The Big Chill, Hamburger Hill, Coming Home — these are a few of the films that Marcia Nasatir helped bring to the screen. With a singular ability to recognize a good story, Nasatir, born in Texas in 1926, rose through the male dominated ranks of Hollywood to become the first woman vice president of a major Hollywood studio. Still active at age 88, Nasatir tells her remarkable story in this charming documentary.
Clearly Marcia was a groundbreaker. Do you feel there is any woman— or women — who is picking up the mantel from Marcia to continue to make inroads in Hollywood?
Marcia is unique because of the time — she broke the glass ceiling. She was singular and her talent and professional demeanor helped the chances for other women. She was so solid, so respected, and so talented with her abilities to spot a good story, men started to change their minds about women in leadership.
Since Marcia began her career, things have changed tremendously in the film industry for women, yet there is still much gender bias. What would be your advice for young women hoping to get into producing, directing, etc.?
Try to ignore it if you can! I wasted so many of my younger years crying over the injustices when I could have been creating more and better.
I love the relaxed pace of Marcia’s storytelling as she lets us in on her life. She must have so many fabulous stories that weren’t able to make it into the film. Was it a difficult edit it?
In a movie like this, choice is the key and the most difficult to evaluate. I had to leave out people and moments in order to have enough time to spend on what I thought more defining of her life.
Marcia Nasatir influenced so many women in Hollywood. What was your first encounter with her and how did she affect your career choices?
I was lucky enough to rent an apartment on the same street where she lived. We became friends. Marcia passed along my name to Fred Roos, Coppola’s producer, and that was the real beginning of my editing career in Hollywood.
What is your hope for this film?
This is a movie not only for women but for men as well. Every male acquaintance of mine who has seen the film felt that her energy, optimism, and tenacity were an inspiration for all. She is a life lesson.
Also, she led a productive, ethical life in Hollywood. Just because she’s not famous outside of our profession doesn’t mean that she should not be known and admired.