.

Joyce Chopra (01:03:06):

I have to tell you, the, the version of Blonde that I did from the same novel, uh, when it was released, the actress who played Ireland got ra rave rave reviews and not everywhere, but I would say largely my movies were panned. And now people are looking and say, oh, that's not so bad. After all. I think people have a very hard time portraying Monroe in any way. I think it's a, I think we shouldn't have adapted Joyce Carlo's book. I'm serious. It's, it's a fantastical book. Have you ever read the novel?

Louise Palanker (01:03:41):

No, I haven't. But tell me the, tell me why it's called a novel and where, where she was deviating from the truth and imagining.

Joyce Chopra (01:03:48):

Oh, she's imagining that she's inside Marilyn. Okay. And she has and has scenes that are just almost surreal. I mean, it's just, when you read it, it's you, you trusted because, you know, this is not the facts. Mm. You know, it is, it's a takeoff on what what that per Marilyn, she does she call, I'm not even sure. She calls her Marilyn on the book

Fritz Coleman (01:04:13):

Laundry. It gives her subconscious a voice.

Joyce Chopra (01:04:16):

That's right. Oh. But okay. It, it, and uh, anyway,

Fritz Coleman (01:04:24):

I, I just found out the other day that the whole thing with the son of, uh, Charlie Chaplin and the

Joyce Chopra (01:04:29):

Son, that's all made up.

Fritz Coleman (01:04:31):

It's all made up, that whole thing. But she was friends with both of those guys, but they just never got together in that triumphal. No. Right, right.

Joyce Chopra (01:04:38):

As far as I know, they hardly knew each other. Oh, this was, it was, it was convenient in the novel. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (01:04:44):

<affirmative>. So, yeah. Yeah. I think a lot of people watch it and assume it's based on truth. Yeah. Or based on someone's accounting of, and

Joyce Chopra (01:04:50):

In the novel, you know, it's not Right. I can't remember. I've read the novel 20 years ago. It was a, I had just finished it when the producer called me and said, I just optioned this book for CBS bs. Do you wanna direct it? Yes. You know. Wow. Um, uh,

Louise Palanker (01:05:04):

So is your version of Blonde available?

Joyce Chopra (01:05:08):

Yes, it's available. I hadn't known it. I looked it up. It's on Amazon. Okay. Prime. And there, I'll give you my experience. There's a free version, but don't choose that one. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because it's full of commercials.

Louise Palanker (01:05:20):

Okay. <laugh>.

Joyce Chopra (01:05:21):

So choose pay the dollar 95. Sure.

Louise Palanker (01:05:23):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Exactly. <laugh>. That is a good tip.

Joyce Chopra (01:05:25):

And you could see it. That's a strong test. Yeah. Poppy's wonderful. Yes.

Louise Palanker (01:05:29):


Joyce Chopra (01:05:29):

Got, it's got some very fine actors in it.

Fritz Coleman (01:05:32):

Who was the, uh, Marilyn in your movie?

Joyce Chopra (01:05:34):

A woman named Poppy Montgomery.

Fritz Coleman (01:05:37):

Oh, I don't know her.

Joyce Chopra (01:05:38):

Mm-hmm. Do you know her at

Fritz Coleman (01:05:39):

All? No. Nope. Yep. I've heard her, but now I'm gonna watch.

Louise Palanker (01:05:42):

Oh yeah. So we're excited about your book and you're gonna go on the, uh, author.

Joyce Chopra (01:05:47):

There she is. There did Poppy right there.

Louise Palanker (01:05:50):

There she is. So how did it feel creating a book as opposed to creating a film? Was it as rewarding or more work or less work or

Joyce Chopra (01:06:00):

<laugh> there was more work? No, I, I worked on an on and off for about three years and, and I never meant to write a book. It was going to be a way to keep me busy during the pandemic. Hmm. And I just kept writing and I had no intention of ever publishing it. And it was when a friend read it, who's a writer, and she said, oh, this is really worth pursuing. You know,

Louise Palanker (01:06:26):

It's really, really good. I loved it. It's a great piece of work. It's,

Fritz Coleman (01:06:30):

And it drops November 8th. You can pre-order it

Louise Palanker (01:06:32):

Now. Yeah. This book is just absolutely. Wow, so captivating. Thank you. I I really highly recommend it, you know, for every, for every human. It's not just, if you're interested in filmmaking or interested in women or women pursuing a male dominated field. It's just a great book. So many wonderful stories. And you, and you're just kind of, we're we're your ride along Dina, did you

Dina (01:06:52):

Have Yeah, I just wanna say that any film fan, anyone that is into movies that is like, considers themselves like a film person just needs to read this book. I mean, it's like, I think it's an absolute must.

