Are we in another world, or has something tragic taken place?
Without giving away any secrets, filmmaker Braide Keyland discusses her two award-winning films, Waterfall and Last Day, and a seemingly recurring theme.
Q: Judging by the two shorts, Waterfall and Last Day, it seems that you're intrigued by the subject of an after-life. Is this something you've always had an interest in?
A: Not really. I like to take an idea and create a script that when presented on the screen would create the most viewer impact.
Q: Did you grow up with a family that supported your artistic ambitions?
A: My family had always been supportive in whatever endeavor I chose to pursue. Ambitions sometimes change as one’s life progresses. Mine certainly did. I had no idea two years ago that I would be producing and directing multiple award-winning films.
Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a filmmaker? Were you doing something else up until then?
A: I realized that I wanted to be a filmmaker when my first film, a documentary, began winning awards. Upon completion of my second film, a science fiction item called Last Day and another multiple award winner, I was more sure of it. Until then, I was heavily involved in the community and offered to be supported by my political party in a run for an office.
Q: Did you go to film school or did you learn by another method?
A: My training in film is completely self-taught, and I do all phases of a project from script-through to editing. Many well-known Hollywood directors never had formal training, but started in the industry in another capacity and then moved into a directorial position by means of their involvement in the film industry.
Q: What were some of your disappointments in making these two shorts?
A: In filming both Waterfall and Last Day, there weren’t any real disappointments. The films were shot in Hilo, Hawai’i, which has one of the largest rainfalls on earth. Overcast and sunny days were required for Last Day’s filming and sunny days required for Waterfall. I had only four days to film Last Day and five days to film Waterfall. Although filmed at different times of the year, luck befriended me. The weather proved most cooperative both times. However, both films resulted in long days of intense filming and late night script rewrites.
Q: What were some of the pleasures encountered during production? Any surprises?
A: Although filmmaking, in whatever phase one does, is very demanding and requires intense hours of work, the filming can be a lot of fun. Bloopers while filming bring on laughter, which is long remembered after the project is complete. Also, viewing the finished project after so much dedication of time and work is extremely satisfying; and, the joy it brings to an audience is so worth the time and effort.
Q: Both shorts feature the same actors. Was that intentional; will it be a continuing series?
A: Both scripts required actors of the same age and qualities and, since the actors worked well together in the filming of Last Day, they were the prefect choice for Waterfall.
Q: What are some of the lessons you've learned as you shoot each subsequent film?
A: I’ve learned to strive as a director, photographer and editor. How can I make this film better than the last one? What editing techniques can I employ to make it more creative? I’m always learning the new and willing to take chances to create better films. I have an enormous amount of patience and a willingness to listen to the actors and how they perceive their character. This is very important as a director.
Q: How has winning awards at Indie Fest and Accolade helped you with your films?
A: Winning an award and especially an Indie gives a filmmaker enormous credibility and, in my estimation, speaks loudly in the independent film industry that you, in whatever capacity as a filmmaker, can handle successfully a project from start to finish, have a vision as a director, and shows, above all, that you have talent.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the future as a filmmaker?
A: The future? Surprises await me, I’m sure. I could hardly imagine just two years ago when I first took up the camera that I would create, from script to the finish editing, five multiple award-winning films. I am presently writing a full feature screenplay based on one of my published novels. With continued hard work and perseverance, hopefully, Hollywood is knocking at my door.
Thank you, Braide, for sharing your expertise. Fortunately for film audiences, you chose to pursue filmmaking and not politics. Hey! That sounds like a knock at the door right now. And, that’s for real.