I’ve always written films about the places and people I know. Initially it came from a practical and pragmatic approach to filmmaking. In my early films, I wrote scripts that could be set and shot in a friend’s apartment, or an uncle’s house, somewhere I could have easy access. It was a necessity! It was all I could afford, and all I had access to.
Anne at 13,000 ft is set at a daycare that my mother had run for the past 40 years. She joined me on set when we shot a staff meeting scene. There were about 15 actors in the scene. Deragh Campbell, the lead of the film, was in the scene and we had cast someone to play a supervisor that leads the meeting. Essentially, the actor playing the supervisor was playing my mum. I brought her on set as a consultant to advise the actors playing teachers, but after my mother demonstrated for everyone how to authentically lead a daycare staff meeting, it became abundantly clear that the film would benefit most from her playing the part of the supervisor. My mother had never acted before but I realized there and then that I had to re-cast her in this role. So, that’s what we did!
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