This week, we have TeamRAD Productions in the Shes_Trending interview corner. We first encountered TeamRAD from their theatrical production debut of Crimes of the Heart, a play by Beth Henley. A dynamic trio of three on the rise, TeamRAD is a simple reminder that teamwork makes the dream work. With women only accounting for 16 percent of creative roles in 2013 according to the American Progress Organization, TeamRAD is inspiring women on and off screen, bridging the gap for more women storytellers in the film industry.
ST: Who is TeamRAD Productions, what do you do, and why?
TR: TeamRAD is comprised of three cool gals: Verity Butler, Darby Kennerly, and Rebecca Holopter. Our company name came from the three main characters in our western TV show, Soiled Doves, which are Rosemary, Annette, and Dee; thus, the name “TeamRAD.” We write, produce, and act in our own material, with stories that center around complex female characters.
ST: How and when did TeamRAD Productions start?
TR: We founded TeamRAD five years ago, after Rebecca had a dream about three women in the wild west (which ended up being the premise for Soiled Doves). We’ve always recognized that we are capable of making things happen for ourselves and working together gives us momentum, accountability, and encouragement. We each contribute our unique strengths to the group. Also, we love traveling together so feel free to email us your road trip suggestions.
ST: What was the first production from TeamRAD?
TR: It was our two-minute teaser for Soiled Doves, the western TV series we’ve been developing. We knew we needed a calling card for pitching our show, so we went into pre-production for the teaser. We did not know how we would accomplish the end result, but we made it happen one step at a time. We collaborated with a lot of great people on the project. It was nuts and exhausting and one of the best days of our lives. We definitely gained confidence in ourselves and in our abilities
ST: We read the 10 things about TeamRAD Productions on your website and #10 states, “We strive to create material that gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves”. Can you expand on this quote?
TR: That statement has evolved as our work and writing has also evolved. Currently we are focusing on our 1-hour drama television show, Soiled Doves, which centers around three women in a small western town in 1887. Typically, women, in the western genre of film and television, are the stereotype roles of the prostitute, frail wife, tough cowgirl, etc. We instead focus on their relationships with each other and the isolation, danger, and expectations they faced daily. We feel these voices are often in the shadows of the sharp shooting cowboys and criminals, and we have brought them to the forefront.
ST: What got the team involved in writing, producing, and acting?
RH: For me, it was writing in college. I had a teacher who challenged us to write solo performances and figuring out my voice in that was powerful. I got to see what worked and what didn’t. I always loved creating, so writing was another facet for me to explore. When I moved to L.A, I wrote a horror script, not knowing how to write for film. It was terrifying, yet rewarding, to have those words on a page. Acting wise, I always loved to perform, and put on plays for my family. In 8th grade, I was in a play, called the Horror House. I played a tourist and I had to wear earphones and sing “MMMBop”. It was terrible and no one laughed but I had a good time making a fool of myself.
DK: I grew up as a ballet dancer, and my goal was to be part of a company. As I got older, my body started to change, and I got negative feedback from my instructors. It was difficult for me to take in that my body was not created for this, and there was nothing I could do about the physical change. I could eat healthy and train all day, but I couldn’t force my body to change. As a sophomore in high school, I auditioned for Anything Goes, and since I could tap dance, I was cast in the chorus! I loved it! It was a creative outlet that made me feel good, without being judged about my body. That opened the door to acting for me.
VB: I started acting in the 5th grade. I was cast in A Christmas Carol, and I loved hamming it up on stage. I have always been an avid reader, and I used to write short stories when I was little, but I didn’t write again until we started Soiled Doves. I was very nervous to write and for the first few meetings, I hardly said a word.
ST: On the 10 things about TeamRAD on the website, #7 simply says, “Wiiiiiiiiiiine”. What are your favorite types of wine?
RH: I like Italian wine. Verity and I recently went on a Yoga retreat in Italy, and the restaurants were crazy good. It was nuts how good the table wine tasted. From now on, if I see an Italian wine with a little white label on top, I’m sold.
