Interview with Actor/Writer Victoria Vertuga (ONCE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN)

ONCE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN was awarded FUNNIEST FILM at the April 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

This film was based on some of my very real experiences as an actress. We wanted to highlight the grittier and less glamorous aspects of Hollywood and shine a light on the rampant ageism and sexism lurking there, but hopefully in a way that makes people laugh and think at the same time.

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

We actually ended up turning this into an 8 episode Web Series which we shot out over 9 days. This short was 1 day of shooting. We took a few months to brainstorm ideas and write the season and do all that fun producer stuff like casting, putting our crew together and securing locations.

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

Cringey Funny.

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

Money money money. There’s never quite enough is there? Whenever you’re shooting on a low budget it’s a delicate balancing act of making the best film you can while pinching your pennies and calling in lots of favors. It forces you to be creative, utilize locations you have access to, figure out what everyone can bring to the table and what you absolutely need to spend money on.

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

It was really cool to hear how people connected and reacted to the film. There were some moments that people really responded to that are also my favorite moments so it was awesome to see that they really landed with the audience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you first realize that you wanted to make films?

I’ve been a storyteller as long as I can remember. I always wrote short stories, poems, and songs. I only branched into screenwriting in the past few years. It’s such a precise and demanding form of storytelling and I have so much respect for it. I love the unique challenges that filmmaking poses and the amazing power it has to move an audience.

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

Oh boy. I feel like it’s a tie between Gladiator, Bad Boys 2, and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. And maybe that list tells you everything you need to know about me LOL

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

Well since Without A Box is no more, FilmFreeway is really the main platform that we as independent Filmmakers have available to us. I love how user friendly it is and it’s great to have all of your submissions and selections all in one place.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Pizza. I could eat pizza every day of my life and be very happy. Cliche, but true.

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

YES! Myself (Victoria), my co-writer on this project Eric Williford, as well as the director of this project are just wrapping up the post production on a feature horror film called Lexi. It’s something we conceptualized, wrote, and shot all during COVID, so it’s intentionally something that we could do during this weird and challenging time. It’s turned into something I’m quite proud of and very excited for people to see. It’s definitely on the experimental side, but also I think very fresh. We had such a blast making it.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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