Hello, my name is Laura Zinger, Owner of 20K Films, and I am making a feature length documentary about Nicole Hollander, the legendary creator of feminist bombshell (more emphasis on the bomb than on the shell), Sylvia.

    Nicole Hollander approached me 5 years ago at the premiere of my first, independently produced documentary, Proceed and Be Bold! and in an act of utter kindness and total solidarity, she gave me one of her earrings and told me, “Here is your Oscar.”


    She then wandered away leaving me alone in complete shocked flattery with one of her earrings and the thought, “Holy cats! That was Nicole Hollander.”

    Nicole then returned two minutes and 36 seconds later and gave me the matching earring and told me I should have both.  As Nicole handed me her second earring, I knew I had found the subject of my next documentary.

    That was over 5 years ago.

    Independent filmmaking is not something to take lightly, there are high costs, overwhelming time commitments, hours and hours and hours of unpaid labor, and the full knowledge that time stops for no one.

    I am immensely proud and pleased to officially announce that the documentary we started 5 years ago about the life and work of Nicole Hollander is in post-production.


    This blog is how we will keep track of the progress of the documentary from post-production to completion. Here is where I am logging my thoughts about how to take all of the research materials and documentary interviews and shape them into a story.

    This is a page for you, her wonderful fans. 

    And here is a list of everyone we interviewed for the documentary.

    We welcome your thoughts and comments.

    We would also welcome your help. Please offer it. Visit this page for how you can help us finish this documentary and get it out to Nicole’s and Sylvia’s fans.


    *Many thanks to the small crew who has helped this documentary happen so far: 
    Executive Producers: Douglas Zinger, Amos Paul Kennedy JrNicole Hollander
    Camera People: Laura ShieldsMatt Peace, Kirk Johnson
    Associate Producer: Caroline Pahl
  • Art Show

    I just TRIED to sell some PaBB DVDs yesterday at an Art art show in Chicago. It’s official (at least to me finally) NO ONE WANTS DVDs . NO ONE. My friend Myra and I were trying to figure out another angle to sell them (What a great mini shiny frisbee!), but it was a total NO GO. Luckily, Myra was able to sell some of her amazing paper wallets and pinwheels though.
    Today I’m finishing prepping for an 8 week documentary filmmaking course I’m teaching to some teenagers at a library in the burbs. I’m actually SUPER excited, because these kids had to apply and get accepted, so they WANT to be there, unlike all of my previous teaching experiences where kids/adults showed up in my junior college course and told me they wanted to be Quentin Tarantino and then sat on their ass basically making improv videos. Filmmaking is a SPORT. You want to be any good at it, you have to PRACTICE. And you have to FAIL. It’s neither cute nor fun.
    I’m playing around with starting up a monthly documentary mentor meet-up where I can teach anyone documentary filmmaking from scratch, without anyone having to drop some crazy bucks in a college/university setting. If you’re interested in being in the test group in January 2015, and you live in Chicago, just send me an email at laura@20kfilms.com. 
  • Lettuce Entertain You Group Takes One 20K Workshop, Makes AWESOME Video


    Lettuce Entertain You Group took 20K Films’ iPhone Quick Shoot and Edit workshop 2 months ago and nailed it with a well shot, seamlessly edited video using their iPhones and iMovie. 20K Films is seriously impressed. Here’s the video, and mind you, this is the FIRST video they’ve ever created start to finish.

    Watch Taste Of The Great Lakes Here.

    Also, read our article, Pro Tips: Using an iPhone to Produce Videos for Your Business, On Crain’s Communications Social Blog

  • Meet 20K Films’ Newest Team Member: Caroline Sickmen, Associate Producer


    Carri and Laura S and Laura Z meeting for the first time today on Google Hangout.

    We are so thrilled to have Carri Sickmen on board at 20K Films. She’s Florida based, but in this day and age, you don’t have to live in the same city as the company you work for. (20k Films is Chicago-based and Laura Z and Laura S currently and oddly live only .5 miles from each other.) Carri has joined 20K to help us schedule the rest of production for our three current docs: Sweet Nothing, Sick Cells, and Nicole Hollander: Original Bad Girl. She’s also going to help us grow our social media presence and stay in budget for all of our docs. She has lots of past experience with promotions and marketing, but was mostly involved in the area music venues, booking music for bands like the Hackensaw Boys. She currently sells antique globes. Also, her daughter is invisible. Welcome to 20K, Carri! 

  • Laura Z Working on the Road


    Laura Z using a retro iPhone headset for handling phone calls on the road.

    Literally. We thought it would be easier to work and conduct doc business on the road. Not so. First of all, we could only get internet access using Laura S’s hotspot on her iPhone which killed her battery and costs her money each month, and trying to focus on emails and scheduling while the world is going by you at 60MPH is distracting to say the least. I found that the only thing that I could effectively get done while literally in a car driving from location to location was typing up all of the notes I took during the interview, which I did in the always wonderful and amazing Evernote, which syncs to your iPhone and desktop and iPad if you are happen to own all three.

    So much for that exciting mobile office idea. I much more prefer buckling down in an airport an hour or two in a stationary position to work. I also have discovered that I prefer flying directly to a location, interviewing for a week and then heading home. This plan to drive around America to do all of the interviews, is taking too much time, the same amount of money and makes everyone cranky. Really, 10-15 hours driving in a car in a day would make Mother Theresa cranky. You can only listen to so many podcasts and Tina Fey’s Bossypants on the Audible app for so long.