DK: I’m trying to become more open with trying new wines. But, when I go to a restaurant and I really don’t recognize any names on the menu, I always order a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. I’m guaranteed to like it! It is my safety wine.
VB: I like a wine called Rubicon from Inglenook in Napa. It’s the best wine I’ve ever had.
ST: What has been one of your most embarrassing moments on set?
TR: A few years ago, TeamRAD produced a short film, called Kissing Cuba. We needed a shot of water cascading down onto Rebecca, who was wearing a strapless dress. Everyone was ready and the water dropped. Rebecca’s hands shot up to cover her bare chest. The water had pushed her top down to her navel. It was pretty hilarious!
ST: Can we have an exclusive of what’s coming up next from TeamRAD?
TR: In September, we will be holding a reading for industry and potential investors to help fund our pilot, which we will be shooting in early 2017. Another one of our goals in the near future is to have our own office and full-functioning production company. We would love to bring in other female writers to share their stories and give them a platform. We cannot wait for that! Also we would love to have a senior office pup.
ST: Let’s go back in time to 2011, when you made a movie, called Kickin Butt-ler. How did that come about? Also, If you could star in any superhero movie, what movie would it be and why?
VB: I love action movies, particularly the Alien franchise. In Kickin Butt-ler, I wanted to challenge myself with fight sequences, which I had never done before, and have fun at the same time. My favorite superhero is probably Jessica Jones, who’s surly, strong and super cool. If I could have any superpower… it would be teleportation, so I could sneak around and spy on people. Mwhahaha!
ST: We scrolled through your Instagram and definitely became a fan of your artwork. When did you develop a passion for sketching, painting, and photography?
RH: When I was younger I was super jealous of my brother’s drawing skills. My Aunt Stacie sat me down and taught me how. She made me feel confident that all I had to do was sit down and work on it. In high school, my teacher challenged me to work on different mediums and large-scale paintings. Mr. Roten helped me get a scholarship to college, even though my true passion was acting. After college, I felt like I steered away from art, so about two years ago, I told myself, I would do a drawing a day and post it on Instagram to have that accountability. Doing a drawing/painting has been humbling/tiring/encouraging!
ST: On Sunday, September 11, 2016, the Colts will kick-off against the Detroit Lions at home. Will you be there and will your boys start the season with a win? Also, we are not sure if you were aware, but the IndyStar used your tweet in an article. What did that mean to you and your sister when you found out your favorite NFL team was going to visit your sister’s military base?
DK: My parents are season ticket holders for the Colts, so I plan on going around Thanksgiving, near my birthday! I will not be at the September 11th game; however, I will definitely watch. Since the Colts just started training camp, it’s a little hard to say how they will do this season. They had no big trades, but they got a center, which was good for the team. It takes a few years for the center to get acclimated to the team, so we’ll see how that develops overtime. For now, I will definitely wear my jersey. Also, I didn’t know the IndyStar used my tweet when the Colts were planning to go to my sister’s military base. My sister is a marine, and she was in Afghanistan at the time, so that’s why I contacted the Colts via Twitter. Two hours before the Colts were supposed to be at the base, the trip got cancelled, because it was too dangerous to travel. So it’s a bit ironic that the IndyStar published my tweet about something that didn’t end up happening!
ST: What’s one movie you are inspired by?
RH: I really love the Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The imagery, performances, score, direction…it really moves me. And they’re speaking French, which always puts me in a trance.
VB: I absolutely love the 2011 version of Jane Eyre (which is also my favorite book). I’m sucker for period pieces. And also ghost stories.
DK: Since I am currently writing a screenplay about the Dakota, I recently watched Dances with Wolves again. I loved it as a child, and I love it still. I appreciate movies that expose the audience to the culture of Native Americans.
ST: With all of our interviews, we like to sign off by saying thank you! We know that you’re trending, which is why we chose you to be one of our featured guests. In honor of our tradition, we would like you to finish this sentence…. Our name is TeamRAD Productions. We are trending because…
TR: We are three ladies making magic with our minds, great friends who are hardworking, passionate, dedicated and we love what we do.