"The first time I was on set with an all-female crew, I was surprised to discover that women work so differently than men. Not better and not worse. There's just a different dynamic."
Taunya Gren, founder and president of the nonprofit organization, Utah Women in Film secures her bathrobe belt and smiles a blend of serenity and Gena Rowlands. We're at the UWIF Halloween schmooze, and a lot of attendees look as if they came straight from wardrobe.
"I'm a sleeper," Taunya explains, referring to her PJ's. There's irony in that; she has chronic insomnia.
It's amazing to me that Gren has time to consider sleep; besides her post as commander-in-chief of UWIF, the actress is a producer, director, 3D animator, singer for the blues band Puzzlebox, martial artist, and full-time mother of four.
I mention that for a woman who's been an industry insider for years, she seems remarkably unjaded.
"There have been highs and lows. In fact I did drop out for a while--over a partner's duplicity. I also got tired of Hollywood's cliche'd one-dimensional representations of women. Then I moved to Utah, and saw a huge need so I created UWIF to support highly creative female filmmakers. I figured that if women want nuanced, fully-developed representations of themselves, women have to make that happen."
To fight Hollywood stereotypes, Taunya has recently started screenwriting.
"Is there anything you can't do?" I ask, a little hopeful.
"Yes," she laughs. "Believe me, I'm a terrible camerawoman."