No journalist. No interviewer. Just two trailblazing women.
That was the secret ingredient for achieving a free-flowing open conversation between a pair of extraordinary females for the Power of Women documentary series coming to Sky Arts.
Their guards were down from the offset because they felt their most private memories and life experiences were being discussed in safe company.
That was because the women sitting opposite them had experienced a similar inspirational journey to their own.
For the first series we have brought together 18 of the world’s most philanthropic, markedly-intelligent, and extraordinary women from a selection of industries including the world of entertainment, sports, politics, and humanitarianism.
For each episode we have paired two women in a casual and honest conversation over drinks at a Soho House private members club.
US actress Rose McGowan, one of the first high-profile voices in the #MeToo movement, will sit for a discussion with the English actress and fashion designer Sadie Frost.
While Sky News’ special correspondent Alex Crawford OBE will meet with Princess Tessy of Luxembourg.
Anthropologist Jane Goodall OBE, high-profile US lawyer Gloria Allred, and ballet dancer Dame Monica Mason will also appear.
We wanted the viewer to have “fly on the wall” access to a revealing and intimate setting through a cinematic experience.
So much of our popular media and TV programming is reality-based, but we wanted to show a completely different insight into the lives and achievements of the women in our series.
The women discuss concepts such as ageism, sexism, human rights, sustainability, mental health, animal rights, politics, spirituality, survival in a male-dominated industry, glass ceilings, fashion, TV, film, music, and female empowerment.
Directing these strong-minded women was surprisingly easy for me, the main reason being their humbleness.
With no egos or self-promotion it was a breath of fresh air.
Our media has been flooded with stories of abuse and harassment which have been bravely shared by box office stars and domestic workers alike.
This has involved accusations against some of the most powerful men who have shaped our very culture.
Taking the show The Power Of Women from its conception to being aired on Sky TV was not an easy task for me or my partners, Corrina McCann and Sophie Morris.
Our background in TV was successful with “three seasons” under our belt of a critically-acclaimed Sky TV show.
But getting funding and getting our show commissioned was a full-on mission in itself and I believe that at times, I was surrounded by an invisible wall, ceiling and floor that so many other independent female directors and producers also find themselves in.
As a female director/producer I can make all kinds of programmes and films.
I should never be stereotyped as a maker of “women films about women” – I make all kinds of programmes.
However, this is unashamedly a series about women, all kinds of women, who have found their own power.
We should, and we did, celebrate their stories.
This isn’t to poke men in the eye.
We are just changing the landscape. And all of us will benefit from that changed world.
As we look back at these last 14 months of the making of this series We have to pinch ourselves because we did it!
But was it easy? No! Would we do it again? Of course.
We have already started the next series!
:: The Power Of Women airs on Monday 26 August at 10pm on Sky Arts HD.
courtesy of Sky News