Interview: Filmmaker and Author, Cali Gilbert

Photo courtesy Cali Gilbert.

Multi-talented filmmaker, author, photographer and entrepreneur Cali Gilbert has just celebrated the LA premiere of her new film, Invisible, at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, as part of the Golden State Film Festival.

She also recently published her latest entry into the “It’s Simply…” series, “It’s Simply Filmmaking”, a wonderful book about women filmmakers and working in the business.

She has produced both narrative film and documentary, and has been published by Huffington Post among other media. As a content creator, artist and writer, Cali has found a way to leverage her multiple skills and passions into a busy, vibrant career. She also supports other creatives in bringing their dreams to fruition.

I’m so happy to be able to present her unique perspective to working in entertainment.

What was your first job in the business? How did it come about?

I never really has a first job in the industry. I was an author of six books when I decided to wanted to become a filmmaker. At the time I was also coaching other writers through the book publishing process. I did PA for a fellow director during a screening for her film last year, but I was already working on my own material at that point.

What was your second job in the business?

Running my own production company, Tower 15 Productions. I officially launched my  own production company in 2019 as I had a slew of projects I wanted to get out into the world. I knew the direction I had for each and it just made sense to start my own company so that I could have creative freedom.

What is the WORST piece of advice you were ever given about the biz?

Not to work with someone because of their reputation. I don’t judge people based on hearsay. How they treat me and what I personally witness is what I look at.

What is the best piece of advice you were given?

Relationships are EVERYTHING. This is key. Anyone who decides to enter the entertainment industry should focus on building relationships and do so by supporting others without expecting anything in return, especially when you are first starting out. The people I met when I was first starting out five years ago have been amazing mentors and we built strong relationships by supporting one another.

What would you say to someone wanting to enter the industry in your department, or to do what you do?

Be eager to learn. Even if you have experience, there’s always something more to learn. Volunteer at events, festivals, conferences, any place where you can support and learn at the same time. Take everything in and then decide what works best for YOU. We are all unique and what might work for one person may not necessarily be right for another. Embrace failure as that is how you learn and grow. Enjoy the process and the journey.

Thank you, Cali!