About: Callie is an award-winning writer-director and producer of film and theatre. She is currently prepping her first feature, the paranormal romance Dickens and Isabella, for an Autumn 2015 shoot. She is also busy writing Book 2 of her U.S. set Wonderland crime fiction series for a leading international publisher. Book 1 publishes May 2015. She is developing her first crime fiction TV series, The First Detective, with Runaway Fridge Productions (Runaway recently produced Frank starring Michael Fassbender).
How long have you been directing/writing? From the age of 7 I was writing scripts and bossing around friends and family to ‘star’ in my plays!
How many short films have you directed? Just one.
What is your top advice for first-time directors? Take a deep breath and own your material but never be afraid to ask for help/advice/encouragement.
Is there any one part of the process that you enjoy more than the others? I love it all, from writing, to casting to the final edit. But my favorite part of directing is having to come up with answers to all the questions everyone will ask throughout the process. Especially as writer-director: all eyes are on you! Scary, but true. I find this collaborative process the most creatively rewarding part of the entire process, thinking on your feet and coming up with a new way of doing something/looking at it from someone else’s perspective and/or with their input.
What drew you to wanting to tell this story? The idea just flashed fully formed into my head one day while out lunch shopping! I dashed back to the office and wrote the script in 40 minutes. I’d never had an idea for a short film before…and I’m still waiting for inspiration for the next one!
What kind of camera did you shoot on? 16mm. Film all the way. I insisted on it. I thought it might be the only film I ever make, might as well do it to the best of my abilities before film goes to the great technology graveyard in the sky. It made everything so much more expensive but we’ve had great feedback from audiences so that made all the expense/extra time spent worthwhile.
What were some of the challenges in getting this film made and how did you overcome them? The British weather almost killed the film stone dead. We had to film on one of the busiest beaches in the UK (Bournemouth), so had to wait until the school vacation was over and families were all done with the beach. That’s early September in the UK. But the weather on the only two days I could keep a cast/crew of 20+ people away from home kept changing from cloudy to brilliantly sunny and was completely screwing up our continuity. You’ll see why continuity of weather is so important when you watch the film. My next film I’m hoping to film in Malta as that’s guaranteed sunshine and hopefully we won’t need to rush out during filming and buy umbrellas for the cast/crew!