THE FIRST-TIME FILMMAKER EXPERIENCE
Even though I’ve been acting since I was fourteen years old, I wasn’t interested in the crew side of film until I came to college. I had a dream of creating a movie, but had no idea how to. This dream was pushed into the back of my mind as I finished my first two years of Texas State. It wasn’t until I audited a short film development class the next year that I really began to think, “You know what? I could do this.” I wasn’t booking acting gigs as much as I wanted, so I decided to write a short film where I could play a character that I had yet to play with. Why not?
Watch Blindsided - Official Trailer
This character started to develop the world I was writing (this was also my first time writing a screenplay). Several drafts later, I had what I thought could be a solid short. When the idea of who was going to direct it, I was torn. While writing, I had the script visually playing in my head, drawing me more and more to directing; however, I knew directing AND acting in it would be challenging to say the least. Ultimately, I decided to wear both hats.
After months of pre-production, getting my cast and crew together, and finalizing schedules, we were finally about to make a movie! Most of the challenges we faced were during production. Whether it be controlling foot traffic, to using only natural light or environmental light, or to holding for planes passing over head and someone chain sawing trees in the distance. The biggest challenge though was not having a monitor to watch playback on. Due to a super-micro budget, we couldn’t afford one as well as each time we would’ve watched playback, we would be losing daylight- literally. This wasn’t totally detrimental to the film; however, as I edited, I would’ve rather played some scenes differently as well as try to clean up a few continuity issues.
Speaking of editing, having to edit myself was… interesting to say the least. It’s hard not to critique yourself, thinking “My hair looks bad, I needed more makeup there, what am I even doing?” Learning how to block out that hyper-critical voice and looking from solely an editor’s point of view is something I’m still learning to do. After weeks of editing and color correcting after classes, Blindsided was ready to be shown
It didn’t really sink in that I actually created a film until it premiered at the Texas State Rising Film Festival. I remember bracing myself in the theater seat as the audience watched something that felt strangely personal and vulnerable. Honestly, the showing was a blur. It wasn’t until the credits started rolling and the audience clapping and cheering that I came back to reality. To my cast and crew, thank you for all of your hard work. And here’s to telling more stories in the future!
Written by Emily Reas, Director of Blindsided
Follow Emily on Instagram