Interview with Filmmaker Francesca Brice-Martin (RATS IN THE HOUSE)

RATS IN THE HOUSE, 13min,. USA, Drama/Family
Directed by Francesca Brice-Martin
A cheating hysband tries to fix his marriage while dealing with his mistress who threatens to reveals the truth at Thanksgiving dinner.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Well, I needed something for my intermediate film project to pass my classes, didn’t I? Just kidding!

I have been in relationships where I felt neglected or misunderstood, and I wanted to write a story that portrays how miscommunication can lead a couple to its ruins. And with this film, even though we follow Derek (the main character) thorough the whole story, I wanted to give a little background of every other character and explain why they behave the way they are. I also wanted to show that failure of a relationship is not necessarily the sole responsibility of one and sometimes it’s better to talk about your feelings so that the other person understands where you are coming from to work through it.

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

So, the idea for this film germinated around September 2019 and the development of the script took about 3 months.

I was writing drafts after drafts and pitching it back and forth the to my instructors, until I got to the point where I was satisfied with the script. Pre-production started soon after and my team and I entered production in the first week of March. We were lucky to be able to make the film because everything shot down the week after due to the pandemic.

Postproduction was the longest part of the process. It took about a year and a half to complete everything. So, I would say in total about 2 years to finish this film.

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

Unexpected and Crazy

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

Postproduction was the most challenging part of this process for me, probably because I did everything from editing to sound and colors. Also, it was during the pandemic, and it wasn’t easy to find the motivation to finish it, along with other factors that slowed down the process. I had to put the film in a drawer for some time and I finally decided to finish it later.

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

It was a wonderful experience for me to see the audience talking about my film with so much positive feedbacks. It was heartwarming, I was smiling and the whole time laughing at moments, shed a tear of joy. I make films because I love the craft but also because I want to entertain people. And if the audience liked the film, I am happy.

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

I think I was about 9 or 10 years old when I started talking about making films. And it was not because of a film I had seen but because a show that was explaining how movies are made. I can’t remember the title of the show, but I clearly remember the feeling I had every time I was watching it. I was just mesmerized. Pure joy.

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

That would be either “Silver lining playbooks” by David O. Russel or “Shutter Island” by Martin Scorsese. I know!

Two completely different genre.

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

I had a great experience with the Female Filmmaker film festival. The festival was very communicative. I remember having my communication with Allison and she was giving all the information for each step and kindly answering my questions. The festival is already making a huge impact showcasing filmmakers’ talents and helping them get visibility. That is awesome. Keep up with the work. You are changing lives.

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

The festival platform is easy to navigate. It works like a streaming platform and it’s very affordable. It has so many short films and I love the fact they are organized in categories and genres.

10. What is your favorite meal?

That is a good question and I have been asked many times. But I never seem to make up my mind about it, so I really don’t have an answer to that. I love food, and if something is good, it will be my favorite for the moment. And I will probably have another favorite the next day.

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

I am in post-production for another short film at this moment and it should be done by the end of February 2023. Apart from that, I writing as much I as can, working on other projects and just letting the wind guide me. I guess we will see where it takes me.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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