Interview with Filmmakers Ani Cohen & Emma Sharp (AN ACTOR PREPARES)

AN ACTOR PREPARES was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the February 2018 Female FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

We were talking about creating content together for years, when finally we thought enough was enough. We were sick of waiting for permission to put ourselves out there creatively and we just wanted to do something.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took us three hours to write it, probably one month to assemble the production, one day to shoot, and a week to clean it up.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Ani: relatable woes
Emma:pursuing procrastination

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

We both come from heavy theater backgrounds and although we have done some work on film, our knowledge was limited. We had to figure out how to create, write, act, produce, collaborate talents, acquire locations, costume, makeup, and prop a film all by ourselves and make it something we could be proud of. This film would not have been possible without our collaborating partners, Junior Giant Productions. They took all of the work we did and gave it life. We also had never done the film festival scene, so we had to learn how to navigate and benefit from that.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Elated! We were surprised to hear so many other people, especially other performers, could relate to our film. Being around so many other filmmakers that we respected, we felt empowered to hear such positive feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

We were looking at film festival submissions and decided that was the moment we would walk the walk. We cut out time that late afternoon to come up with an idea and vowed to write it from start to finish.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Ani: Jurassic Park
Emma: Harry Potter

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s so easy to access film from around the world via FilmFreeway! This whole process was new to us and everything was laid out clearly. We felt that we weren’t wasting money or making mistakes because we knew each festival’s criteria and objective.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Ani: Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
Emma: Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes, now that we have a good understanding of the festival world, we are developing a new piece. We are also finalizing a couple more comedic shorts for our new production company, Deslia Creative. Ani is working in graphic design for a Chicago Equity Theatre. Emma is currently in rehearsal for a feature film, shooting this summer.

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