Encinitas filmmaker focusing on women in music industry
Encinitas filmmaker Meredythe Dee Winter is hoping her latest project will rock the planet.
For two years, Winter has captured interviews with some of the most talented women in the music industry. Dozens of hours of footage later, she is now creating a television series called “She Rocks The Planet!”
“Music is a universal language,” Winter said. “That’s why our show has something for everyone.”
The pilot episode features Grammy-nominated singer, drummer and percussionist Sheila E. Other highlights include an interview with then-11-year-old “Hit Like a Girl” drum competition winner Alexey, and the history of Zildjian drums.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity to create something that’s a little different,” Winter said. “This is the first series featuring women in the music industry. It’s never been done before.”
An Encinitas native, Winter is an alumna of San Dieguito Academy, then called San Dieguito High School. She studied at MiraCosta College and Palomar College before earning a bachelor’s degree in communications and visual arts at UC San Diego. Winter later earned a master’s degree in creative arts interdisciplinary studies at San Francisco State.
As a child, Winter grew up acting, singing dancing and playing piano. She didn’t try her hand at filmmaking until she was a 17-year-old student at Palomar College. Her first film, “A Day in the Park or Bethena and the Tramp,” won first place at the California Student Media Festival.
“That took me in a whole different direction,” she said.
In the 1980s, Winter worked in Hollywood on various feature films, television shows and music videos, both behind and in front of the camera. She also developed an art education program for homeless and underserved youth at St. Vincent de Paul Village in San Diego.
One of Winter’s most successful projects is “Planet X Television,” a syndicated TV show that launched in early 1995 on Prime Sports, now known as Fox Sports Networks. Winter was one of the original creators of the show, which covers international action, alternative, adventure and extreme sports.
“I love to create television; it’s one of my passions,” she said. “I’m a TV junkie and proud of it.”
Winter first developed the concept for her latest television series after attending Women’s International Music Network’s 2013 Women’s Music Summit in Hollywood. After meeting founder Laura B. Whitmore and spending three days with female artists, she thought, “I think there’s a TV show here.”
“It was the most remarkable three days with the most remarkable women,” she recalled.
Since then, Winter has attended Women’s International Music Network’s second and third annual She Rocks Awards at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, filming honorees, presenters and performers.
Winter shot initial interviews at the 2014 show, capturing about 30 hours of content in five days. She recently shot another 50 hours of footage at the third annual show in January.
Using the footage, she plans to create 13 to 26 half-hour episodes.
“I just love what I’m doing,” Winter said. “It’s very unique and it just makes me feel really good.”
Each episode will feature a well-known artist, an up-and-coming artist and a child prodigy, Winter said. Some of the artists she’s interviewed are Lisa Loeb, Lita Ford, Malina Moye, Orianthi and Vicki Peterson.
Although the series is still in the works and hasn’t been picked up yet, Winter has no doubt it will be.
“I’m so thankful that we’ve got a great show, we’re up on YouTube and people are paying attention,” she said. “I just know we’re going to get a great deal.”
The roughly 48-minute special, which premiered in October on YouTube, has so far won eight awards and has been selected for numerous film festivals.
Winter also entered the premiere episode in the 36th annual People’s Telly Award, which honors the best film and video productions, Web commercials, videos and films, and local, regional and cable television commercials and programs. People can help choose the winners online at www.tellyawards.com/peoplestelly.
“I have no idea exactly where everything’s going to go,” said Winter, who was recently selected as one of 300 producers to participate in Cannes International Film Festival’s Producers Workshop, a program designed for producers who have little or no experience with the festival or the international festival scene.
“I’m going intuitively to create this show, and it just seems to be working.”
For more about Winter and “She Rocks The Planet!” visit www.sherockstheplanet.tv.