Manchester Film Festival 2017: Creedmoria Q&A

Once the screening of Creedmoria had finished, the director and writer Alicia Slimmer and the lead actress Stef Dawson came out to answer any questions the audience had. It was a heartwarming end to the film’s festival run and Slimmer seemed at times emotional to have reached this point after 10 year attempting to get the film made. Below are some of the questions asked.

What was your inspiration for the film? When pregnant with my daughter I thought about the type of mother I wanted to be, and the type of mother that I really didn’t want to be. The film is semi-autobiographic in the sense that some of the elements were real. For instance the scene where Billy gets a tattoo with Candy’s name did really happen.

Were there any problems with the early 80’s setting? The biggest challenge was cars as they are very expensive. The idea was to use a lot of muscle cars, fortunately I used to be a drag racer and still had contacts. Locking down an entire street without SUV’s was also hard. Luckily there were no phones or computers in that time period so cost was cut there. The outfits and costumes were at times a problem but a fun problem. Sometimes a crew member would wear something that fit the time period so we would borrow it for the shoot.

How big was the crew? We tried to stay small, one gaffer, one grip, one dp etc. The aim was usually to keep it under 25 at any given time with under 40 total. This was to keep everything efficient but also due to the incredibly small budget we had.

How did you (Stef Dawson) develop Candy as a character? To begin with I couldn’t understand why I was cast but as time passed it clicked. The passion and sunniness despite all of life’s challenges is the main reason, a key part of Candy’s nature.

What were your influences when writing the screenplay? As this was my first feature film it was a unique experience. Mainly it was music, I grew up on the confluence of heavy metal and new wave. When I incorporated music into the film, I gave each character their own song. This was given to the relevant cast member in advance to allow them to get the tone of the scene perfect. I also didn’t watch many films growing up so my imagination had the chance to run wild. Wes Anderson’s quirky style did influence me though, and so did my favourite film ‘A Fish Called Wanda’.

Is the mother character based on your mother? Yes it is. My relationship with my mother has healed over time. The first time she watched it was during the Brooklyn Film Festival. During the Q&A there she stood up and said how the mother character isn’t based upon her. It absolutely was, karma’s a bitch and sometimes its your mother.

What is next for you? The indie film scene is a bit disheartening at the moment. If it wasn’t for small festivals like this one then who would watch these films. I’m transitioning into television now, in particular i’m working on a Game of Thrones type show set in medieval France. Another reason for the transition is that the money just isn’t in indie films unless you get a big break whereas with television I know that i’ll be getting a paycheque.

The Q&A was a fabulous end to the both the film’s showing and the day’s program. A staple of the film festival, it allows the audience and amateur filmmakers alike the chance to pick the brains of those involved.

Click here for the review of Creedmoria

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