Meet Mimi Packer
ON HER MORNING ROUTINE
I wake up at 8 AM unless I have an early morning gig scheduled. I crawl to my beloved coffee maker (Mecraft White Ceramic Pour Over Coffee Dripper), jot down my dreams, or journal in my Muji notebook. I feel sharp if I write out my thoughts first while I wait for the coffee bass drop. Since the news is usually depressing, I read the NYTimes morning briefings so I know the gist of what’s going on in the world, but then I’ll head to sciencedaily.com for the latest news in science. There’s always something to feel hopeful about in science. If I have time, I’ll do a yoga video in my living room. I like Sarah Beth Yoga on Youtube. Then I shower, get dressed, and get to work. I take Solaray Organic St. John's Wort for smiles and energy, Life Extension Neuro-mag Magnesium L-threonate Dietary Supplements for brain fog, and Garden of Life Multivitamin Women’s Raw One as a daily multi. If I booze, I’ll take two Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal capsules before bed to avoid a hangover. If I feel a cold coming on, I take a shitload of Source Naturals Wellness Formula until it goes away. If anything, the placebo I get from taking these supplements is pretty powerful.
ON her path to filmmaking
I was a bit batshit as a teen and didn’t fit into the confines of a traditional high school system, so I dropped out when I was 16. Another tale for another time! The same year that I dropped out, my mom, who was a creative and hardworking art teacher by day and passionate filmmaker by night, was awarded a Fulbright grant to make a film in Poland about her parents who survived the Holocaust. I was angsty but always interested in the arts, so my mom, in hopes that I’d get my shit together, agreed to let me join her for a kind of apprenticeship in film production.
We moved to a tiny apartment in the former Łódź Ghetto, where we lived for a year. I worked with her as a co-writer and PA while auditing classes at the National Film School in Łódź. Łódź is where I fell in love with filmmaking. Then I moved back to Hoboken, NJ, got my GED, made a short 16mm film and lo-fi music videos for friends that helped me get into college, moved to Bushwick to get closer to the action, worked odd jobs to pay my way through school, and eventually graduated from Hunter College where I studied film & media.
on breaking into the industry
Early on in college, I interned with Vice’s video department back when it was VBS.tv. After a year of freelancing post-graduation, I reconnected with Vice through a friend I made during that VBS internship. I landed a producing gig for VICELAND while it was still in development, and I went on to work on four other shows for the network after it launched.
on being a producer
Producing is like being a mother of creative ideas. You collaborate with creative partners to develop, nurture, and bring the baby concepts to life. I was always drawn to that role in filmmaking and it felt natural for me and my personality. I thrive in work environments where I get to balance both the creative and logistical parts of my mind. As a producer, you always have to be ready to hop into other roles as needed, which is really fun. I recently wrapped season two of Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia. We traveled the world covering remarkable and fascinating stories about unique drugs and the brilliant chemists who make them. It was such an intense and rewarding producing experience!
on having a mentor
Having mentors who I trust, admire, and respect has been insanely valuable to me while navigating my career. I’m grateful to have found mentorship in a former boss who I connected with on a deeper level. She took every opportunity to elevate and challenge me at work, as a supervisor, and now continues to be my confidante and partner in crime.
on her favorite tools for work
I love anything that makes life easier while traveling or working in harsh environments so that I don’t have to focus on anything other than the story and crew. The apps I use for work are Timecode for taking shoot notes and JotNot for digitizing paperwork on the go. I know everyone has one of these, but I love my Fjallraven Kanken Backpack. It’s cute for the office but durable for filming in tricky environments. From crossing fields of thorny plants to crawling through muddy caves, it’s kept my shoot necessities safe in all kinds of situations. I love my Ibex Woolie. It's so warm, lightweight, and it's built to last! I've had mine for 6 years. If hiking boots are necessary, my favs are by Garmont. They’re comfy, lightweight and breathable. I also like taking behind the scenes film photos when I go on shoots with my point and shoot Contax TVS iii camera.
on her side hustle
I was always looking for fun ways out of being broke when I was a student, so I sold vintage on my Etsy shop, Deep Shadows Vintage. I put love into the shop in between production gigs. Most of the items are from estate sales and every piece I find and sell seems to have a cool story behind it.
