YBY ep 287: Elena Weinberg and Duncan Coe on being quirky, confident, and creative!
This week on Yes But Why Podcast, I reconnected with writer/director Elena Weinberg and I also got the opportunity to sit down and chat with Elena’s husband and creative partner, writer/actor, Duncan Coe!
Elena Weinberg is an actress, writer, director, producer, and production manager. She has made quite a few independent films alongside Duncan Coe with their production company, TurtleDove Films. Elena is known for her work creating the webseries, #ATown and directing the movie, A Room Full of Nothing. A few films she has recently produced, Dancers(2021), Between the Trees (2021), and A Grievance with Gravity (2020), are currently doing the rounds at film festivals all over the country.
Duncan Coe is an actor and director, known for The Long Road Home (2017), I’ll Come Running (2008) and A Room Full of Nothing (2019). Duncan is the co-owner of TurtleDove Films and a freelance screenwriter and film editor. Duncan is the writer and lead actor in the feature film, A Room Full of Nothing. You can also see him in the music video for Dearly Departed by Shakey Graves.
I am a big fan of Elena and Duncan and the beginning of this interview is a bit of fangirling for me. Elena and Duncan as TurtleDove Films made #ATown, a two-season webseries about feminism, friendship and fucking up in Austin, TX. It won Best Webseries in the Austin Chronicle in 2015. During our chat, I reminisced about how that show opened my mind to what a web series could really be.
The last time I chatted with Elena was at #AFF26 to promote the movie she directed called “A Room Full of Nothing.” It was nice during this interview to talk to Duncan about it too since he wrote and co-starred in it.
In this conversation, we talk about writing and what it means to be a writer. We talk about imposter syndrome and feeling like you’re not really a writer even though you do, in fact, write. Elena talks about how she wrote her current feature, Sunset Lanes. Duncan discusses his folder packed with script ideas. Elena and Duncan compare and contrast their writing styles.
We chat about the importance of financial stability for artists and how having a day job can really take a lot of stress out of making independent films. We talk about developing confidence, about learning to edit movies, and about the effect the pandemic had on their filmmaking.
I had a really great time talking to these two artists, least of all because I admire them both so much. And my big takeaway is that if filmmakers that are prolific and amazingly talented can have doubts about their art, it’s okay for the rest of us to have them too. And that, to me, is incredibly comforting. We’re all in this together.
Support Elena Weinberg and Duncan Coe and TurtleDove Films by checking out their upcoming films being featured at film festivals! You can also support Duncan and Elena by watching A Room Full of Nothing and #ATown. They also make content for Goodr so support that company as well! And if you ever see their names attached to a project, go for it. These two are the real deal and someday I’m going to pretend that we’re better friends than we are to look cool at a party.
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