Interview with Filmmaker Ally May (THE LAST PICTURE)

THE LAST PICTURE was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the June 2022 FEMALE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

It’s a tough question, and an unromantic answer-I have a feature script for the story and wanted to shoot a concept or teaser for that feature for fund raising purposes. But what inspired me to WRITE the feature script, well, it’s inspired by a true crime story that I’ve been obsessed with for years.

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

I wrote the feature in about a year. Once I decided I was going to shoot a short as a teaser for the pitch deck, it took a week or so to figure out the script, a month of development, two days shooting, four months editing and sound/music.

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

Real Horror.

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

The sound. The sound recorded was not great. It took forever to get enough usable tracks to make it work.

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

YES! Women get it! The silences, the images, the nuance- women get it. And then gratitude to those women that watched it and got it. That’s an amazing feeling.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I always wanted to be a writer, long before I knew there were screenwriters. I didn’t think about directing until I had a stroke in 2017 and could no longer remember many words( I have almost completely recovered, including my vocabulary). Then, out of desperation, I went to SF Film School, directed two short films and have never been the same. Now, I am addicted to directing.

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

This is really hard. Probably in equal measure – The Others, The Sixth Sense, Pulp Fiction, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Mary Poppins.

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

What I need most are connections to people who want to hire women directors or finance women’s films, short and long. So anything a festival can do to help actually make those connections ie -“producer/EP please meet writer/director.”

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

Film Freeway is a really easy to use and navigate platform.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I’m not much of a foodie, but my daughter is, so anything she makes.

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

I have a few things I’m working on. I’m in development on a semi-contained thriller titled BACKSCATTER. I intend to begin raising funds for this in the fall and hope to shoot it next year. And I have two shorts I want to shoot sometime before the end of the year, but of course, it will depend on money, yuk.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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