Your new movie If
I Can't Have You - in a few words, what is it about?
about a psychologist who surrounds herself with all the wrong stalker
types, and it’s a very “self-aware” thriller.
how did the project fall together in the first place, and what drew you to
it to want to produce it?
decided as a team to create our first feature, and then we wrote the
script. I pitched a role-reversal to Fatal Attraction and Matt Santia
(co-writer) [Matthew Santia interview
- click here] wanted to layer the Scream/meta elements. I was drawn to make
a project that was marketable so we could figure out distribution, and I
wanted to make it with the people I trusted.
What were the challenges of
bringing If I Can't Have
You to the screen from a producer's point of view?
just Covid impacted us. We had to move our production schedule out 2
months but it gave us more time to rehearse our lines.
what extent could you identify with If
I Can't Have You's take on both horror and humour?
– It was easy because we had Mandy Logsdon (as Barb) on set and she was amazing
at providing comedic relief. I think the script tried to bring out all the
funny clichés of stalker movies so it was easy to play into common tropes.
– I support horror because that is the genre the team enjoys the most.
As Diane, I tried to bring out fear in my performance at the times needed
in the script.
also play the lead in If
I Can't Have You - so what can you tell us about your character,
what did you draw upon to bring her to life, and how much Tennille
Taraszkiewicz can we actually find in Diane?
think Diane has good intentions but her behaviors are mis-aligned. I’d
like to think I’m more solid in how I execute situations in real life to
avoid disastrous consequences, LOL. In my 20’s I had to get a personal
protection order against an ex so I definitely drew upon how it felt when
he was following me.
about the rest of If I
Can't Have You's cast, and as producer, to what extent were you
involved in the casting process?
of the cast ensemble were involved at the inception of the project
(Tennille, Matthew Santia, Todd Calvin De Pew, Brian Boynton). It was nice because we were all able to
help develop our characters so our casting was locked in. I was the
casting director (aka The Film Chic) ,so I made the casting call for the
roles of Greg and Barb. We had a team meeting to decide who we liked and
then invited 3-5 people for a chemistry read. We couldn’t be more happy
with our choices of Harley Wallen [Harley
Wallen interview - click here] and Mandy Logsdon.
What can you tell us
about your directors Matthew Santia [Matthew Santia
- click here] and Peter Poulos [Peter
Poulos interview - click here], and what was your
feel like together we are a dream team – balanced, supportive,
complimentary. Continuously evolving our creativity and productivity.
Peter was the DP of the first film I produced in 2016, and Matt helped me
write a script in 2018, so there was an existing connection.
A few words about the shoot as such,
and the on-set atmosphere?
friendly, and loving. I’m not just saying that either! Our 2nd AC, Seth
Mullen, was a high school intern and his BTS video talks about how loving
& supportive the set was. It really touched my heart because I wanted
people to feel safe and valued.
The $64-question of course,
where can If I Can't
Have You be seen?
TV, Google Play, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, Amazon Prime (link hasn’t
dropped yet though), XBOX, YouTube, Comcast, Direct TV, and Dish.
Anything you can tell us about
audience and critical reception of If
I Can't Have You yet?
thumbs up so far. I think people understand and appreciate the satire.
We’ve been streaming for less than a week but I feel like we’re able
to appeal to audiences of many genres because of the blended story.
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
in production for a feature called Miss Rainbow Magic with a
filmmaker in Grand Rapids Michigan, Nuri Bauswell. I’m producing a short
film called Dominus with Dark Hoffman, and production starts at the
end of April. I’m in pre-production on a feature called Chasing the
Ghost with executive producer Dennis Reed, and the same writers as If
I Can't Have You. Production is scheduled for late July. There is another project in
development with Emory Reeves, and we’re in the funding phase.
What got you into the filmworld in the
first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
wanted to be an actress and in 2016 some friends from my day job (Ford)
asked me to be their lead in a short called Payback (this is where I met
Peter). They didn’t have a schedule or locations so I jumped in to help
because I really wanted the movie to get filmed so I could act, LOL. I’m
not formally trained but I worked as a production supervisor making the
Ford Focus which gave me all of the project management skills I needed. I
spent the money I would have on school on short films and docs to build my
resume. I have parlayed my filmmaking skills into my day job. I am now the
Training & Video supervisor for my department.
through your filmography, it seems like you're as comfortable in front of
the camera as behind it - so do talk about your different jobs in
filmmaking, and which do you prefer, which could you do without?
first love is acting. I have abilities to be a producer, but the job is
long, hard and under valued. I enjoy wardrobe (anything art) on set
because it’s the most fun, and AD is the job I like least because it’s
the hardest job.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to If
I Can't Have You, in whatever position?
produced 6 short films of various genres and 2 short documentaries before
I Can't Have You. I’ve also helped several other filmmakers in Michigan with
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
that represent the character. Wearing the types/colors of clothes in
advance. Cross associate script elements to personal experiences.
Character development discussions with the director.
whoever else who inspire you?
Collette because she’s natural & believable. Meryl Streep because
she’s versatile & timeless. I admire the work A24 does and would
love to be an associate producer (or actress LOL) on one of their
Your favourite movies?
Dancing, Shawshank Redemption, Gladiator, Scream.
and of course, films you really deplore?
really… I like anything as long as there is a logical or meaningful
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
The Film Chic boutique production company:
I Can't Have You on The Film Chic:
Film Chic portfolio:
I Can't Have You on Facebook:
I Can't Have You on IMDbPro:
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
tried to apply the 48 Hour Challenge approach to the project. Get
‘er done mentality. So many filmmakers create 90% of something and then
stop for some reason. The goal was to finish our project, and we treated
everything as a learning opportunity. Covid ruined our pacing but the
mentality to get it done and learn from it definitely carried through.
challenged Matt to keep the script to 10 locations and 10 cast members to
keep the complexity and costs affordable. This also ended up helping us
out with the Covid situation keeping the sets small.
Project goals/parameters when we started:
- Get 1st feature completed
Make ROI for proof to future investors
Opportunity to create a lead role for myself. I feel like the Michigan
Reese Witherspoon, LOL!
for the interview!