Your new movie Let Go
- in a few words, what is it about?
It’s about a family who deal with the death of a
child asking the question “How do you keep on living when you lose a
What were your
sources of inspiration when dreaming up Let
Go - and is any of this based on personal experiences? And to what
extent could you identify with the mother in your movie?
was an artistic exploration for me. Starting from my own life,
experience and taking it to 180 degrees to the scariest thing that could
ever happento me. At
the beginning of the writing process, I couldn’t even write.
It scared me. I had to
mentally accept that I was stepping into a fictitious world.
Very difficult process but as an artist you have to step out of
your comfort zone and confront the places you don’t want to go to
because of fear or other reasons.
made Let Go with your own
kids playing the children in your movie - what made you choose to do that,
and wasn't that emotionally quite draining?
idea started when my kids asked me to make a film together.
It was during Halloween and we thought of doing a horror film.
The story evolved a lot from that beginning but my daughter Milan
helped me come up with the story.
What can you
tell us about the film's "mother" Claudia Ferri, and what made
her perfect for the role?
is a friend of mine and is a well-known actress in Canada.
At first, I didn’t think of her for the mother because her
casting is mostly very strong, Mediterranean women, very different from
the mother in my film. But
sometimes life decides who is meant for a role.
One day as I’m in a casting meeting, trying to figure out who
could play the part, Claudia calls me up, out of the blue.
I told her that I had this great part but she would have to change
her hair color and it was very different from what she usually plays.
She read the script, loved it and accepted to take on this
challenge. It’s a very
difficult part and I think she did an amazing job in reaching those
emotions. Not easy for a
mother to play this. I’m
so glad she did it. She’s
Do talk about Let
Go's key crew for a bit, and why exactly these people?
Philippe Toupin, the cinematographer is a
friend of mine and we wanted to make a film together.
Most of the crew and post team were people I worked with on my web
series Manigances and have become friends over time.
I love my team and I hope we get to make many more together.
can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
Let Go, my vision was to start from a pure point of light and end up in a
pure point of blackness. Toupin
and I shared a lot about the way we wanted to shoot (flowing).
I wanted people to feel that it was real.
A scripted story in an improvised manner.
talk about the shoot as such for a bit, and the on-set atmosphere!
I wanted the kids to feel comfortable and
not overwhelmed by the whole movie making process so we bare the crew to
the minimum. It was a very small crew (7 including me).
shot a good amount of days (6 days) for a short of 15 minutes.
few words about audience and critical reception of Let
Go so far?
It’s been really great.
I have received multiple emails of people telling me that they
cried watching the film. Someone
who went through a similar experience, called me to tell me that I totally
understood the experience, and that is what makes everything worth while.
Catching glimpse of “real life” moments/experiences/emotions on film.
just won “best short”, “best directing” and “best cinematography”
at the LA New Wave International Festival.
So that’s cool.
Any future projects you'd like to
been in a writing phase lately, since
my writing partner and I made it into the quarter finals of the Nicholl
Fellowship in the spring with our first script The Wife of Frank B.
So we’ve been writing almost non-stop.
We are now finishing our 2nd screenplay called
Wicca, a teen horror witch tale.
What got you into filmmaking in the first place,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
always dreamed of making movies. I
started out as an actress more than twenty years ago but didn’t like to
be in front of the camera. I
quit acting then went traveling around the world and settled in Laos, Asia
for ten years. Then in
2010, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer and had to move towards my
goal of becoming a filmmaker so moved back to Canada with the family and
launch Kebweb.tv, a web series network and production company.
I learned everything by doing it, never had formal training.
Claudia Ferri, Isabel Dréan
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Let
2011, we were granted the Independent Production Funds in Canada to
produce a webseries called Manigances, a murder mystery.
The series was well received with medias and audiences.
Turned it into a TV movie, was released on DVD and on a cable.
And followed up with Season 2.
The series won awards all over the world.
Was a great project to start with. I
produced, co-directed season 1 and directed season 2.
Do talk about
for a bit,
and the philosophy behind it!
idea behind Kebweb.tv was for people who would want to watch content
created in Quebec to find the best series under one roof.
We were the first independent site who did that in Montreal.
How would you describe
yourself as a director?
think the same as a human being, I like to connect to what’s real.
I love what is beautiful even when it’s more difficult to see.
I like to tell stories that make the audience work for it.
Filmmakers who inspire you?
love Roman Polanski, David Fincher, Terrence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson,
Spike Jones, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and of course Wes Anderson.
Tree of Life, Seven, Bitter
Moon, Memento, Fight Club, The City of Lost Children, It’s
so hard to pick. There are so
many great ones.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
won’t name any because making a movie is an accomplishment in itself but
I don’t like movies that insult my intelligence, movies that think the
audience is stupid. Those
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Twitter & Instagram: @isabeldrean
Anything else you are dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
screenwriter that inspires me: Charlie
Thanks for the interview!