FADE IN: There is a spotlight on Boston and the focus is on its filmmakers. From documentaries to comedies, Boston has its fair share of hard working creators. Local directors had a lot to say about their experiences. Of course, they had a lot of advice for aspiring movie makers as well.
“Emmys don’t come around too much in public access” said Andrew Eldridge, the producer, director, and editor of NewTV’s “The Folklorist.” The series recently received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Program. Eldridge, one of the show runners explained, “I’ve always had a passion for film making and television since I was thirteen or fourteen.”
A comparable story was told by David Ells of In the Car Media, who said, “I got my first video camera between eighth and ninth grade.” Ells progressed his skills through, “doing a lot of free hours of labor” and even completed his first documentary as his senior thesis at Gordon College. In the Car Media constantly makes advertisements, music videos, and short films out of the North Shore area.
Similarly, director-producer, Alecia Orsini Lebeda unveiled, “I have always wanted to be a filmmaker,” accrediting her passion to stories of a film project of her father’s. Lebeda got her start in Boston while in Los Angeles. “There was a job as a production designer in Sandwich,” she explained, and there was no one more qualified than Lebeda, who hails from the area. She continues her work with her production company, Good Natured Dog, known for their web series, short films, and promotional videos.
Thanks to local movie makers, more and more outlets for young talent are occurring in the area. Eldridge recommended Open Screen, “[where] you can screen films for no charge,” at Coolidge Corner Theater on the second Tuesday of every month. Rightfully, the film community has grown for the world of narrative film and documentary film as well. The Salem Film Fest is a local event being held in March especially for enthusiasts in documentary film. Closer to home, cinephiles can appreciate an endless supply of free screenings at the Harvard Film Archive. There, they show works ranging from Markopolous to home movies dropped off by viewers.
As far as the cause for their successes, each filmmaker gave reason to believe that making films in Boston needs the same discipline as anywhere else. Ells said that it is all about, “finding the opportunities to practice,” as well as answering to my misunderstanding of using lights on a film set. Eldridge advised, “If you have an interest in it, surround yourself with people that have that interest.” Lebeda included, “[in film making], you kind of become a jack of all trades” and each skill will come in handy in making a movie, especially in Boston. “Director-producers are a big thing” She later added about the local film culture, “You end up wearing two hats.” And to young filmmakers, Eldridge said, “Make a ton of bad things. Get them out of the way and you take away something every time you make one of those films.”
“We’re storytellers” said Lebeda. Simply put, each Boston filmmaker hopes to tell a good story.
By: Devin Castaño