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Why "Band Aid" director Zoe Lister-Jones used an all-female crew

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Co-stars of new movie "Band Aid"
Co-stars of new movie "Band Aid" on having an all-female crew 07:35

For her directorial debut, Zoe Lister-Jones ("Life in Pieces," "New Girl") had one very simple rule for the movie's production crew: No dudes allowed. She made it a point to employ an all-female crew, from the cinematographer to the production assistants. 

The film, "Band Aid," stars Lister-Jones and Adam Pally as a married couple who try to save their marriage with music by starting a band and turning all of their fights into songs. She talked to CBS News about making the film and finding the band's sound.

What first sparked the idea of using an all-female crew for this?

I had been very aware -- both being in front of the camera and behind it -- of the under-representation of women on television and film crews, so I wanted to create opportunities for women, especially in departments where they're very rarely given them. And I have to say, it totally exceeded all of my expectations. We were sort of in this amazing, utopian workplace environment where every woman could feel her most confident self.

With indie films, a lot of crews are assembled based on connections crew members have from working with other people. How do you contend with that catch-22?

Exactly, that is the catch-22 of why there aren't more opportunities for women in the industry. If they're not given them, how can they gain the experience to make you think that they deserve them? Even some of my female department heads have those longstanding relationships with men that they've worked with. Obviously there are many sensitive, incredible, feminist men on crews, but I did have to push everyone to step outside their comfort zones on that level and say, "You're going to work with someone that you've never worked with before, and that is going to be scary but it's what we have to do." Otherwise I just knew that we would fall into all the same traps that allow the system to continue to be broken.

What was your approach to filming the actual band in the movie?

We play all the music live in the movie. None of it is to playback, so that's all us actually playing, which was scary. But as a director, it was really important for me that we capture the authenticity of live performance. Performing to playback is done so often, and I'm always surprised. Like, aren't we at a stage where we're almost having iPhones implanted into our faces that we could figure out singing live? Why not risk it and hear the imperfections and sense that electricity of something maybe able to go wrong. It adds challenges to production, but for me they were worthwhile.

How did you go about actually writing the songs?

I think I wrote one song first as sort of a jumping-off point. I knew what the story was going to be, which was a couple exploring their fights through song. But then the rest of the songs unfolded lyrically as I wrote the rest of the script. When I write lyrics, I generally have a loose sense of a melody, but it's not defined yet. I collaborated with a friend of mine named Kyle Forester, who's a musician, on the melodies to those songs and then recorded demos, and then Adam and I started rehearsing, just the two of us. And then playing them live was a whole sort of thing. And then we just recorded an album.

Which giant franchise tentpole are you hoping gets handed to you after this?

Oh my gosh, any of them.

Because it goes that first you have a hit at Sundance, then you ...

Get to go make "Godzilla." You know, I think it would be so fun to make a huge franchise movie. It's awesome to have a franchise like "Wonder Woman," but it doesn't necessarily have to be limited to a female superhero movie. A woman could direct "The Avengers" or any of those. Or it doesn't have to be a superhero movie. 

Band Aid - Official Trailer | HD | IFC Films by IFC Films on YouTube

"Band Aid" is in theaters June 2 and on VOD June 9. 

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