Louise Palanker (01:07:05):

Yeah. And I also think, oh, thank you <laugh>. When you talk about the Hollywood film, you know, studio machinery or whatever, the way that, the way that how many people have to be in your corner for you to get anything done, it isn't uniquely problematic for women. It's hard to get anything made. Uh, I think, and so your book really describes that, that journey and how you have to get all your wars in the water and just kind of like keep rowing because it's not, it's not, we all watch things and think, oh, here's a new thing. It may have taken 27 years to bring it to the screen. Like with Tyler Perry, as I talked about at the top of the show, Tyler Perry's new film on Netflix. He wrote that screenplay 26 years ago. That's how long it took for him to get it made. So it's difficult for everyone is, isn't that correct?

Joyce Chopra (01:07:55):

Yes. But, and I think, I mean, the big lesson is have a producer who's with you. Mm. You know, who, who supports you in every way that you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that, that, that's, that's the protector.

Louise Palanker (01:08:10):

Then they'll get out of your way and let you make the film.

Joyce Chopra (01:08:12):

Well, because if you're directing, you go so many things to think about. You know, you okay, you gotta decide on the preps some this and the that. And in addition to just figuring, how am I gonna shoot the scene that's coming up tomorrow, but they're the ones who deal with managing mm-hmm. <affirmative> to make sure that everything is gonna run well for you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (01:08:32):

<affirmative>. Yeah. Protecting you of the Coast is clear for you to create.

Joyce Chopra (01:08:36):

But, you know, we didn't talk about tele, you know, when I,

Louise Palanker (01:08:39):

I was in television. Yeah.

Joyce Chopra (01:08:40):

Uh, when I directed my first what, excuse me. Law

Louise Palanker (01:08:46):


Joyce Chopra (01:08:46):

Yeah. Law

Louise Palanker (01:08:48):

Order, non order

Joyce Chopra (01:08:49):

Special Victims unit. I don't remember the, let's say it was 2002. I don't remember the exact year. As I say in the book, they had been running for four Seasons and they probably did 30 shows a season. They'd had maybe two women in all those the four years. And they were, ugh, you know, fuck. Very good. Which was nonsense <laugh>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I, I, I went into a change. So I had the same reaction. They just didn't want a woman on the ship, period.

Louise Palanker (01:09:19):

She's like the murder victim.

Joyce Chopra (01:09:22):

Exactly. The victim of the week. Yeah. Yeah. <laugh>. God, can I just, the sex tri victim of the week.

Dina (01:09:28):

That's dark. I just remembered like that really interesting part in, um, your book, Joyce, where you talk about when you were let go from the Bright Lights Big City project, and you were talking about how the press just like, wouldn't let go of it because it was like they were trying to basically send out a warning. Like, this is what happens if you have a woman try to direct, oh my God, you know, a big feature film

Louise Palanker (01:09:53):

And they set you up to

Joyce Chopra (01:09:54):

Nasty Bunch

Louise Palanker (01:09:55):

<laugh>. They set you up to fail to prove whatever point they were trying to make. And,

Joyce Chopra (01:09:59):

But times are changing to a degree. There are more women directing features, not enough by any means, but it's more than it used to be. And it's all, in the last few years, it's been a huge change.

Louise Palanker (01:10:12):

And you paved that way and you, you've done such wonderful work and a lot of your work was on tv, TV movies of the week and, you know, telling all kinds of great stories that were probably seen by more people on television than would've gone to see them in, in a theater. So,

Joyce Chopra (01:10:27):

Well, you, you're so, oh, you have, I just, you have a copy of my book on you desk?

Louise Palanker (01:10:31):

We do.

Joyce Chopra (01:10:32):

Thank you. You got an adva? I only have one copy

Fritz Coleman (01:10:36):

<laugh>. The only thing is we take 10% of the sales by average.

Louise Palanker (01:10:39):


Joyce Chopra (01:10:39):

You'll get 20 cents <laugh>

Louise Palanker (01:10:42):

Before, before we close, I think. Yes ma'am. A lot of people would who have never raised a a girl might wanna know about the American girl universe that you stepped into when you, when you made, and I, I find it wondering, I find it fascinating. So tell, uh, get us up to speed on American girl.

Joyce Chopra (01:11:01):

Well, my agent sent me a script, uh, and said is it's, it's about an American girl doll. And I thought it was animation and I said, are you crazy? And, and I had had never heard of American Girl Universe Have you before

Fritz Coleman (01:11:16):

I had I something in my daughter's home right now. No, we go, there are $20,000 worth of American girl apparatus dolls equipment.

Louise Palanker (01:11:26):

Oh. They got the parents by the throat, their believe money out of their pockets. Do

Joyce Chopra (01:11:31):

You buy it for them? Do you,

Fritz Coleman (01:11:32):

Your grandfather? I'm totally guilty for it.

