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“I Had Always Wanted To Cast Someone Who Had No Filming Experience” | Charlotte Regan, Scrapper

A young girl with blond hair wears a white tank top and gray sweatpants and stands in front of a wall with a blue sky and clouds painted on it.Scrapper, courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Every production faces unexpected obstructions that require creative solutions and conceptual rethinking. What was an unforeseen obstacle, crisis, or simply unpredictable event you had to respond to, and how did this event impact or cause you to rethink your film?

Our lead character is 12 years old and I had always wanted to cast someone who had no filming experience. Lola, who played Georgie, was the most incredible human I’d ever met. But I think going down this route meant totally catering our filmmaking process to her and Alin. I think  filmmaking is intimidating enough without it being your first time stepping onto a set. So a big challenge was catering our process to those guys. Making sure we created an environment that let them enjoy themselves and got the best performances out of them. That meant keeping lighting mostly off the floor so that they were free to move around the space, not blocking or giving them marks so that they could focus on being present. It meant re-thinking the style of the film to make sure it was a style that suited those changes—empty, wide frames they could move in and out of, etc. Using a lot of daylight. Using wireless mics for emotional scenes and knowing we’d have to do more audio work in post, etc. It also meant hiring HODs that felt suited to that kind of project, one where the schedule might change if the kids thought a scene was too tough to do that day. Luckily the crew were legends, and really adapted to the style. And I think it meant we got great performances and also let Lola and Alin have the best time ever that didn’t feel too intimidating. 

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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