  • Thanks for the Tweet!


    Aw…we just found this while cleaning off our desktop. We LOVE getting tweets from fans of Proceed and Be Bold!  

  • Thanks, Indiegogo!


    Indiegogo.com just listed The Detroit Printing Plant as one of the top 12 pitch videos on Indiegogo for 2012.

    20K Films’ Laura Zinger produced/directed/edited the pitch video for Amos Paul Kennedy Jr, the documentary subject of Zinger’s first independently produced doc feature, Proceed and Be Bold! 


  • Sick and Stranded, but Getting Great Interviews


    Other than the fact that we’re  getting sick (“we” being 20K Producer/Director, Laura Zinger and 20K DP, Laura Shields) and stranded right now in Northern CA due to an overzealous flight cancellation by Southwest Airlines, I’m incredibly excited and deeply relieved that  all of the interviews we have done this last week for our current slate of documentaries: Sweet Nothing, Sick Cells, and Original Bad Girl, have been outstanding. 

    We interviewed Dr. Kimber Stanhope PhD,  an Associate Project Scientist in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of California at Davis, for Sweet Nothing, about her current research regarding the effects of High Fructose Corn Syrup on human health. She was 100% correct that this information needs to get to the public, and we hope to help with that in the documentary.

    We also interviewed Jill Escher, Author/Speaker, for Sweet Nothing about her own addiction to sugar and her advocacy to help others decrease their sugar consumption levels and live healthier lives. 

    And we interviewed Dr. Bert Lubin, the President & CEO of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland for Sick Cells about the kind of treatment, care and pain management that Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland offers to their patients with Sickle Cell Disease. We can’t wait to go back and interview the rest of their research and care team and find out more about their music therapy program for individuals with Sickle Cell Disease.

    Finally we interviews Robert Greensfelder, a long-term friend of Nicole Hollander’s for Original Bad Girl, and Trina Robbins, an American comics artist and writer. Bob told us that he has kept score over the years of what news items he’s sent Nicole that have ended up in Sylvia, while Trina delved deep into feminist history and where in the timeline Sylvia fit. 


    Thank you to all of our amazing interviewees, and we couldn’t be happier with the insightful commentary and personal stories they’ve shared with us this past week.

    A big shout out to Cheryl and Caleb, two great friends who put us up for a few days this past week. Thanks for all of the good food, good company and good conversation! Cheryl and Caleb started an awesome jewelry company called Bits of Love, well worth checking out. 

    A big shout out also goes to one of my best girlfriends, Taylor and her husband, Brian, who have put us up at their house for the last fews days while we wait for our rescheduled flight back home. Thanks for making us coffee every morning and for having such cute kids. 

    Northern, CA we will miss you , but we’ll be happy to be home for the holidays.

    Happy Holidays and New Year from 20K Films! Stay tuned for more cool stuff  next year!

  • It’s Not That Hard…


    20K Films’ Owner, Laura Z, with Laura S, the amazing DP for the 20K 2012 Production Tour.

    It’s not that hard to follow your dreams. People will tell you it is, and maybe you’ll believe them, because you think you can’t afford it, or aren’t talented enough or worthy enough. 

    It’s bullshit. You can follow your dreams, and, in fact, you should.

    Here’s why: Even if you never get to accomplish your dreams whether that involves playing basketball like LeBron James, racing cars in Brazil, or good old-fashioned filmmaking, just trying for your dreams will enrich your life in ways that you have absolutely no clue about. 

    I’ve wanted to make films since I was 13 years old. I’m now 33. That’s 20 years of wanting to do the same damn thing, and I’ve tried EVERYTHING else in this world to survive, pay my bills, and just get by. It wasn’t until I made a film (a documentary actually), that I felt truly alive. And this documentary wasn’t some crazy break out success. It didn’t get into Sundance, not many people saw it, I showed it to audiences of 12 people, and in one case, 4 people, and I sat in the back and watched two of those people walk out during the film. 

    The always amazing 20K Films’ Associate Producer, Caroline P, and 20K Films’ Owner, Laura Z at the start of the 20K 2012 Tour. #20k2012

    But what I learned from making that film and showing that film and just going after my dreams at all, are things that I NEVER would have learned anywhere else or anyway else. 

    I also gained skills in the following: teamwork, leadership, directing, business management, editing, lighting, social media, self-distribution, etc. What other job would I have ever learned any of this? See what I mean?

    So do it. Just shut the hell up, sit down for a day, listen to what’s in your heart that you really want to do with your life, and just do it. It is true. If there is a will, there is a way, and you really don’t need all of the fancy, first-world, consumer things you spend your money on anyway. All you need is your dream, some money, some guts, and a whole lot of friends. (My thoughts on the “friend economy” later.)

    For now, here is a motto I live by daily:

    Well said, my friend, well said.

  • Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. launches Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign: The Detroit Printing Plant


    20K Films helps Proceed and Be Bold! documentary subject, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. launch an Indiegogo campaign: The Detroit Printing Plant.

    How cool will it be to have a letterpress shop in Detroit, MI, dedicated to helping anyone and everyone learn how to letterpress? Thank you, Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., for keeping art alive.