Interview with Producer Hallease C. Narvaez (THIS COULDA BEEN AN EMAIL)

THIS COULDA BEEN AN EMAIL was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the May 2022 FEMALE Filmmakers Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Up until this point, most of my professional career had been in the non-narrative/documentary space. I really wanted the opportunity to try out narrative filmmaking. As a content creator, I’m best known for my documentary-styl storytelling and so I wanted the opportunity to flex my comedy muscle while staying true to my core identity.

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

Hilarity ensues.

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

Funding. I self-funded this pilot for around $20,000. Leveraged my audience on YouTube via my Patreon and I also tried to save the money from any sponsored or branded content I created. I knew I wanted to have enough funding for the project to pay everyone something and also retain talent. It took me about 2 years to save up the money for the project. A big boost came with becoming the Adobe Creative Resident.

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

I loved watching the audience’s reaction. I could tell who understood our particular brand of humor and felt very seen by the story.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I first discovered filmmaking at a young age. When I was 11 I watched The Royal Tenenbaums (which upon reflection was not appropriate at that age) and was amazed by Wes Anderson’s style of dramedy storytelling. I was around 12 or 13 when I bought my first camcorder from Circuit City with my chore money. I spent most of my time documenting the random comings and goings of my family, I didn’t realize that I was vlogging. Fast forward to my teenage years, I went to a magnet school in San Antonio, Texas that specializes in communications. It was there I realized that my love of film could turn into a lifelong career.

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

It’s probably Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki

7. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I’m sure it’s too expensive but any networking opportunities and in-person meetings with industry gatekeepers would be ideal!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Not bad, I have no complaints.

9. What is your favorite meal?

I love a good Chinese Beef Noodle Soup.

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

TCBAE is technically a 5-part comedy show. We just wrapped production on episodes 2 and 3 in April and are hoping to premiere them on the YouTube Channel Hallease in June and August.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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