SAGindie Staff

Meet SAGindie’s Usual Suspects.

While most of SAGindie’s employees reside in sunny Los Angeles, they can all still appreciate the perks that a seasonal change brings. In celebration of summer, the SAGindie staff tapped into their seasonal nostalgia to think about their favorite films that epitomize summer.

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 SAGindie.org, 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.

Without a doubt, Darrien’s quintessential summer movie is Before Sunrise. Traveling around Europe, meeting a sexy, slightly-in-need-of-a-bath cutie on a train, and he’s your one true love? How do you beat that?… though Before Sunset is close behind because it has her favorite last scene of a movie. “Baby, you are gonna miss that plane.”

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.

The movie that reminds Eliza of summer is Bonjour Tristesse because much like Cecile, her summers were spent in the French Riviera getting drunk with her dad and driving his girlfriends to suicide.

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.

Like all basic white boys who grew up in the ‘90s, the movie that epitomizes summer for Colin is The Sandlot. Suburbs, baseball, cookouts, swimming, carnivals, dogs, and Ray Charles’ “America the Beautiful” over a fireworks display? Colin feels sunburnt just thinking about it.

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 is obsessed with coming-of-age films so naturally, the movie that reminds her of summer is Y Tu Mamá También. Road trips, beaches, arguments between best friends – she thinks Y Tu Mamá También does a great job telling a story about things coming to an end and trying to hold onto what’s left of your past.

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.

To Michael, there are three movies that epitomize summer: Dazed and Confused (last day of school!) leads to Meatballs (freedom!) leads to Jaws (it all goes to shit but at least you’re not back in school yet).

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