Interview with Filmmaker Joslyn Rose (LOOKING GLASS)

LOOKING GLASS played to rave reviews at the September 2020 Female Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

At the time of conceptualizing this piece, I had just finished reading a book called ‘The Big Leap’ which explores the concept of taking that courageous leap from your ‘excellence zone’ to your ‘genius zone’ so
this was a concept also present when I wrote the short. I am working on a script for a narrative feature with similar themes, so this was in some ways proof of concept. I have always been fascinated by the idea of time. LOOKING GLASS was in some ways my love letter to time.

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

I didn’t write the narration until several months after we had wrapped. Sometimes the best way to work on a project is to walk away for a bit, then when you come back, you will often see things you would not have seen before, with new vision. It’s like looking at a painting too closely, when you step back you can see other elements and ideas because you gave it space and distance to speak to you. I think our work tells us what it wants to be, we just need to give it the time to do so.

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

Big Leap

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

It was challenging to make a film that explored concepts that aren’t easily associated with visuals, such as fear and doubt, hopes and dreams. They are abstract visually, so I tried to create characters that would be symbolic of these concepts/themes. I leaned into unique techniques to tell this story, for example using narration and not having a dialogue, or props, and even editing choices, that bent the rules of this world, and magical realism.

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

It’s interesting to see how everyone has such a different reaction or experience of art. That’s what makes it so dynamic.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

At the time of conceptualizing this piece, I had just finished reading a book called ‘The Big Leap’ which explores the concept of taking that courageous leap from your ‘excellence zone’ to your ‘genius zone’ so
this was a concept also present when I wrote the short. I am working on a script for a narrative feature with similar themes, so this was in some ways proof of concept. I have always been fascinated by the idea of time. LOOKING GLASS was in some ways my love letter to time.

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

It’s probably a tie between Do The Right Thing and Amelie.

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

It’s a great platform, I feel similarly about Sundance Co//Labs. I had shared the short with the Sundance platform as well and Trey Ellis (HBO’s Tuskegee Airmen, True Justice) happened to see it, and next
thing I knew Sundance London was inviting me to premiere the short. So that was an honor. It was Sundance London’s first virtual film festival, and it was an exciting opportunity.

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

That’s a tough one, maybe Optimistic by Sounds of Blackness.

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

I am in the polishing stage with my producers on my script for my first narrative feature. It’s a drama, don’t want to give too much away, but it definitely has a strong presence of magical realism.

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