Omaha is part of the global CreativeMornings community. This monthly breakfast lecture series is designed to highlight our creative community and adds to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation.
After our February event featuring Omaha Street Percussion, we caught up with attendee Mackenzie Frei, film producer.
By JoAnna LeFlore
Grand Island, Nebraska native Mackenzie Frei is neither a shy nor boring personality to have encountered. We met her at last month’s CreativeMornings session and she entertained us with her wit and sense of humor as she shared why being in Omaha is so important to her.
“In the film industry, students and prospective filmmakers are encouraged to either become enslaved in the repetitive, non-creative, commercial realm or take ‘the risk’ and leave for the coasts to work on ‘real’ films. These opportunities do exist in Omaha, though they are hard to come by without networking,” Mackenzie explains.
“Doing my part is simply being open-minded about projects and talking with as many people as possible. ‘It’s not what you know, its’ who you know.’ If you believe you have no career chances here, you will not find them. Being a new mother, my free time is little-to-none, however, I try to volunteer my time on local short films and spread the word about Omaha filmmakers and regional projects.”
Mackenzie brags that some of her creative hobbies are writing fiction, making homemade dog treats, fishing and scriptwriting. But her commitment is most evident in her current profession as a producer at Dialogue Farm working with clients who need just a little push to tell their story. The Omaha based firm confidently offers a way to help others share a message without losing its uniqueness. This is a quality that Mackenzie takes to heart in her work.
“My passion lies in storytelling. Telling stories is my way of meditating. It releases all my pent up creative energy. With many pressures of becoming a functioning adult, expressing my creativity is the single most important self-help I’ve found. Some do yoga, some drink coffee – I write and daydream about plot lines.”
Mackenzie’s favorite moment from February’s CreativeMornings session with Omaha Street Percussion was witnessing everyone in the room clapping together in one syncopated rhythm. “There were people from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities with different interests and careers that all participated in one collaborative sound,” she said. “We can all learn from each other and influence positive change for one another both professionally and personally.”
Photo by Eric Francis
How important is being a part of a creative community to you?
Dialogue Farm is located in the Image Arts Building at 2626 Harney Street. Within the Image Arts Building I see designers, photographers, videographers, actors, writers, audio engineers (and more) on a daily basis. Without having those individuals around Dialogue Farm, the business would become stale and stagnant. Creative minds inspire movement and new perspectives for growth and depth within the business and versatility in projects.
In your opinion, how should we celebrate one another’s uniqueness?
Celebrating uniqueness, to me, is all about acceptance. For too long uniqueness has meant people’s physical differences and appearances, which has created a sort of dissonance. To celebrate our uniquenesses is to allow everyone to do what they want, how they want.
“Live and let live.”
What might you look forward to by attending CreativeMorning lectures?
I would be very interested in listening from more accomplished artists on their inspirations, obstacles, and thought processes. Also, to hear more about opportunities to participate in creative projects locally.