Sometimes doing nothing can be the worst move of all.
Interview with Writer/Director Mia'kate Russell
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I love writing and directing, and getting a feature up can take years, so every year or so I make a short. I really wanted to work with producer Andre Lima as I'd done makeup on his short film Mrs McCutchean, and he was just gorgeous and funny, which are two things I look for in a producer. When I give him things I've written he never says it's too gory, or violent. So he's my perfect match.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Watch it for a little gross-out and giggle. I think the world’s in a pretty depressing and serious place at the moment and a lot of films I'm seeing reflect this. So I'm fine being the one throwing in some colour, and some bad taste humour to get the audience gasping or shaking their heads at me. It may make them think too, but if you're hitting your message over their heads too much, nobody appreciates it.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The themes in my film are serious but the way it's presented isn't. The theme of 'self-obsession in the online selfie world', and the theme of 'Why get involved if it doesn't impact me?', cross over in Maggie-may. It's the concern of people just not caring, or only caring if they're being photographed caring that plays on my mind.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Not too much. I wrote the first draft and sent to DOP Tim Egan and producer Andre Lima for notes. Did the second draft with their feedback, and storyboarded it. I think when you're limited with funds and time you have to be prepared and go in there knowing exactly what shots you need. Having said that everyone that worked on it brought something extra. Editor Dan Lee from 'The Butchery' just put it all together so perfectly. There's always that feeling of 'Thank god we have a movie'.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The main feedback is how great the acting is. There's some brilliant character work and audience members have individually mentioned all the actors as being incredible. Also, the SFX design? (and application) by Julian Dimase got a lot of love. There are some gruesome visuals everyone involved should be really proud of.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I know how good the actors and SFX are, I'm like a proud momma. I'm pretty sure when I get a feature out I'll be challenged a whole lot more.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
If people see the name Maggie May at festivals, check her out. I really hope they like it. And if they don't, it's a short so it'll be over soon.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We'd love a sales agent and distributor, but mainly we'd like a co-producer who'd be interested in talking to us about feature developments and introducing us to their wealthy friends.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I've been really happy with the reactions so far. If people keep laughing, telling me how horrified they were, or my favourite "I nearly threw up" I'd be really happy.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Self-obsession, self-love and narcissism. Where does one begin and one end to you?
Would you like to add anything else?
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Lulu McClatchy does a hysterical comedy act 'Super girly' and is also writing and developing her own scripts. Katrina Mathers directed a short film that was shown at St.kilda fest this year. Tim Egan (who wrote and directed multi-award-winning short 'Curve') is working on a feature script, and Andre Lima is in the development stage of a number of TV and film projects.
I have a couple of features written and now attempting limited series writing, which I'm loving as I now consider watching Netflix 'research'.
Interview: July 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Sometimes doing nothing can be the worst move of all.
Director: Mia'kate Russell
Producer: Andre Lima
Writer: Mia'kate Russell
About the writer, director and producer:
MIA'KATE RUSSELL has written and directed multi-award-winning shorts: Auditioning Fanny (2012); Swallow (2013), Death By Muff (2014), and Liz Drives (2017). She also has over 15 years of industry experience and extends her work as a head of make-up and special effects artist. Credits include: What If It Works? (2017); Pawno (2015); Crawlspace (2012); Red Hill (2010); Zombieworld (2015); Scare Campaign (2015), and shorts such as Mrs McCutcheon (2017), Emo, the Musical (2013); and Yardbird (2012).
ANDRE LIMA's producing credits include the short film True Love (2003) that premiered at the 14th Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, the feature documentary From Where I Stand (2015) produced for the exhibition Brazil Past and Future, and the short film Mrs McCutcheon (2017), which has travelled to over 80 festivals winning 25 awards, including Best Australian Short Film at 66th Melbourne International Film Festival, Short Film Production of the Year at 17th Screen Producers Australia Awards, and a nomination for Best Short Film at the 7th AACTA Awards.
Key cast: Lulu McClatchy (Maggie May), Katrina Mathers (Sam), Sophia Davey (Libby)
Looking for: film festival directors, buyers, distributors, sales agents, journalists
Facebook: Maggie May
Hashtags used: #MaggieMay, #MaggieMayTheMovie
Made in association with: Make Trouble Films and Buffalo Media
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Maggie May will have its French, German and Mexican premiere screenings in September and October 2019. Details are yet to be announced. Stay tuned to the Maggie May Facebook page for screenings updates.