Thursday, August 22, 2013

Any Walking Dead fans out there?

One of the fun things about BlogHer conferences is that they get some very successful women to speak. And it's notable that they are not exactly "big names." I had no idea who Gale Anne Hurd was when I saw her name on the program, but she is arguably one of the most successful producers in Hollywood. The Walking Dead is the most popular show on television, and it's her baby. She is also the producer of such blockbuster movies as Aliens (1984) and Terminator (1986). Strong women like Ripley and Sarah Connor are a hallmark of her work.

BlogHer does keynotes in a Q&A style, and most of Gale's chat covered her career. After graduating from Stanford University, she was hired for $180 a week as an assistant to Roger Corman at New World Pictures. She said she did everything that no one else did, which included emptying the toilets in the mobile homes on the set, making coffee, and eventually marketing, even though she told Corman that she was not good at marketing. He ultimately agreed with her.

In 1982, she started her own production company, which she called Pacific Northwest. She noted that women producers never name their companies after themselves, but men do.

Gale recently premiered her most recent movie, Very Good Girls, at Sundance, and she is currently working on her third documentary about Native American women. She is also working on a pilot in Canada about a woman in the 1940s who tries to unravel the mystery of her husband's plane being shot down over the Pacific. And of course, she is continuing to work on The Walking Dead.

She likes working on a TV show because, "TV right now is where you go to tell great stories, and on TV, you can have strong female characters," she said. "And in the amount of time that it took me to make half of The Incredible Hulk, I've made sixteen hours of television."

Although she wouldn't divulge much about the next season, she did say, "A lot of season four will be about parenting and some parenting choices in this apocalyptic world."

Like all of the speakers at BlogHer, Gale was also very encouraging. "Go after your dreams," she said. "Don't let anyone tell you no. Believe in yourself, and don't give up."

Everyone in the audience received a free copy of the New York Times Bestseller, The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor. Even though I was really inspired by Gale, I am not a fan of zombies, so I'll be giving away my copy of this book to some lucky blog reader. If you want to know how the governor got to be the most hated villain on television, you'll want to read this book.

You can get up to eight entries to win by following the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. You will get one entry for commenting on this blog post, liking my Ecothrifty page on Facebook, and following @deborahwrites on Twitter. And you can get one entry every day until the raffle ends by tweeting about the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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