Interview with Screenwriter/Actor Sophie Mitchell & Director Erin Whited-Ford (THE WILD WOMAN AND THE PAINTER)

THE WILD WOMAN AND THE PAINTER played to rave reviews at the June 2021 LA FEEDBACK Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Sophie Mitchell: Erin and I were in acting school together when we got to know each other and realized we had both recently come out of unhealthy relationships. That prompted us to read Women Who Run with The Wolves, a book of the lost wild woman archetype. After reading one tale in particular, Bluebeard, we began to talk about making our own version of the story. While the film ended up in becoming more personal and deviating from the tale.

Erin Whited-Ford: I think after we connected over a shared experience of past relationship trauma, it was kind of a no brainer that we should use it to fuel our first attempt at

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

E: I think we first started talking about the idea in 2015? Played around with a script for a number of years before settling on the current version. Shot the film in the fall of 2018 and all post production was finished by the end of 2020.

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

S: Dream-like. Suspenseful.

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

E: Because we had a very minimal budget, the post production process was drawn out over a couple years. I think initially this was a tad frustrating but became enormously helpful in giving us the time and space to develop the final cut into what it is. The whole process, from conception to festival submissions was a slow and fulfilling build, much like the nature of the narrative itself!

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

E: Very grateful and emotional.

S: I teared up. It was so heartwarming to watch the videos.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

E: High School when I made a short doc and an animation. Didn’t think anything of it at the time and pursued acting but have since craved the visual creative language more.

S: I knew I wanted to make films ever since I was about 11 when my uncle gave my brother (Keenan Parry, our cinematographer) and I a digital camera and we started messing around with it. I went on to pursue acting instead at the William Esper Studio which is where I met Erin. After graduating together we both realized that as much as we love acting (and still do, obviously) we wanted to have more creative control of the projects we were involved in

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

E: Probably ET. Or really any of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s films.

S: Probably a tie between Moulin Rouge and The Birdcage.

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

E: Convenient and accessible

9. What is your favorite meal?

E: Pesto pasta

S: My partner is a bread baker, so, sandwiches!

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

E: Always a new film or idea on the mind. Working on various scripts/concepts.

S: I am currently writing a short and percolating on a feature!


By matthewtoffolo

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

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