Meagan Flynn talks about her short film “High Bid” which addresses the issue of on-line virginity auctions.
Meagan Flynn, currently lives in the Kansas City area and grew up on a cattle ranch in south western Montana
It was an amazing way to grow up! Tons of family and the most beautiful part of the country.
Meagan has been doing theatre since she was a child.
I always wanted to be and actor and to work in film. After college I headed to Los Angeles to make that a reality.
What motivated you to deal with the subject of on-line virginity auctions in your art?
High Bid was actually inspired by a two true stories I’d heard. The first story I saw featured on Oprah of a young boy who was selling photos, videos and eventually himself through his home computer from his suburban bedroom. The second was the story of a young woman in Brazil who was actually selling her virginity on-line to the highest bidder. I believe it went for several hundred thousand dollars.
Tell us why you chose this submission?
I think this film is important because it’s something that is happening. The Internet is not a new world, but it is an infinite world that can be used for more things than I can even wrap my mind around. I also think the important thing about this film is that you don’t quite know how to feel about the story-are you outraged? Do you empathize with her? Are you upset with the mother? Are you upset with the daughter? What do you feel? I’m hoping it’s a piece that starts a conversation.
Why have you chosen the medium you use for your art?
I’m an actor and film-maker to the core. The visual medium of film has always been the art form that moved me the most and it’s where I feel that I can generate the most emotion from an audience. I still get my breath taken away all the time by films.
What is your process when creating?
I always say that I’m an idea person and then I have to find the talented people who can actually make it a reality. Honestly, I usually am struck by something in real life that gives me a spark of an idea and then I reach out to people more talented than myself to help me formulate and bring it to the screen.
Who are you influenced by? What inspired you and your art?
I’m influenced by so many things. My family, my friends, my children, a person I have a casual interaction with one day. I think part of being a good film-maker and actor is being an observer of the world and the people in it. I can get inspired by the craziest things, so it’s more me making sure that I take the time to slow down and see what’s going on in the world in front of me.
What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself to be a feminist?
Boy that’s become such a loaded word lately hasn’t it? If you say yes you are then you are pushing one agenda and if you say no I’m not then you are pushing another. I am a woman who believes in equal rights and opportunities for all people regardless of what categories they fit in, so whatever that makes me by definition I am.
What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?
I think because it’s true-art does save lives. I don’t know who or what I would be without art and artistic ways to express what’s inside me. I think there are so many people out there in the world who feel that way.
Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously?Do you have any experiences of this?
Yes, I think that in 2015 there are expectations and limitations that are placed on women because of gender. I think that unfortunately in film women are highly under-represented, particularly behind the camera. I think we do have to work harder to be taken seriously and that we get fewer chances to make mistakes.
Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world? Have you any experience of this?
I think it would be ignorant and arrogant for me to speak with expertise of any society in the world besides my own. That being said I think we are all aware that there are many societies in this world where women are second class citizens. As far as America goes it depends on what you mean by equal. There is a pay gap still in this country between men and women. Do I think, however, that I have an equal shot at things like education compared to a man-yes? But does that mean all women in this country do, not necessarily.
What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for etc…..?
How much space do you have on your blog? There are so many things I am passionate about and love to work for! I am passionate about many causes including ending human trafficking, making sure that all children have access to food, decent living conditions and education, helping to advance equal rights for all people, helping mentor young people so that they can explore every opportunity they dream of, and keeping arts and music in our schools just to name a few.
What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?
Art helps me cope, it helps me express and it keeps me sane. For me it is life-saving. I can’t imagine where I would be or how I would have gotten through dark times without having ways to express what’s inside of me.
How can your art be used to create change and is this something you want for your art?
I want my art to get people talking. I don’t care if people love it or hate it if my films get them talking, Google-ing, or researching a topic then I have done my job. I tell women’s stories so even if it’s a silly comedy that just makes people laugh, but they have watched and supported a female driven film I feel I’m doing something positive.
What are your goals as with your art?
To keep making it and to have the means to keep making it and to get better each time. I only hope each day that I can continue to act and create films for the rest of my life.
What is your next project or piece that you are working on?
I’m extremely excited for my next project which is filming on April 4th. It’s a dramatic short film called Tipping Point that deals with the issue of sex trafficking in our American cities. It’s calling attention to the issue and the fact that it’s happening where you least expect it. We have received a couple grants and are actually still accepting donations at our IndieGoGo campaign. We are so excited to tell this story and hope we get a great response to the final film.
And is there anything you would like to add to your interview?
I’d really just like to thank you for featuring me and High Bid. I’m truly honoured! I love what you are doing and I am excited to be a part of it!