ON her SELF-CARE RITUALS
To escape stress, I watch movies and TV, or I read. My go to streaming services are Mubi and Filmstruck. I loved the recent Netflix miniseries Wormwood. I’m fascinated with psychology and neuroscience so I like to read about those topics in my off time. It’s terrifying how little we understand about the human brain. I loved The Man Who Mistook His Wife: And Other Clinical Tales For a Hat by Oliver Sacks, a book of essays about the case histories of patients suffering from various neurological diseases.
My self-care ritual is going to therapy. My therapist specializes in EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), a multimodal method of processing memories for self improvement. I spend most of the session meditating on and navigating through memories. Not sure if therapy is for everyone, but I find it helpful. I'm lucky to have found a good therapist who takes my health insurance. I like to swim at my local YMCA. I’m a shit swimmer, but I do it for fun. It makes me feel like I’m not in the city. I’ll shvitz in the sauna afterwards which is so great, if it’s working. Not always the case, YMCA! Acupuncture has helped me out of some seriously unpleasant pulled muscles. My favorite spot is on Baxter St, Yaoshen Cai, it’s $50 for a session and he does cupping if you ask.
on her nightly routine
No phones allowed in bed, otherwise I’ll have self loathing Instagram nightmares. If I’m anxious, I’ll use my Muji aroma diffuser with Aura Cacia Lavender Oil and drink Organic India Tulsi Caffeine Free Tea, Sweet Rose. I like to read something calming before bed too. I love Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey. I recommend it to all the desert lovers.
On her plants
The San Pedro cactus is from Noble Planta on 28th St in the city. The owner is passionate and knowledgeable about the plants and gives great instructions on how to care for them. The Breast Cactus is from the LA based shop The Cactus Store when they did a Summer pop up here. The Totem Pole cactus I got while on a shoot in Tucson, Arizona where it grows naturally. Most of the others are from Crest Hardware around the corner from me. They have a nice greenhouse and the staff is sweet and helpful.
on her beauty routine
Daily makeup for me is Glossier's blush, the cloud paint in haze (I use it as a lip stain too.) Make Up For Ever brow gel, and sometimes lipstick. My go-to lipstick is Milani in Plumrose. It’s cheap, lasts long, and I get lots of compliments on it. I recently started using Differin gel for adult acne and it seems to be working. I really want the magic of retinoids to work for me since the side effects are minimal in comparison to other prescription acne meds, so I’m giving it a shot. My favorite sunblocks are Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 or EltaMD UV Clear. Pricey, but so worth it to avoid a skin freak out. I love doing my own nails too. The mindless monotony is so soothing. I have almost every color of Floss Gloss but my favorite is Tanlines.
on her favorite book
Bone is a raw and personal collection of poems by a talented young poet, Yrsa Daley-Ward. I’ve read this one many times over the last few years because it was relatable and consoled me when I needed it most.
mimi'S FAVORITE BOOKS
So You Want To Be A Producer by Lawrence Turman, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat by Oliver Sacks, The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman, Neuromancer by William Gibson, Manufacturing Depression by Gary Greenberg, Bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward, The Genius and The Goddess by Aldous Huxley
mimi'S favorite movies
The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer, A Girl Walks Alone at Night by Ana Lily Amirpour, Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski and Wolfpack by Crystal Moselle
mimi's favorite places IN new york city
Film Noir Cinema for movies, I love it there and the selection of movies is always great.
Nha Minh for the bombest rice bowls and bun noodles.
Ben’s Books for rare books and cool gifts.
Snacky for late night food, I like taking myself on dates here and watching the weird ninja movies.
Pure Qi for massages.
Quiet Storms for window shopping.