Kimberly & Wendy Willming
Writer / Director / Producer / Co-founders of Duplicity Studios
Kimberly is more of the creative and handles all of the visual elements (website, photography, graphics, editing, etc.), and is the Writer and Director on every project. Wendy is the backbone to everything Duplicity, inside and out. She’s the creative producer and currently handles all the business aspects. She is also essential with the final stages of the writing process for each project and makes sure the projects get off the ground.
Together, we are a team and what we do best is create. ‘Create’ meaning we take a thought or an observation, weave it into a story that we truly connect with, and produce it to be felt by others. And to create, there needs to be discipline and direction, that’s how and why we work together. We like to think of ourselves as ‘The Cohen Sisters’ and rely on each other for every artistic and business decision.
Wonder twins! Love it! So great that you have the best of both worlds. Both creative and business.
Give us a specific example of how you guys do your job like a BOSS.
We stop at nothing to define our style and vision. We are constantly bouncing ideas and strategies off of each other. With each film idea, each screenplay, and even each photograph, we have our names written on it - literally and figuratively. We are generating something that has essentially never be done before, so it is imperative that we maintain a streamlined voice.
For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?
Don’t stop pushing the limit. Hiding or letting your day job take over what you really care about is a big no-no for us. Yes, we work crazy hours to support ourselves, but when the weekend kicks in or 7pm hits the clock, we’re working on new creative developments for our own projects. We thrive on this energy, and hopefully it will one day be our only full time job.
What do you do to keep that energy up? What is your day job?
Lots of coffee! Kimberly is currently onboard Disney XD's animation series, Wander Over Yonder and Wendy is at Marvel as a Manager of Development & Production, currently working on Marvel's Agent Carter.
If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
We wish we could write more together. It’s incredibly difficult with our schedules to find enough time to really work out an idea. We try to go on a writing retreat once a year to align our projects. Like last year, we went to Palm Springs for a weekend and talked about nothing else but Duplicity and what we needed to work on, achieve, and gain more insight on. We are hoping to make this a regular habit, and maybe make a retreat happen more than once a year in our future so we can take our projects to the next level.
What is frustrating you right now?
Time and patience...devoting enough of ourselves while each of us is working at 40+ hour a week job is difficult for getting our material out there right now. It’s the slow chip, chip, chip…
What are you putting off right now, but you know you have to get to, but you haven’t had the time?
Putting together an event! We want to show our work off and meet some cool cats that we haven’t met yet. We are looking to gain more exposure in the art space as well as the studio world.
What is your dream event and space?
A classic Hollywood evening with a well mixed cocktail (perhaps by Pharmacie LA) and an artistic atmosphere is our ideal kind of event. We love the idea of a mix use of space, such as a gallery of photographs representing the film, and a warm environment where people can curl up with some popcorn and watch films screen. The Fig House and Lombardi House are pretty spectacular and seem ideal for this kind of night.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
A bartender to mix us drinks! Just kidding. But we could really use someone who could help Wendy out with the business side of things, mainly marketing and publicity so we get more exposure. It’s hard to market our business and get the creative elements together - two very different sides of the brain.
Preach! I think we all need more help with PR!
What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?
Final Draft 9
Final Cut Pro 7
Film Cameras: Canon AE-1, Polaroid One, Polaroid ProntoB!, Holga 135B, Minolta, Asahi Pentax
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
Liz Goldwyn. She not only knows the film business inside and out, she also is so true to herself and her own cinematic style. We love how connected she is to the city of Los Angeles, it really shows in her work and voice.
What are you working on right now?
A Television Pilot script spun off of our short film, Sensation, and two original Feature Film scripts. We are also in post-production with our short film called Femme Noir. That was such a fun gig that we collaborated with photographer, Jill Beth Hannes on. We are hoping to release it in March 2015.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for right now?
Funding for our future films and a deal with a distributor would be amazing. We are currently trying to take our film, Sensation, to film festivals and see if we can make the next steps with it or at least get noticed. But we’re always looking for collaborations with brands who want to pursue filmmaking and storytelling with their products.
Describe your ideal client/job/collaboration.
We’d love to work with A24 in the future, a production company that is pushing the limits. Their slates of films really exhibit cinematic style at its best. Not only do they draw the talent, they also understand the filmmaker and let it happen. Its a dream to find that in a studio these days. Believe us, we are all about working someday with The Big 6 (Fox, Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony), but it helps when a company backs you up and lets you show off your artistic swagger. Those films are always the most interesting anyway.
Describe a client/job/partner you would rather not have. What are your deal breakers?
We want to work with people who are all in, not lackadaisical. We take our stories and style very seriously, but we want to make sure we connect with everyone involved. That could mean clients, actors, make-up departments, stylists, everyone! We respect the complete process and love nothing more than getting our story made in the best way possible with a truly positive environment.
What is your hourly rate, retainer, or salary range?
Currently, there is no salary as this is our passion project but we do self fund all projects and production costs add up. Even with favors or friends involved, a short one-minute film is quickly a couple of thousand dollars in equipment fees alone. So when we take on a project, a budget is essential and it really all depends on location. For example, we shot a 1960’s themed short film a few months ago, which will be no longer than 2 minutes when finished, on a micro-budget. But since it was shot outside on a cold winter’s night, certain lights, lenses, and cameras were needed and rented to capture the look we wanted. But we still did it within a more than feasible price range. That’s how we approach everything. We make it happen with whatever budget we have. We find limitations inspire us more.
How should someone approach you about working with you?
Email us! We’d love to discuss project ideas with you -- ideas that you have or any that we are developing.
This member profile was originally published on February 2015.