Hoosier Films 2020: Women Directors Share Insights

Hoosier Films 2020

Hoosier Films Annual Festival 2020 was originally scheduled for earlier this year and was planned as an in person event, but, due to the global pandemic, the festival moved to September and is now online. I appreciate the resilience of the festival programmers and am delighted that the festival is now taking place during the 6th annual #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party.

Curious to learn about the creative process behind the making of some of the films included in the festival, #DirectedbyWomen invited women directors with films screening at the festival to respond to this question…

“Could you please tell us about a moment during the making of your film when you could feel your vision coming together or when you overcame a challenge in a satisfying way?”

Here’s what they had to say about their filmmaking processes.

Broken Branches
directed by Lisa Maydwell

Lisa Maydwell on the set with the youngest actor in the film

I knew that my short film broken branches was finally coming together when these two beautiful women who have been freezing while waiting on camera setup suddenly jumped into character and gave an amazing performance when they heard “action”.

Working with a dedicated cast always enhances your production.

Follow Broken Branches on Facebook.

Follow Lisa Maydwell on her website.

Midnight in the Park
directed by Clarisse Gamblin and Robert Mack

Clarisse Gamblin

One of my favourite moments during the filming process of “Midnight in the Park” was when we were working on a scene in which the dancers are doing a pas de deux by a fountain. We had this idea that it should be an homage to the dream ballet in “An American in Paris” – soft lighting, fog, the whole bit. Of course, we didn’t have a sound stage, so we were filming outside at an actual fountain. We had extension cords running every which way, our fog machines weren’t working, one of our lights fell and broke… but the cast and crew did everything that they could to make it work, and eventually everything came together.

I personally think that it turned out to be one of the most beautiful parts of the film.

Follow Clarisse Gamblin on Facebook.

Panic Attack!
directed by Eileen O’Meara

Panic Attack!
Panic Attack!

I was stuck in traffic, trying to figure out my next movie, when I became overwhelmed with anxiety.

It was like I’d been submerged in this imagined universe of panic, and everything I perceived—saw, heard, felt—-my entire reality had become panic!

My pounding heart—was it the cause of the panic, or the effect?

Eileen O’Meara

Even though I knew my fears were unfounded, they seemed more real than objective reality.

Once I came out of it, I was struck by how much the panic had completely taken over my being, and how seamlessly my mind oscillated between the imagined panic universe and objective reality. Both states seemed equally real.

I decided to make an animated movie about it.

I had been making hand-drawn animation about subjective states—dreams, jamais vu, and existential crises for some time, and enjoyed
creating the transformations—slowly turning one thing in to another, image by image, frame by frame.

So I wanted to challenge myself by making “Panic Attack!” as all one transforming drawing—without any edits— in order to reflect the fluidity between the different mental states, and how quickly your reality can change.

Follow Panic Attack! on Blogspot and Facebook. Follow Eileen O’Meara on Blogspot, Facebook, and Instagram.

Rebel Girls
directed by Riley Dismore

Riley Dismore
Riley Dismore

In the end of the film (SPOILERS AHEAD) there is a long strip tease scene. It is in no way sexy, only hilarious and awkward. My costar Amy Reader and I were both incredibly nervous for this scene. As the writer and director I loved this scene. I knew it made the film—it’s the climax, it’s where the main characters reconcile their friendship, and it’s what the audience remembers on the way out of the theatre. But as an actress, I was terrified to take my clothes off on screen. Amy and I, like most women, are not 100% comfortable with our bodies, especially when making them intentionally unflattering. But we pushed on. Because we knew the jokes would be amazing and that the story needed it. That night we stripped and spun and danced and neither of us have EVER laughed harder in our lives. The people in the room were so supportive and we had never had so much fun. To me this moment encompassed all of what filmmaking is to me—women doing whatever they want and having a damn good time while doing it. 

Follow Riley Dismore on Facebook, Instagram, and her website.

directed by Helen Baldwin

Helen Baldwin

A moment where a challenge was fulfilled in a satisfying way: We had a narrow window to shoot a scene with an actress from out of town and suddenly, there was an unexpected hurricane warning.  We shot anyway—and the wind and rain added a wonderful supernatural element to a pivotal scene.

A moment when I felt my vision for the film come together:  In post production, I joined three actresses to create an orchestra of wails, screams, cackles and commands. (This was for the penultimate scene, where the women unite to drive their persecutor mad.)  It was so much fun and turned out wonderfully!

Follow Songbird on Facebook and on the film’s website.

Hoosier Films Annual Festival 2020
September 3 – 6, 2020