Local Comedian Bringing The Funny to Northern Ontario With All Female Production Company

Watch out Canada, the women are taking over! Comedian Trish Rainone is making a splash in the entertainment industry with her new production company 180 Sisterhood Productions. The company, located in Northern Ontario, aims to make people laugh while providing opportunities for women in the area. With the short film “Milk” already under her belt, Rainone has several exciting projects in the works for the upcoming year.

We had the opportunity to speak to Rainone about 180 Sisterhood Productions, their projects and goals for the future!

Tell us a little bit about your production company and what people can expect.

Lots of 180 Sisterhood things are a brewin’! I am currently working in various stages of development on some feature films with my producing partner, Rebeka Herron. We started our production company last year and we’re gearing up to shoot a couple of very different films this year, if all goes according to plan…which I have learned is not always the case. We are pitching a comedy series, collaborating with some other production companies, the whole shebang! She-Bang. I like that that word is female.

What inspired you to create this company?

180 Sisterhood Productions was launched to bring more projects to Northern Ontario. There is a huge talent pool of cast and crew up there and I grew up there. The goal is to continue to work near and around my family, bring opportunities in film that we didn’t have when I was growing up to the community, and cast females in leading roles in front and behind the camera.

What challenges, if any, have you encountered so far?

I’ve always been passionate about making people laugh and telling stories, and didn’t realize growing up that I didn’t have the equal opportunity to men. I had four sisters and we grew up in a household with our mother. Our grandma was often around, as well. I knew how capable women were because I was surrounded by them! I think the first few years in this business were a rude awakening for me. To come together with other women has been the most rewarding and fulfilling way to overcome the obstacles presented to us. Acting has been a tough go on the psyche and after becoming frustrated by that whole process of auditioning and auditioning and auditioning….I started creating and learning the ropes of producing content.  In late 2019, I decided to try directing, as well. I wrote a short film called ‘Milk.’ (Instagram: @milkishere.) The process of creating a story and re-working the story with the editor was fascinating and natural to me. The biggest challenge for me in this business is being patient and knowing that funding doesn’t always come in the way you think that it will, if at all.  Not every project will move forward and when you receive a no, you have to get creative and think of other routes that you can follow to get a yes. Everything takes more time than you think it will and involves more rejection than you expect that it will. On a positive note, you can create and you will if you put in the work. Have a plan a, b, and z and don’t give up. You can do it! Hearing something you were a part of made someone laugh and got them through a tough time is one of the most rewarding and unexpected things you can hear.  You don’t always know who you’re reaching, but if you put it out there, you are reaching others.

How do you think your experiences as a woman in entertainment have influenced this project?

Being a woman has greatly influenced all of my experiences and project choices. I am most proud of all of my collaborations with other women. 180 Sisterhood Productions is all about creating and sharing female voices. My producing partner at 180 Sisterhood, Rebeka Herron, and I met during our time as two of the producers on season two of the comedy web-series, ‘My Roommate’s an Escort’ (Katie Chats Inc.) Season two was shot in my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, directed by Katie Uhlmann. I also co-created the series with Katie. Katie and I appear as the leading female characters, Kesha and Heather. It was very important to us, as well, to share our female voices and have women in leading roles.

What advice do you have for women seeking to create their own content?

Start writing!  It may mean giving up some paid work from your day job at the time to meet with a writing partner, and it may also mean spending lots of money on coffee and snacks, but you have to trust in the vision, the partnership and ultimately believe in yourselves. If you work, results will come…and then you keep on working, forever with no guarantees of anything but the fact that you are following your dreams and your passion. When it comes to shooting, a dream team is key. Your crew has so much to do with making the actual thing! Find your team. Your team is everything. Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! Ask that woman who you think is doing awesome things to go for a coffee with you. Go to events and meet others. If you feel stuck, ask for help or guidance.

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Image: Sean Story, Skyloft Productions

Caitlin Arcand
Once upon a time, Caitlin had a fever dream and started this website. Now she's stuck writing satire for all eternity.