Please introduce yourself, what you do, why you do it, and what you want people to know about you.
Hello there! I’m Julie Bayer Salzman – a human being trying to remind other human beings that every day we are alive, we are being gifted an opportunity to practice being better humans, and to enjoy this wild ride we call life. I do that through film, photography, writing, and interpersonal relationships…at least I try to.
Some days I’m more successful at it than others. My film work so far has satisfied my desire to tell stories that open people’s minds and hearts, and that’s all I’ve ever really wanted.
There’s so much anger, so much pain…I just want to help people heal.
We need to get to a higher place as a species, or we’re doomed.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I don’t take creativity for granted, and I don’t really enjoy art that feels self-indulgent.
As I often say “There’s enough noise in the world — I don’t care to add to it”.
I try to be purposeful with my work, and intentional with my energy. I hate wasting resources of any sort.
The film industry is riddled with waste – it drives me CRAZY. I don’t ever want to feed into that system so I try to approach projects as frugally and creatively as possible — let the resources drive the creative, and not the other way around.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you wanted to do what you do now. Who did you tell first? What has it been like since that moment?
I was in a Visual Anthropology course at The University of Texas at Austin in 1992, watching Robert Flaherty’s “Nanook of the North” and that was it – I wanted to do THAT (make ethnographic films).
I was already on my way to being a Cultural Anthropology major, obsessed with wanting to travel the globe and understand how different people live, and I started getting into photography around the same time, so it made sense to marry these two loves of mine in some way.
At one point I thought I wanted to be a National Geographic photographer, but after spending a fair amount of time post-college traveling alone, I decided filmmaking was more my thing — it was more collaborative, and alive.
I like moving pictures. I prefer the richness of the medium. Sound and music are so important to me that I couldn’t imagine telling stories without incorporating those elements. Plus, I like the whole experience of filmmaking.
My first film job was with a married Finnish/British couple who worked out of their flat in London, and I just vibed with the whole lifestyle.
I was determined to find a mate I could partner with creatively and domestically (and luckily I found one of the best!).
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
Being a mom with filmmaking ambition, while parenting with another filmmaker, has been enormously challenging.
Someone has to make some big sacrifices (unless you want to screw up your children, which was never my aim). I found that spending these past 14 years doing smaller, bite-size films that I can manage while taking care of kids, and running a house, has been a worthy compromise.
My kids are doing great; my marriage is still alive and strong; I’m staying engaged and relevant — I think I’ve found a pretty good balance over here.
I have to constantly remind myself that everything is temporary though. I may not be exactly where I thought I wanted to be, but where I am is pretty damn good.
If you had to pick the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could take your career (or business) to the next level…who would those 3 people be?
Hmm… 1) an angel investor, 2) a killer producer, 3) an awesome assistant.
Follow Julia Bayer Salzman on her social media platforms:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julie.bayer.73
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wavecrestfilms/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/wavecrestfilms