What would you say to those aspiring filmmakers who are searching the world for creative inspiration?
First thing’s first: I don’t think anyone has it “all figured out” right away. My approach is a little different than many. I don’t consider myself a “film major” per se—I think of myself with the film-industry background: an aspiring filmmaker looking for a creative outlet. I also think that when it comes to directing a feature film—particularly one with a limited budget—there needs to be an artistic approach. I think it all has to come together so that the film can find its own voice.
Film school requires a huge degree of training in the subject matter. The fact that I’ve had to deal with this sort of thing in my life has taught me that you really can’t get there by studying filmmaking. Instead, the first step is to know how to make the movie. This takes time (there’s no shortcut, really). The first hurdle that comes up is money. The best and most important step, though, is knowing when and how to take risks and let your work show on the big and small screens.
You worked with many filmmakers, but I never heard much mention of your own work. What would you say to people who have worked with you and maybe got to talk to you privately in the past?
When people tell me about a project I’ve worked on, as an editor or as a producer, I ask them, “Do you have questions for me?” Then, I’ll let them know what their priorities are and that I’ll do my best to keep in touch with them. I also know that I have an audience because people like to listen to my thoughts and feel good about what I do, which is why I give workshops all over the world.
A few years ago, you started out as a screenwriter with your first movie, The Girl. Now, you’re on a new movie, The Girl Who Got Away. How and why did you decide to branch out? Was a bigger budget ever your plan? How long have you been making it?
From the beginning, I had wanted to be a filmmaker. I wanted to tell my stories with words. I love being on a story. When I was six years old, my sister came to our house and told me she wanted to be a screenwriter. The idea of making movies was always there, but it wasn’t until around sixth grade that I really felt like I
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