I first found out about Noelle Cope through a blog post on the WriteGirl website.
On whim I typed her name into google to see if I could find her personal blog - where the post had originally been published.
On her blog I learned she was an aspiring filmmaker, I of course had to contact her. I also found about that she had been written about in a previous daydreamerN post for a documentary she is making.
However I decided to talk to Noelle about her latest project and first venture into narrative filmmaking. A short film she is directing and staring in called Subversion.
DS: Where is the film at right now?
Noelle Cope: Right now it is in post production. I'm in the middle of dealing festival submissions. It's really kinda crazy when I look back on it all. I still can't believe it.
DS: What are some of the moments that stand out the most when you look back?
Noelle : There are so many. The casting process was a huge one. In many ways it went really smoothly and in others it was not so smooth.
DS: Please explain?
Noelle : It went really smoothly because we found our top choices really early on. The moment Yasmine ( the shorts actress/producer and script writer), and I saw them we knew we has our people. The really great thing about it was that they might not have been what we pictured in our heads, but they blew us away. I could care less if they fit the "look". They got the character and read the lines in away no one else had.
But the main problem was we scheduled like 49 actors and only 20 showed up.
DS: Why do you think that is?
Noelle: I'm not very well known. and most actors aren't about to google me. The fact of the matter is they think if you are making a short you are not serious.
So if a bigger audition comes along or traffic is too thick they just bail.
The one bit of advice I'd give is to trust your gut when you schedule actors. Every actor I doubted or had a bad feeling about I was right.
DS: How so ?
Noelle:One thing to be aware of is how young all of us are. For a lot of people that would right away be a huge negative. There are a lot of young filmmakers out there that mistreat actors. Leaving actors rather turned off to younger filmmakers.
I also could tell by what system the actors used to submit how serious they where.
DS: Being an actress how was it watching the auditions?
Noelle: Good and bad. I've been the reader at an audition You learn a lot about what makes an actor stand out. You have a couple of seconds grab our attention. After the third line you find yourself spacing out by the time the third or fourth actor reads the scene.
But the biggest factor was how well they took direction. Ramona ( Young) and Zac ( Zachary Reeve Davidson) completely changed their performance. The truth was they came in really strong to start and then we well... we turned the scene on its head to see how they handled it.
The best thing that Ramona did was slip up on one line. She slipped back into her old way of saying it, but she caught herself and then committed to the change. seeing that she could be so self aware without ever letting the viewer catch on. That sold me on her as an actress.
DS: So taking direction is huge part of an audition?
Noelle:It's the make or break factor. Who cares how nervous you are. If you can take the direction we now know that we can work with you. Bottom line.
Another thing that Ramona and Zac had was winning personalities. They came in where polite. And they didn't seem to care about our age.
Ramona while quiet and a little shy seeming, seemed excited.
DS: So after casting what was the next step?
Noelle:Lots and lots prep. Fixing the script, working on getting all the little stuff like props together. And also getting the crew together.
We did a rehearsal that went amazing. Much to my delighted surprise Zachary and Ramona have a natural talent for improv. Which was a true blessing.
DS: What is one major tip you would give other filmmakers?
Noelle: Don't be afraid to ask for help and favors from other people. But do everything in your power to respect them and play them back in anyway you can.
I'm very lucky that my mom is an amazing cook and was willing to cook for us. The higher quality the food the happier the cast and crew. Things like snacks,lemonade, teas, coffee and warm meals when possible go a long way. Also treat everyone with respect. Even if things aren't going prefect or according to plan.
As a filmmaker just like a human being we should always treat people the way we want to be treated.
Filmmaking is a job. You need to always keep that in mind when dealing with people.
DS: So when can we all see the film?
Noelle: Right now we are submitting it to festivals. The website and Facebook and tumblr page will keep everyone updated on upcoming screens and such.
Tumblr page Facebook Page