What is the premise of your film?
Emily Wilson-Quayle (Director): The premise of our film is a paranoid wannabe writer, Dale, who believes his neighbor Terry has murdered his wife and is determined to get to the bottom of it, regardless if it’s true or not.
Georgia Shore (Producer): An aspiring journalist desperate for a groundbreaking story begins investigating his next-door neighbor for murder.
What was the Pre-production process like entirely online?
Emily: The pre-production process being entirely online was rather difficult, however, most of the crew already lived together so it made it easier to discuss progress in person rather than online.
Georgia: The online pre-production process consisted of weekly Zoom meetings with our crew. This gave everyone a chance to report their progress and ask for help with any challenges they met along the way. As the producer, this was helpful to me because I could monitor everyone to make sure that goals were being met and we were keeping up with our deadlines. These meetings helped the pre-production process feel more collaborative and it was nice to see everyone virtually since we were unable to meet in person.
How many crew members did you have on your film? How many were on set?
Emily: We had a total of 5 women in our crew who were all on set.
Georgia: We had five crew members and all five of us were on set.
What was it like working with a small crew?
Emily: Working with a small crew was a great experience because it really allowed each person to contribute creatively and each had more responsibility.
Georgia: It was difficult because we each had to take on multiple roles and many responsibilities. However, the process felt very collaborative as the five of us worked closely and everyone contributed to each step of the process.
How do you think this experience has helped prepare you for the professional world?
Emily: I think this experience has helped me prepare for the professional world because I was able to learn more than I would normally learn about each step of the pre-production, production, and post-process without interfering in other people’s jobs so I have a more well-rounded experience than I would have had in a normal summer intensive.
Georgia: I have learned a lot about the responsibilities and expectations that come along with being a producer. With the modules, I have also been able to gain in-depth knowledge about specific areas of film production such as casting and locations that I can carry into the professional world.
Which part of the process was your favorite? Why? (Pre-pro, Production, Post-pro, Modules)
Emily: Production was definitely my favorite part. Being on set and interacting with the actors really motivated the entire crew and we all worked together as a team to solve problems that came our way without it interfering with filming.
Georgia: My favorite part of the process was production. I loved being outside on set with the crew and seeing the actors bring the script to life.
Which part of the process was the most difficult? Why?
Emily: Pre-Production was the most difficult part because some people had different expectations on when to get things done in a timely manner and making sure people were staying on track was difficult to enforce. Ultimately people work at their own paces and sometimes you as a leader need to be prepared to communicate effectively with them or pick up their slack.
Georgia: The most difficult part of the process was pre-production because we were adjusting to an online format. Because the filmmaking process is a team effort, we had to make sure everyone on our team transitioned to the online format and was keeping up with their individual responsibilities in order to prepare for the shoot.
What was the most rewarding part of this experience?
Emily: Filming was the most rewarding part of their experience and being able to work with the actors and the equipment to make our vision come to life was very fulfilling.
Georgia: The most rewarding part of this experience so far was getting to be on set. I love how hands-on film production is and it was rewarding to see my fellow crew members jump into action. Being on set is always a learning experience, and our shoot gave us a chance to act as leaders and problem solvers.
What advice would you give to students who take this course after you?
Emily: My advice to students taking the course after me is to sit down and really go over your TOPS agreement. Even though my team did this, some people would not change their behavior and the TOPS agreement wasn’t really helpful in reminding them to stick to what they originally said they would do. If you have a problem with someone on your crew and you’ve communicated that to them and they still will not change then I would suggest being prepared for either you or the rest of the team to figure out how to help them or take on more responsibilities yourself in order to deliver the best possible film you can.
Georgia: Communication is key when it comes to meeting goals and making your film the best version it can be. Get to know your crew members and their different work styles so you can ensure you are conveying ideas and information to one another as efficiently and clearly as possible. If you run into any problems along the way, don’t be afraid to ask someone else for help.