A Winding Road: Actress & Writer/Producer Kate Greer
Drawing on the influences of Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, Kate Greer brings a history of storytelling to her work. This actress, writer, and voiceover talent turned to filmmaking as a new challenge. Her short film "That's What She Told Me" takes viewers on a trip that explores the meaning of family, reality, and more. Kate took the time to tell us about wrapping her film, as well as preparing for an upcoming NYC screening.
How did you start out as a filmmaker?
This happened totally by chance. I am primarily known as an actor and voice talent, but have always loved the art of story-telling and writing in general. (Painters and writers are abundant in my family!)
I was at a place in my acting career about five years ago, where I wanted more creative control and the ability to create something from the ground up. This particular story had been rolling around with me for a very long time, and I was finally ready to explore it. It was just a matter of do I want to write this for the stage or screen. Also, the idea of an artist who is trying to juggle and make sense of her personal and creative life really spoke to me.
I would love to explore directing next, but mostly love writing and producing, and of course acting.
What part of filmmaking is most fulfilling for you?
Collaboration - my Director Kim Cummings was very instrumental in helping shape the script, and brought some wonderful ideas to the table which really enhanced the story further. In general, I think the idea of pulling together a team of people to tell the story can be a very powerful tool in getting the most mileage out of a script.
I am always in awe about how many people it takes to actually make a film: the producers, writers, Director, actors, cinematographer, makeup people, PAs, craft services folks, post production people, and more. It really is an affirmation of the love of the art of storytelling.
Why does the ghost of Johnny Cash make an appearance in your latest short film?
Our main character, Carly North, is both a country music fan and desperate for some answers, so when she accidentally summons the Ghost of Johnny Cash, it is definitely a huge event. Because of this, she can't help but take the Ghost's suggestion to go looking for her long lost father. On a personal note: growing up, my mother was a huge fan of country music, especially Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, and we always had it playing in the house. Johnny Cash always seemed to loom larger than life. It is no wonder he ended up in this script.
What have you learned about fundraising during this project?
It takes a village! I learned that I really needed to know the film inside and out in order to get people on board. I also came to realize the importance of the vision for the film. It was very important that I knew what I wanted to say with the piece, and I tried to engage as many people as possible to help me achieve the goal of making the film.
How has your membership with Fractured Atlas helped you?
It was helpful to have an organization like Fractured Atlas attached to our film, in that it inspired trust and confidence for our donors. They had the peace of mind knowing that a respected national arts organization stood behind our film. Also the wealth of knowledge and resources FA provided were invaluable and helped us keep to our budget.
"That's What She Told Me" will be festival bound, so we are focusing on getting it into as many festivals as we can! We'll have a screening at Anthology Film Archives on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - we would love for Fractured Atlas members to come!
We are also a working on creating a webisode called LUNCH BREAK: about working women and what they do on their lunch hour. Also in the works: In lieu of the recent hotel scandals, we were inspired to create something in response to it, so we are developing a story about hotel workers that will be told in a short film format.