One of the great things about creative industries is that most people never stick to the same job for the entirety of their career. There is a fluid kind of system in place that encourages people to know how to do many of the jobs that make up the whole process of film making. The more you know the better you will probably be at your job.
A good first assistant director will have the understanding of how much time it takes for the rest of the crew to do their job and a good director will have an understanding of what it takes an actor/actress to do their job. Having a good overview of what it takes for everyone to put something together is always going to be a positive and this is why this week I’m featuring the directorial debut of actress Marnie Baxter.
I asked Marnie what enticed her to try her hand at directing after coming from an acting background. “The thing I love about my job as an actress is being given the opportunity to really put myself in someone else’s shoes…The thing I don’t love about being an actress is the lack of control that I have personally over the work I get and the kind of roles I am given.” The natural progression for gaining more control was to not only be the actress but the director as well and now Marnie has given herself the opportunity to really tell the story the way she sees it. “[What] I’m discovering is that it’s fascinating to think about the different ways of looking at the story – not just from one viewpoint, but exploring the scenario as a whole. It feels like a natural shift for me, and that’s really exciting.”
The film Marnie is working on currently comes from an emotional personal experience she had on holiday with her children a few years ago. “I couldn’t shake the sense that it would make a really compelling short story and when I told Nicky (my co-writer and director) about it she was immediately on board to help me create it” Marnie said. ‘Bad Mother’ explores themes surrounding motherhood including the judgement that often comes along with being a parent and the natural flaws that we as human beings often forget are perfectly normal to have.
I asked Marnie why she thought this film was prevalent in todays society, “Any story that depicts a mother as a normal and loving but flawed human being has a place in today’s world,” She said, “The story is about our need as mothers to help each other out at times, and how that relies on trust, something that society doesn’t necessarily encourage nowadays.” The films plot is deliberately ambiguous and full of twists asking the audience – would you leave your child with someone you’ve only just met?
On top of the compelling story, ‘Bad Mother’ has caught the interest of many women who have come on board to support the production. This wasn’t necessarily the intention but finding the right team is important and it just so happened that many of the final team were female. “Mini Productions came on board in the early stages, and have been helping us to build our team. So far most of the people that have felt like the right fit for the film have been women, which is brilliant,” Marnie said.
Whilst they have a great team and a good story the hard part, as usual with Indie films, is the funds. That’s why ‘Bad Mother’ has an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign that has just launched where you can donate to help the project get its feet off the ground. They need to raise a total of £7,800 and the campaign runs until the 30th of May.
“I think the hardest thing has been that because we are all working for free, around jobs and family and children, finding the time to collaborate on our campaign stuff has been tricky…We’ve had to be patient with each other and accept that things just take longer than we would like them to.”
Trying her hand at Directing has allowed Marnie to collaborate on something personal and have the power to tell the story in a way that represents the message she is trying to convey. “There are so few stories that really explore the feelings attached to being a mum without a judgement being placed on top.” But of course a solid team of women and men working on the project will allow it to develop into something special. “Working together is great because we all add different layers and talents, and I can’t wait to get to the stage where we can focus all of our energies together into making the film.”
Follow Bad Mother on Social Media:
FACEBOOK – Bad Mother
TWITTER – @BadMotherFilm
IndieGoGo Campaign – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bad-mother-community