Interview with Filmmaker Shawna Schultz (REMEMBERING MARTY CHERNOFF)

REMEMBERING MARTY CHERNOFF played to rave reviews at the September 2021 LGBTQ+ Documentary Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was asked to do some interviews and put together a 10-minute tribute to Marty after he passed away. As a filmmaker, the more I interviewed and the more I learned, I simply fell in love with Marty’s story and the film grew into a half hour documentary.

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

It had to be fast because it was initially for his memorial service. I did the research and interviews and the first cut in 3 months, then, we raised some funds and finished the cut to the current state to make it more accessible to the public in about 4 more weeks.

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

Unlikely ally

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

Mostly just the time constraints and funding. I wish I could have spent more time in the edit room and had longer interviews with some of the subjects. It initially wasn’t meant to be a full doc, but we just felt the world needed to hear Marty’s story, so we had to work with what we had. I ended up getting about 27 interviews.

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

I was touched to hear how people related and liked Marty’s story. I’m excited that people liked it because of what I’m up to next.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

All the way back when I got my first camera for my 11th birthday. My mom put it on layaway and I made all kinds of films through middle school and high school, ultimately going to film school.

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

Probably Snatch and Groundhog Day are tied.

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

Works smoothly!

9. What is your favorite meal?

There is a special place in my heart for Pho.

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

I’m in development for a narrative feature based on this documentary about Marty Chernoff. I’ve gotten the family’s blessing and a full script, and we’re now in the process of getting it funded to shoot in 2022.

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