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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Big Break Diary: The film director
BC News Online's Big Break Diaries break in the arts and entertainment world.

This week, would-be film-maker Jan Dunn gets into some serious negotiations in her quest for a leading lady and backing for her films.

Saturday 1 July

I went to see West End play The Vagina Monologues last night. I've wanted to see it for a while but never got around to it but wanted to see actress Sophie Okenedo in action.

We need a black actress for the feature film and I need someone really good. She was good and looked right for the part. I can't make her an offer yet though because of dates.

Jan Dunn
Jan Dunn: Looking for someone special

I've found out she's a friend of Siobhan Fogarty's - who I went to Dresden Film Festival with.

Might get to meet her that way. Maureen Lipman was also in it and brilliant, as usual but very excited to see Edie Falco too. An evening's treat.

Tuesday 3 July

First proper meeting with writer, script editor, producer and me. What was already a good script is now looking excellent.

I marvel at Angela's skills considering she is also now rehearsing full time for a Chaucer play.

Our script editor, Paul, sent his notes in between meetings from LA.

I started a meditation class tonight.

Thursday 5 July

Our meeting with Her Films was cancelled. I think it was a more important meeting for us than them - my search for development money for the action movie delayed now!

Tuesday 10 July

Finally heard from our potential leading lady's agent. We've got a meeting with her on Thursday.

Wednesday 11 July

My very first board meeting for Women In Film & TV. I felt like the new girl.

I implied that I might want to give up organising events now but it didn't go down very well so I might have to wait until I replace myself with another foolish volunteer.

It was interesting to meet all the other board members. I felt rather junior.

Thursday 12 July

The meeting with our (potential) leading lady for the comedy feature went very well indeed.

Her agent did, however, come too - which we weren't expecting - and made it more guarded and more formal than we had hoped.

But our actress is absolutely charming and David and I agreed how right she would be after the meeting. Angela (writer) was rehearsing and couldn't make it unfortunately.

Friday 13 July

Saw Aimie and Jaguar at Screen On the Hill. It was good but not as good as the documentary it's based on.

Both actresses were brilliant. It's a German film and I can't remember who they were but I'll definitely check their names out.

Saturday 14 July

Joan was screened as part of Highgate Film Festival at The Phoenix Cinema. Went down very well but I was late (I told them I would be) and couldn't introduce my film.

Monday 16 July

I went to a camera workshop about shooting with DV. Gives me a headache and I hate multi-skilling even more.

I can't fathom why it exists - it involves using such different brain skills than directing.

Wednesday 18 July

Had a meeting with Bev Cook, Gauntlet Pictures. We talked about making a short film together. I'm going to send her something I wrote.

Thursday 19 July

I chaired a panel event at Highgate Film Festival. It was all about getting your first film off the ground.

The panel included Robin Gutch from Film4 Lab, Robert Jones from the Film Council and actor/director David Morrissey.

I was nervous but don't think I did too badly. Mostly because I've been in the audience so many times before and I know what they want to find out.

The panellists were all absolutely charming afterwards. I hope they remember me when David submits our feature film!

Thursday 26 July

Organised a tour of Lypsync post production at Wardour Street. It had nice facilities and I hope I can go back for the feature opening sequence.

Saturday 28 July

Joan screened at Curzon Soho as part of the "best of" selection from Peeping Tom's 2000.

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