Joyce Chopra (01:11:34):

<laugh>. See, it's people like you who support all of

Fritz Coleman (01:11:37):

That mine. No, I I know it's a, it's a, it's a horrible thing. And now I now they're wonderful. I can use that money now. I know. Uh, I, I, uh, but the marketing of that and the way they built the backstory on each of the dolls really engages young girls emotionally.

Joyce Chopra (01:11:55):

I, I, no, I I had never heard of it. And I went to the library. I lived in a small town and the librarian said the girls come, uh, once a week with their dolls mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we, and we talk about their story. Okay. They married for those who, who don't know what we're talking about, the dolls are based on historical ca periods. And the one story I had was about a girl during World War II and how that affected her life in the United States. Papa goes off as a doctor and there was so much to learn there historically mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And for me, having grown up in that period was a pleasure. I love working with young kids.

Fritz Coleman (01:12:35):

I think that aspect helps parents to get over their guilt at spending $200 on a doll because Oh, my child's learning about the pre-World War II period.

Joyce Chopra (01:12:43):


Louise Palanker (01:12:43):

Yeah. Well, I would ask you, for instance, your daughter is now 20 or 21 years old. Right. How does she know more about American history having owned these beautiful dolls and learned their stories?

Fritz Coleman (01:12:55):

I would say not,

Louise Palanker (01:12:56):


Fritz Coleman (01:12:56):

<laugh>. No. I, it was, it was for a moment it was, it was a, a flash of popularity. But these stores, they were like, uh, they were like Apple stores. It's

Louise Palanker (01:13:07):

Not past tense. The go to Times Square. They still are. Yeah. Or go to go to Radio Station.

Fritz Coleman (01:13:11):

I'm outta that. I'm I I I I jumped out of that environment.

Joyce Chopra (01:13:15):

You escaped.

Louise Palanker (01:13:16):

Yeah. Now she has to feed her own habit. He's like, you're gonna have to get a job if you're

Joyce Chopra (01:13:20):

No, they're very expensive dolls.

Fritz Coleman (01:13:22):

Oh my God.

Louise Palanker (01:13:24):

Yeah. But have

Joyce Chopra (01:13:25):

You ever been,

Dina (01:13:26):

I don't think I've ever talked this much on a show before, but I just have to say something about American Girl Dolls because I was obsessed with them when I was a kid. And I'm an immigrant. I came to America when I was seven years old, and I loved that there was these dolls that represented girls that were, you know, some of them were immigrants to America. Oh, that's, that's interesting. That's right. And that was like, so I mean, I was obsessed with that because I was like, finally, like something I can relate to. There's not a lot of stories like that in the media at the time represented.

Fritz Coleman (01:13:53):

No, that's really interesting. And they're also diverse. I mean, they have girls of different ethnicities. That

Joyce Chopra (01:13:58):

Was, I wanna tell you the best part about it. If you go to a American girl store, probably online too, they have books for girls about how to manage your bank account, how to start a business, what to do when you get your period, which never, I mean, my God, wait, there was nothing like that fresh. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (01:14:15):

<affirmative>. See, they want you to start a business so that you can afford to buy more American girl. Oh,

Joyce Chopra (01:14:20):

You're so cynical.

Louise Palanker (01:14:21):

<laugh>. <laugh>. But you're right, you're right. It's, it's, a lot of girls' issues are just sort of whispered, you know, come here, I'll give you a pad. And you know, don't tell your mom, I told you this, but

Joyce Chopra (01:14:31):

We didn't know it was called Falling Off the Roof or something awful like that.

Louise Palanker (01:14:35):

<laugh>. Oh, wow. Falling off the roof. I'm serious. We were, we called it the monthly visitor, or Aunt Flo. Aunt Flo was coming on falling off

Fritz Coleman (01:14:43):

Roof. That's fantastic.

Louise Palanker (01:14:44):

Aunt Flo is here. I can't go. So I

Joyce Chopra (01:14:46):

Don't remember any of the others. Intact

Louise Palanker (01:14:48):

<laugh>. We

Joyce Chopra (01:14:49):

Didn't talk about it. It was just so

Louise Palanker (01:14:52):

No, you, it was whispered. It was,

Joyce Chopra (01:14:54):

I'm sorry. I'm gonna bring up something. Yeah. I don't, you're not, uh, for children. It was a headline in the New York Times the other day in an article and said, half the people in this world have a clitoris, but nobody knows anything about it. Did you see that in the New York

Louise Palanker (01:15:10):

Times? I didn't, but it sounds about right. I love

Joyce Chopra (01:15:12):

No, it was, it was fantastic. That

Fritz Coleman (01:15:15):

Should be next

Joyce Chopra (01:15:15):

Book. You learned so much.

