Meet Natalie Fält
on her morning routine
My morning routine is usually pretty simple and efficient since I generally have a packed schedule. I wash my face in the shower with Boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil Gel after the steam has opened my pores and wash my hair with Kevin Murphy plumping rinse (since I don’t have time usually to blow dry, this gives my hair more body). Then I use Other Stories Perle de Coco Body Scrub. It really makes me feel like I’m on a relaxing vacation before I start a stressful day. After the shower, I put on Isun Intense Moisture restore facial oil and wait for that to sit into my skin. I’m obsessed with ISUN products. They are made with living plants and are sustainable, and all the smells are divinely natural. Then I apply Nars tinted moisturizer and some mascara. My other obsession are these new lancome lip stains. They give just a tiny amount of color that looks super natural and are buildable for day to night. I practice the no-makeup makeup look but sometimes opt for a colorful eyeshadow or pop of color if I’m feeling fancy. Make beauty eyeshadow has the best colors.
on her background and getting started
I have a studio art degree which, in hindsight is very “me” since I learned everything from etching on Paleolithic stones to textile dying, darkroom photography and performance art. I’ve always been into making things with my hands and feeling connected to my work physically. I’ve always been into film and art and imagery but never thought film was a career I could attain since I grew up poor and shy. My teacher showed us “Julien Donkey Boy” by Harmony Korine and a bunch of Dogma films. It was the first time I thought, “I could do this. Just take a camera and film my friends."
I’ve had just about every job under the sun. I worked as a design assistant at Marc Jacobs, in a bookstore, and as an art director for a makeup company. A couple of years ago, I quit my day job to become freelance. Since then I’ve mostly worked as a production designer and director, then a couple of years ago I started Women and Film!
on starting her project, women and film
Women and Film came about as a means for me to research more women filmmakers a couple of years ago. I was always a passionate feminist, but when someone asked me to name my favorite women directors I couldn’t name more than ten or so, and that saddened me. I started it to share images of women directing films, women in front of the camera, and to share films that don’t get talked about or have a long shelf life. It sort of organically became what the community wanted it to become and I’m really trying to be aware of that. What I want from it is to give inspiration and resources to the women filmmakers that don’t have access to resources or funding.
some advice for getting into production design
I feel like I’m a slightly different type of production designer since I come from a fine art background and self-taught. I love it because I’m obsessed with aesthetic and problem solving, but most production designers are almost like architects. I found out really quickly that most of the time I am a handyman and furniture mover. My advice is to work on as many sets as possible as a PA and make connections. Those people will hire you from job to job. Make sure you can work a power tool and are comfortable with 3D rendering. The rest is something I feel you can’t learn, but just who you are. Passion is key since you work long and tireless nights, sometimes overnight, but there’s nothing like collaborating with a crew for months on something you can be really proud of. Find a mentor that is generous and patient and watch as many movies as possible. Remember that you will never stop learning.
on the tools she uses for work
For filmmaking, there are a couple books that really inspired or helped me. Herzog on Herzog, if you want inspiration. I read bell hooks' Reel to Real to help me develop my female characters and learn how what we write on the page matters. I want to be thoughtful in my filmmaking and tobe aware of race, sex, and class, and how they are represented in film. For production design, my iPad really helps when I’m doing quick concept designs. I also do all my film breakdowns on scriptation on there. Some of the programs that make my work possible are Final Draft for writing screenplays, Google Drive for sharing and archiving work for myself and my crew, Concepts for quick renderings on location scouts, and Keynote or Pages for the endless amounts of decks and lookbooks you will make. My go-to is DEBBIES BOOK. It's all you need to search for any art department inquiry from props to services.
on her rituals for self-care
I really should spend more time for myself, but I’m constantly in power mode. When I have time I get facials from Kim at Modem Salon. They are all natural and amazing. My husband is an expert meditator and has taught me to meditate more, but I'm neurotic so getting better at accepting the silence I need. I release a lot of stress through Class Pass. I like to try different classes: Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga. I love massages when I can afford them at Raven in Silverlake. I could really use a massage right now! If I'm feeling sluggish, I'll take one tablespoon of Diatomaceous earth supplement for 10 days, it clears out heavy metals, will kill any parasites and gives you natural energy. The supplement myomin is also amazing, it’s a special blend that literally “balances your chi” it’s a hormone balancer -good for women . I buy most my supplements from Chi Health, the asparagus extract is good if you’ve been drinking during the holidays or event seasons.
on her beauty routine
I use Isun face serum, and a couple of nights a week, I put on the Isun Goji Berry mask with their exfoliant gel underneath, especially if I’m feeling gross from working a lot. I love Everyday Oil, Regime des Fleurs Perfume in Cactus, Gypsy Water by Byredo. I try to use natural beauty products. For redness, I use Dr. Jart Cicapair or Lapis Oil from Herbivore. I love RMS beauty and Make for their colors. I keep rosewater in my bag for a midday spritz. I’m known for carrying lavender essential oil in my tool kit, and when my team is stressed I put a little dot on them and we all feel like we are in a relaxing spa for a moment! My lips are always chapped cause its so dry in LA. Rosebud salve and coconut oil are the best I’ve found. I’m currently obsessed with this iridescent eye shadow from Pat McGrath and peach/orange eyeshadows from Makeup Forever. I also recommend Dr. Singha's Mustard Bath, Bragg Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, World Organics Chlorophyll Supplement, Moon Juice Cayenne Metabolic Stimulant, Chi's Enterprise Asparagus Extract, and Chi's Enterprise Myomin.
on her home decor
Since I get to shop a lot for production design, a lot of my stuff is from thrift stores or jobs I did where they let me keep the set design. My couch that I found at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is from when I was working on a feature film as production designer. I thought it was so fun. I texted a picture to my husband and we decided to impulse buy it. We shop a lot at the stores in Long Beach (Inretrospect and Urban Americana) because I feel they are less expensive than the vintage furniture shops in LA. I also get a lot of smaller pieces from Individual Medley and my guilty pleasure: World Market. Casa Shop is also an obsession for curated vintage pieces. Also, Craigslist. I’m constantly browsing. My go-to search words are “80s,” “Pace,” and “Lucite.”
natalie's favorite books
Projections 13: Women Filmmakers on Filmmaking, Delta of Venus by Anais Nin, Woman to Woman by Marguerite Duras and Xaviere Gauthier, Anais Nin Observed by Robert Snyder, Reel to Real by bell hooks, Our Bodies Ourselves by Judy Norsigian
natalie's favorite movies
Body Double by Brian De Palma, Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, Possession by Andrzej Zulawski, Safe by Todd Haynes, Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold, Vagabond by Agnès Varda, Fruit of Paradise by Vera Chytilova
natalie's favorite places in los angeles
My favorite restaurants in LA are Elf for vegan/vegetarian, Guisados for tacos, Din Tai Fung for dumplings, Speranza for good Italian, and Amara kitchen for the best tea or for meeting friends daytime for a chat.
I also love going to the Self Realization Center if I’m by myself writing or sometimes my husband and I will go and just sit and meditate on the grass.
My favorite places for drinks are Bar Bandini and Zebulon. I can walk there and do a lot of my script breakdowns with a glass of wine. I also prefer to go to a more lounge style environment like Tam O’Shanter, Musso and Frank, or The Prince in Koreatown.
I am a huge Ceviche enthusiast and La Cevicheria on Pico is one of my favorites.