Interview with Filmmaker Emily DeBackere (LAUNDRY)

LAUNDRY played to rave reviews at the July 2020 FEMALE Directors Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What Motivated you to make this film?

Emily DeBackere: I made this the summer after my second year of school at Ryerson. The motivation behind it was purely to make a film with no budget in my parents backyard with a group of friends. And that’s what we did. It was my first project I felt like I had total creative freedom over without the worry of strict guidelines from school.

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

The pre-production/filming stages took only about a month. In post, the edit took about two months of off and on revisiting the project in order to sculpt the desired narrative.

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

Artistically Introspective.

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

Probably the toughest obstacle in this project was being able to make the vision achievable with such a limited crew and budget. I am extremely thankful for the hard work that each crew member contributed to this project. Since it was only a small group of us, most of us had to take on multiple roles. This film would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of each member.

What was your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It felt really good to have people reiterate the message I intended for the film without having to blatantly explain its reasoning in the actual film itself. This is the first festival to give me an outsider opinion on Laundry and I was relieved to hear such positive feedback on the symbolism and imagery I implied throughout the short.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I’m very much an image based type of person and that’s usually how I conceptualize most of my ideas. The very first thing I did was drew a picture of the opening shot which was of the laundry line in the middle of the field. From there I was able to conceptualize a story that justified the reasoning of why linen was hung out in the middle of no where and more importantly what purpose it served.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

I don’t think there is a specific film that I’ve ever really worshipped religiously. Despite being a filmmaker/film student I’m not that huge of a film buff. However, as of lately I’ve been enjoying the works of Terrence Malick. Specifically A Hidden Life and Tree of Life have definitely been on repeat for me.

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

I feel like, especially as a young amateur film maker, I’m not too aware of the variety of festivals out there. FilmFreeway really made it simple to research and send out my short to the festivals I felt would best fit my project. If anything I feel like it allows access to a wider bandwidth of filmmakers to easily put there film out there for other people to see.

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

Clair de Lune by Debussy. I’m sort of an old soul and when it comes to classical music I find it evokes the most emotion out of me. Of course this is not the type of music I listen to in the car or with friends but definitely when I’m writing or brainstorming. I’ve played this song on repeat probably one too many times when trying to get the creative juices flowing.

What is next for you? A new film?

Next year I will be going into my fourth year at Ryerson for film. In which, we are expected to create our thesis short film. As of right now, I’m in the midst of writing a script that I’m hoping to direct if it gets green lit by the school.

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