Creative of the Month- December 2013
Faith Radle is an independent film producer and band manager. Her extensive experience organizing events and managing projects ranges from overseeing the day-to-day operations of rock bands touring the country to managing the production of films and television shows shot around the globe. A graduate of Brown University, she currently manages the bands Girl in a Coma (Blackheart Records) and Piñata Protest (Saustex/Cosmica Records).
Radle began her work in film as an associate producer for the PBS movie Come and Take It Day, then partnered with the writer/director to form the production company, Three Chord Media. Radle has gone on to produce and oversee major documentary projects including Nova: Cracking the Maya Code (filmed in nine different countries) and The History Channel’s Cinco de Mayo, among others. As the head of Three Chord Media, Radle was the executive producer for 26 episodes of the cable television series “The Chicas Project,” which was nominated for an Imagen Award for Best Reality.
After 10 years of living in Los Angeles, Radle recently relocated to her hometown of San Antonio to continue work on film, music and art projects. Since then, she has produced, Skipping Up, a documentary short filmed which was released by PBS last September. She currently is in production on a one-hour documentary for public television entitled Making Viva Max and working with Trafficking Events on plans for the second annual Maverick Music Festival to be held in downtown San Antonio this fall.
1) Given all the "hats" you wear and all the projects (including the bands) you manage, how do you keep up with it all? And if you had to choose just one "hat" to wear for the next several years, which would it be?
I'm not sure how I keep up with it. It's just what I know. I would be bored if I just had only one project going. I think I see my primary role as a producer - someone who helps creative people execute their vision. It is a role where I get to be creative and the projects are constantly changing, so every new production becomes a new set of challenges.
2) You come from a musical family. Your parents were folk singers; your sister has her own solo career in LA. Did you ever aspire to be a musician yourself? How did you become the manager for Girl in a Coma and Piñata Protest?
Although everyone else in my family is a musician, I never had ambitions to be a musician. I love music but I do not have the personality of a performer and prefer to stay behind the scenes.
While I was living in LA, my company was hired to produce a television documentary on an emerging rock band as a pilot for a television series. I got to know the band while we spent weeks following them and flew the band out to New York for a surprise visit by Joan Jett. After the television show wrapped, the band continued to stay in touch and would call for advice. After about 10 months it got to the point where management seemed a natural next step. As for Piñata Protest, I was aware of them through their record label. They would stay at our house in LA when they came through town. They were looking to take their music career more seriously and it felt like a match.
3) Tell us more about what an independent film producer does. What drew you towards documentary filmmaking?
An independent producer should help a director realize the best possible film that is in line with the director's creative vision. Sometimes that means writing grants or raising money and sometimes that means giving notes on scripts or edits and other times that means helping to find the creative team that can best execute that film. It changes with each project, but the goal is to support and realize the director's vision for a particular story. I am not necessarily drawn more towards documentary or narrative filmmaking. I enjoy them both. I am interested in finding the best way to tell a particular story and often that is documentary.
4) As you know, DCCD is the lead partner for SA2020's Arts & Culture vision area (Vision: "to lead the world as a creative community.") How would you like to see the local film community change by 2020?
I'd like to see more dialogue with the national filmmaking community and a focus on telling stories that are unique to this area. At this point, San Antonio is not going to be able to compete for large commercial films with cities like New Orleans and Austin. However, what we can do is focus on the unique traits of the city and this region and tell stories that can't be set in other places. Austin did that in the early 90's with films like Slacker. I'd like to see San Antonio focus on telling strong stories that are unique to this area and the rest will follow.
5) What do you think is the best way to bring more music acts to San Antonio?
This is a complicated issues as acts have been skipping San Antonio for Austin for years. However, I do think that with the development and growth of the professional music industry and venues, the situation will improve. San Antonio has been somewhat limited in the number of promoters and mid-sized venues available for touring acts to play. However, we have seen acts like The Shins and Silversun Pickups perform in San Antonio this last year. Maverick Music Festival and the Echale Concert Series also point to a real market for independent music.
6) What are your creative goals for 2014 as independent film producer/band manager/event organizer?
2014 goals including completing a feature film project, the release of a new solo project by Nina Diaz, completing the pilot for a new animated series I am producing with Robert Gonzales and a successful Maverick Music Festival 2014.
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