Fritz Coleman (01:15:16):

Hm mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That should be your next

Joyce Chopra (01:15:18):

Question. Well then a friend joke. We're gonna start a literary group for a women called the Cli

Louise Palanker (01:15:22):

<laugh>. Oh, the Cli

Fritz Coleman (01:15:24):

<laugh>. That's funny.

Louise Palanker (01:15:26):


Fritz Coleman (01:15:28):

Hey, so when you were doing the American Girl, I mean, they, were they leaning on you about the treatment? I mean, cuz they have a proprietary interest in representing

Joyce Chopra (01:15:37):

Yeah. Well they, we had no, not the script, but the sets had to be replicated of this girl that I did. Molly, uh, we had to duplicate the look of her bedroom. Oh Lord. Uh, no. Maybe that was it. Her clothing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I didn't mind because it was a joy to, to be doing it. And I love the kids. It was like being back with my girls at 12. That's how old they were. Oh, they were? Yeah, they were about 12.

Louise Palanker (01:16:04):

Oh, that's wonderful.

Joyce Chopra (01:16:05):

But it was a one of my favorite films. <laugh>

Louise Palanker (01:16:10):

Yes. And people can watch. And what, which, what is your film called? The Molly

Joyce Chopra (01:16:15):

Story? I think it's called as Molly. Molly an American Girl on the Home Front.

Louise Palanker (01:16:20):

Oh, okay.

Joyce Chopra (01:16:21):


Louise Palanker (01:16:23):

So I'm sure we can find that if <laugh> and I think there's a few American, they do a really good job with their films. I've, I've seen a couple of them. I've probably have seen this one.

Joyce Chopra (01:16:31):

It's got Molly Ringwald playing the Mama.

Louise Palanker (01:16:35):

Oh, that's perfect.

Joyce Chopra (01:16:37):

Oh, what is this now? Here we go. There's Molly. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (01:16:41):


Joyce Chopra (01:16:43):

No, those are other. This is the girl here.

Louise Palanker (01:16:46):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, there she is. She

Joyce Chopra (01:16:47):

Looks, she wins a contest.

Louise Palanker (01:16:49):

She looks very patriotic.

Joyce Chopra (01:16:51):

Yeah. Very well. That's the Yeah. But it's, yeah. I recommend this above all my other movies, <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (01:16:58):

Okay. Awesome. All right. That's what everyone's gonna do. We're gonna view that and then discuss it next week.

Joyce Chopra (01:17:02):

I don't know what these are all these other American girl that's mine. But this is, these are other

Louise Palanker (01:17:07):

American girls. It's a montage of American girls. Okay.

Joyce Chopra (01:17:09):

Yeah, it's a, it's a

Louise Palanker (01:17:10):

Whole, yours is Molly to do. All right. So when is your, when does your book come out? Can people pre-order it now on Amazon?

Joyce Chopra (01:17:16):

Yes. It's, it's, the publication date is removed to the 22nd of November. Cuz they had problems with, um, distribu. You know, the whole supply chain business is affected publishing as well. So. Okay. But it's finally in the warehouse, but officially it's the 22nd. No, they can order it from either Amazon or Barnes de Noble or City Lights. The publisher. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (01:17:39):

<affirmative>. All right. Well, I wanna thank you and I'm gonna read our closing credits and then we're gonna take our picture with you. Hold

Joyce Chopra (01:17:44):

One. It's a pleasure to talk to both of you.

Louise Palanker (01:17:46):

All right. Here come your closing credits. It's fun. Fritz and I have created a web hub to help you shop for gifts and save democracy in one fun move. Gift of curates great swaggy merch from candidates and causes committed to protecting and defending our democracy. Fritz and I make no money here. We don't need it. We are not running for office this year. Our site is like a mall directory sign that points you towards the merchandise pages of worthy candidates and causes. It's the donation that counts. Democracy makes a great gift. Thank you so much for joining us. We would love to continue this conversation with you on Instagram and Twitter, where we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where our show page is, media Path Podcast Center. Our Facebook group is Media Path with Fritz and Weezy podcast community. You can find full video podcast episodes loaded with bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. And you can write to us at media path podcast If you enjoy the show, please give us a nice rating in the Apple Podcast store and talk about us on social media. You can sign up for our fun and Dishy We wanna thank our wonderful guests, Joyce Chopra and Jan Perry. Our team includes Dina Friedman, John Madox, Sharon Beo, bill Philipp, Thomas Hubble, Mason Brown, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Madox. I'm Louise Lanker here with Fritz Coleman, and we will see you along the media path.

Fritz Coleman (01:19:05):

Thank you so much, Joyce. What're a great conversation.

Louise Palanker (01:19:07):

Power. How's your.

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