Writer-Preneur: Gilda Graham
Emmy-nominated producer to self-published author
When I first met Gilda Graham in San Francisco, I knew I had encountered a very creative force. She was working in film as a screenwriter and producer, and was the host of an online series. Her passion was, and still is, filmmaking.
A California native, Gilda made the decision to relocate to Las Vegas, Nevada. You might wonder why she uprooted from the filmmaking capital of the world to relocate to the city that never sleeps, but it’s worked quite well for her. Since arriving in Vegas, Gilda has become an acting coach, volunteered with the Nevada Women’s Film Festival for several years and now she has authored her firs book of poetry—Penumbra.
Penumbra is chock full of inspirational, and soul-stirring poetry that Gilda has written, as well as beautiful artwork from Samantha Fried. Her writings are the epitome of how she describes herself, “…an artist because I just love creating.”
I caught up with Gilda to chat about her work in the film industry and the release of her new poetry book.
How long have you been creating as a writer and filmmaker?
If you ask my mom, I’ve been writing books since I was able to pick up a crayon and staple paper together. I dabbled in poetry since I was a kid but never imagined I would ever create an art book one day. That happened by surprise. I was in a book store last year and saw a book of poetry with illustrations and a light bulb went on in my head. I knew that this was going to be my next project in life.
With self-publishing these days you don’t have to wait to get a publisher you can do everything yourself. As far as filmmaking, I dropped out of college to start my career as an actor when I was 22. I had a real passion for storytelling, whether it was in a theater setting or through cinema. I eventually went back to school to learn screenwriting—that’s my degree at California State University of Northridge. It was my professor, Alexis Krasilovsky who saw something in me and pointed me in the direction of producing. Now, I can’t stop!
You are an Emmy nominated producer, tell us about that project.
I was an associate producer for the first season of a new PBS show. We were taken by surprise because so much happened on that show, as producers understand, and we put it together as a team and it was a hit. It was an honor to be Emmy nominated. I’m very grateful to have had that opportunity.
What was your most memorable project?
My most memorable is my thesis film in college. I met my closest friends, worked with Donald Petrie, and got hit with so many obstacles…we had to do retakes that took the whole budget. Man, that film taught me so much!