Today we bring you another In Conversation – this time with the UK winner of the Jameson First Shot Short Film competition – Kat Wood!
With the support of Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti’s Trigger Street Productions (The Social Network, Captain Phillips) and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kat directed her first film “Home”.
Read how she did it and watch the film below!
Where did you grow up and do you come from a creative family?
I grew up in Yarm, a quiet town in the North East of England. None of my family have a creative background and my background is in broadcast journalism.
What were you doing before Jameson First Shot?
Before directing “Home” I was, and still am, working as a screenwriter. My first produced film, MR BOJAGI, won the Best Short Film Award at the London Independent Film Festival and got distribution by Shorts International. I was a finalist for the Bluecat Cordelia Award and Final Draft Big Break competition in 2012.
I was voted on to The Tracking Board’s ‘young and hungry’ list in 2014 – which lists the top 100 emerging writers in Hollywood according to industry professionals – and my first produced feature, ARTHUR & MERLIN, was released in the UK and US on DVD/VOD at the end of last year.
How did you hear about Jameson First Shot and go about entering it?
I heard about JFS over a year ago. I entered last year when Adrien Brody was the star, got shortlisted and didn’t win. So this year I thought I’d try again.
My idea for Home really came about through my love of characters – I’m always looking for fresh and new ways in to characters that you’ve seen before. We’ve all seen homeless people portrayed as drug addicts, alcoholics, but in Home, Ruth is none of those things. She lives in a tent on the beach, and feels like she could be any of us.
Pre-production was very quick – I found out I’d won on Thursday and flew out to LA on the Saturday. We were shooting in less than two weeks after that. All of the crew and HoDs were already in place and I really couldn’t have asked for a better team, it was humbling to work with such professional and experienced people.
Collaborating with these people is what I loved most about making Home. As soon as I landed I started casting, going to locations and working with my HoD’s to prepare for the shoot. We shot over two days, the first day was a house and street location and the second day was the beach.
Working with Maggie was a great privilege, and being able to collaborate with her to develop the character from page to screen was an amazing experience. I loved hearing her ideas and finessing the character together.
I’ve just got development funding for my first feature as writer/director from Creative England, which will be produced by Maria Caurana Galizia of Candle & Bell. The project is a contained sci-fi set in the North East of England.
I’m also continuing to work on my writing projects, which includes an action comedy called Booze Bus for Shooting Script Films.