SAGindie Staff

Meet SAGindie’s Usual Suspects.

With the recent launch of SAGindie’s Movies & Music program, the SAGindie staff decided to think back at some memorable pairings of film and song by picking their
favorite movie music moments.

Darrien Michele Gipson

SAGindie Executive Director

Darrien Gipson Darrien Michele Gipson is the Executive Director of SAGindie. An M.F.A. recipient from the Peter Stark Producers Program at the University of Southern California, Darrien was formerly the Vice President of Production for DEF Pictures. As Executive Director of SAGindie, Darrien leads a team that is responsible for independent filmmaker outreach and specializes in teaching low budget production focusing on the process for hiring professional actors via SAG-AFTRA’s low budget contracts. She is a frequent moderator and speaker on panels and production workshops, negotiates sponsorship agreements with film festivals around the country, spearheads SAGindie’s annual national advertising campaigns, oversees, and throws several epic filmmaker parties. Darrien has traveled to over 55 film festivals in more than 25 states and 5 countries to consult with independent filmmakers. Yes, she has a lot of frequent flyer miles. No, she isn’t sharing them.

Darrien’s favorite movie music moments can be broken up into three categories: Dancing (Gregory Hines and Suzzane Douglas doing “Cheek to Cheek” from Tap); singing (Irene Cara’s “Out Here on My Own” from Fame); and needle drop (Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” from Say Anything). Though, because she can, she also wants to shout out Des’ree’s “Kissing You” from Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet.

Eliza Hajek

SAGindie Manager of Development and Sponsorship

Eliza Hajek Eliza was born with a vestigial tail! Her parents took her around the world in a traveling show featuring other aberrations, where she was the star. When interest in her died down, she consulted a wise man who told her she would become rich and famous after moving to Los Angeles and becoming involved in film. Looks like he was right! Her duties as Manager of Development and Sponsorship encompass (among other things) traveling to film festivals, speaking on panels and at seminars, and interacting with independent producers worldwide in order to get the word out about the SAG-AFTRA Low Budget Agreements.

Eliza’s favorite music in a film is Ennio Morricone’s “L’Arena” score from Il Mercenario. It is one of the many, many things she has in common with Quentin Tarantino.

Colin McCormack

SAGindie Communications Manager

Colin McCormack Colin McCormack graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit with a degree in Media Studies, and has worked in various capacities as a writer, producer, and editor on projects ranging from features, short films, commercials, and documentaries. Before arriving at SAGindie, Colin managed a filmmaker outreach program for a national animal welfare nonprofit, assisting documentary and narrative filmmakers on production, financial grants, research, and marketing. As SAGindie’s Communications Manager, Colin handles advertising and promotions, social media outreach, filmmaker interviews, and web operations.

The movie music moment that stands out most in Colin’s memory is a scene that starts off ridiculous but transforms into something stunning: The Franco-led beachside singalong to Britney Spears’ “Everytime” in the film Spring Breakers.

Shefali Vasudevan

SAGindie Office Coordinator

Shefali Vasudevan Shefali grew up in Northern California with a bunch of tech nerds, including her parents. She then went on to study Film Production at Emerson College in Boston and eventually remembered that she hated cold and moved back to the West Coast and has been living in Los Angeles since. Shefali has written and directed a few short films and worked in both narrative script development and reality TV casting. She still writes and directs in her free time as well as sings and plays the ukulele with some friends at local venues. She is excited to be working at SAGindie and helping filmmakers and actors have their projects come to fruition. She’s here to help out the team and can answer any questions you might have!

Shefali has too many favorite musical moments in movies, but she settled on her two current favorites: The opening of Once with Glen Hansard singing “Say It To Me Now”; and the scene in 2017’s Columbus where Haley Lu Richardson dances in the middle of a parking lot to “Eat the Night” by The Ettes.

Michael Sládek

SAGindie New York Consultant

Michael Sladek Michael Sládek is an award-winning filmmaker whose recent feature-length films include Con Artist (New Yorker Films), BAM150 (Cinema Guild), and Devils Are Dreaming (Dances With Films, Jury Award). Sládek has also directed and produced multiple shorts, music videos, and web series, including the animated short We Live On Your Street (Slamdance Jury Award). A 2013 Acker Award recipient, he is a screenwriter and graphic artist/illustrator as well as a stage director. A once-and-future actor and member of SAG-AFTRA, Sládek currently serves as New York Rep for SAGindie, helping bridge the gap between indie films and union performers. He has worked as a freelance journalist for publications such as Mean Magazine, served as Filmmaker Coordinator for Tribeca Film Festival, as Talent Coordinator for MTV News, and as Personal Assistant to author Jamaica Kincaid. Hailing from Denver, Colorado and Southern California, Sládek studied theater and actor training in college.

Michael’s favorite music moment in a movie was a tough one for him. So he settled on a tie between… “This Country’s Going to War” from Duck Soup, “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain, “The French Mistake” from Blazing Saddles, and “Sister Christian” from Boogie Nights.

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