SNOWSTORM was the winner of Best Sound & Music at the January 2022 Environmental Film Festival.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Last winter I was doing a project where I took a photo of Lake Michigan everyday. During that time I learned where birds gathered along the shoreline so when a big snowstorm hit I went out the entire time to take photos. When I came across the scenes of the birds and the crashing waves I knew photos wouldn’t do it justice so I began to film. Afterwards I debated what to do with the footage and ultimately decided it was captivating enough in and of itself to showcase with a simple edit and beautiful sound design.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took about a month from the time I filmed it to the time I had a solid edit and sound design. Then I sat on it for 8 months before finally putting on the finishing touches.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
For the production of it, going out in the middle of a snowstorm with little visibility and unpaved streets was challenging. I was also only able to film this because I’ve spent the last 5 years learning how to dress properly for the winter when it is cold and when there is extreme weather.
In addition, an obstacle for myself is always not letting my perfectionist/overthinking tendencies get in the way of finishing a project.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was very honored. It was exciting to see so many people I didn’t know react so positively to the film! It made me happy and definitely feel like it was worth it to create this piece.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I became captivated by the process of filmmaking during my teenage years. Then I began to discover the movies of directors like Arnofsky, Wes Anderson, Fincher, Morris, and Herzog. Seeing their movies caused me to start a journey of learning what kind of stories I myself am interested in telling.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably Elf because I watch it every Christmas!
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Connecting filmmakers with mentors in the industry, letting us pick their brain and learn from them.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It was great! Very easy to use and has helped me find many environmental festivals.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Tacos with good salsa.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I’m interested in continuing to explore the wildlife that is still able to thrive near urban environments. I’d like to continue to make some more meditative nature films, but would also be interested in finding a compelling story to tell about the Great Lakes or environmental stewardship in general.