Filmmaker Spotlight: Brooke SeboldJune 7th, 2011 | Posted by in Film Festivals | IndieFlix in the Media | New Releases
With Kathryn Bigelow’s recent Oscar win more and more female filmmakers are on the rise, especially in the indie world. Brooke Sebold brought three of her quality short films to IndieFlix a couple of weeks ago and I had the pleasure of talking with her about filmmaking, education, and her future in the film industry.
Kyle Boynton: Brooke, What drew you to filmmaking as a career? What kind of educational background do you have and how has that benefitted you?
Brooke Sebold: As a little kid, I would pop one of my favorite movies into the VCR– usually Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure– assume my position on the floor, and watch in reverent silence. For me, films were like roller coasters; I had to recreate that feeling again and again. It never got old.
The idea of becoming a filmmaker didn’t occur to me until college. I realized that cinema is a language all its own. I had a newfound respect for my favorite films and I wanted to learn how to craft my own stories.
I am currently finishing up my MFA in the film program at Columbia. It has taught me everything I know about narrative directing. The caliber of work that comes from this program is totally inspiring, and within the community at Columbia, I’ve found more than my share of invaluable mentors and lifelong collaborators.
KB: Are there any films that inspired you to enter the world of filmmaking? Any specific filmmakers that you admired while growing up?
BS: The movie that most inspired me to become a filmmaker was Boys Don’t Cry, which was released right around the time I started making my first shorts. Boys Don’t Cry was a profoundly compelling film for me, and for the first time, I found myself wondering how the director was able to move me in that way. I was suddenly curious about craft, structure and directorial choices: all things I had never considered before. That was the moment when I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. Filmmaking was no longer about collecting beautiful shots and arbitrarily stringing them together; I wanted to develop an emotional connection with an audience through story.
KB: With your background and growing connections in the industry, what advice can you give to other female filmmakers?
BS: As happy as I was to see Kathryn Bigelow win her Oscar, I look forward to the day when two or three of the best director nominees are women because their work is worthy and their gender, irrelevant. I look forward to the day when more female directors are given the opportunity to direct across the board, including studio films, small indies, commercials and television. Most of all, I look forward to the day when female filmmakers are simply referred to as filmmakers. Until that happens, let’s support the women who are out there making it happen.
KB: Do you have any favorite films in the festival circuit currently?
BS: I have a bunch of favorite shorts, some of which are already on the festival circuit and some of which are just about to begin their run. Keep an eye out for Hatch, Crossing, First Match, Jiboa, The Recorder Exam, High Maintenance, Off Ramp, The Runner, and Revolution Reykjavik.
KB: Are you working on any future projects that you are excited about? Any upcoming collaborations with other filmmakers you are looking forward to?
BS: I’m currently securing financing for my first narrative feature called Gone, June, which is my fourth collaboration with Matthew Tyler (writer) and Veronica Nickel (producer). Gone, June is an expansion of our short film After The Snow (now available on IndieFlix) and we hope to begin shooting the feature this winter. Working with Matt and Veronica has been a director’s dream. We can’t wait to make this film together.
KB: With this project in development, what about long term? What kind of career goals have you set for yourself?
BS: As long as I get to continue working on stories that matter to me, then I’ll be happy. A little money would be nice too…
Thank you for taking the time out of your school schedule to talk with us. Good luck with Gone, June.
Be sure to check out Brooke’s films here. Are there any indie female filmmakers you want to see make it big?
*Brooke had a lot of great things to say. Click Brooke’s UnCut Interview to read her full responses.