Laura Adkin has been working as an actress for awhile now, but has recently begun directing, and producing. This short was shot on an Olympus OM-D E M1 in Whistler during a 72-hour filmmaking contest.
How long have you been directing/writing? This was actually only the second film I’ve directed. I’ve been working professionally as an actor for over a decade and I got the itch to move behind the camera. I’ve been writing seriously for probably 4 years having made three of my short scripts into films and am currently working on a feature.
How many short films have you directed? So far I’ve directed 3 short films but I’ve acted in everything from shorts to features to Network TV to Webseries.
What is your top advice for first-time directors?
- Get an AMAZING team together. A great DP, First AD, Sound Guy (or girl) and Producer will save your life. Work with people who know what they are doing and trust them in their roles. Be clear with your vision and they will do what they need to do to make it happen
- PREP! Being prepared beforehand is essential. Work with your team, plan your shots, know what you want to get out of the day and then when you’re on set you will be as efficient as possible.
- Don’t forget to eat! The Director never leaves set and often forgets to eat. Understand what kind of fuel you need to keep you going and make sure it’s on set (for me it’s Coffee and sandwiches – and when I need that extra boost I need some gummy worms and chocolate).
- Have fun and don’t be afraid to ask for help – but don’t let people talk you into things that compromise your goals. Know your vision but be open to ideas.
Is there any one part of the process that you enjoy more than the others? I love making movies, the entire process is great! Being on set and getting that perfect shot, when everything comes together is magic. But I also really enjoy the writing process, when your idea finally makes sense and falls into place. I generally do more than one thing on my films– for example on this film I wrote/directed/produced and starred in it, so when I produce, I’d saying doing paperwork is my least favorite thing and getting crew to fill out their paperwork is defiantly the hardest part!
What drew you to wanting to tell this story? We knew we’d be shooting in a mountain location and so I wanted to do my best to utilize our surroundings. Whistler is beautiful and I wanted the scenery to be part of our story. I also wanted to make a mountain culture film and I love doing comedy, so I started to brainstorm ideas of how that could work. I actually watched an amazing documentary called “The Crash Reel” by Lucy Walker about snowboarder Kevin Pearce. It was a really incredible film, and is clearly a different tone from “Road to Pyeongchang”, but it sparked an idea in my head about the snowboard culture and I thought it would be fun to make a mockumentary about someone training for the Olympics. As a bit of an homage to “The Crash Reel” my character wears a “Love Your Brain” (Kevin Pearce’s organization to help promote brain injury awareness) t-shirt during the interview section of the film.
What were some of the challenges in getting this film made and how did you overcome them? We made this film as part of the Whistler 72 Hr Filmmaker showdown so the most difficult part was shooting and editing a film in 3 days! We made it work by being prepared, I knew exactly what I wanted before we started shooting.
If you'd like to learn more about Laura, you can check out her website or find her on twitter @LauraAdkin or facebook at Facebook.com/TheLauraAdkin.