Filmmaker Spotlight : Interview with Christianna Carmine
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did you get into filmmaking?
HI! I’m a born and bred New Yorker and started performing at age seven. Being a natural ham, it seemed like the right place for me to be since I couldn’t sit still and spent a lot of time driving my parents crazy. After college, my folks insisted I go to graduate school (you know, to have a backup plan if the acting thing didn’t work out) so I got a Master’s in psychology and high tailed it out west a week after graduation. After a few years in Los Angeles, I realized I was more interested in what the director and the rest of the crew were doing and began educating myself in all things related to filmmaking. Eventually, I realized I enjoyed being behind the camera way more than I did acting and began making the transition towards directing.
Why did you make your film?
I was lucky enough to know two of the producers of Solstice Ranch, David and Katherine Del Rio. They were looking for a director and I pitched myself to them during a fundraising event. I was so mortified that I chose that time to pitch myself but looking back, I’m so glad I did! They, along with the other producers asked for my reel and offered me the opportunity to direct the film. I was thrilled. I loved the script and who doesn’t love the 90’s!?
What was your favorite part about making the film?
There is an energy, an electricity on set that is inimitable and will always my favorite part about filmmaking. I loved where we shot (in the west valley at a beautiful horse ranch) and thoroughly enjoyed working with the cast and crew.
I also have to give our DP, Giovanny Lago a tremendous amount of credit here. He is an extraordinary talent with an incredible eye who also happens to be fantastic to work with.
I would have to say the day we were supposed to use a ronin on a car mount. For whatever reason, the equipment would not cooperate, it was nearly 100 degrees outside and we were losing very precious time. We ended up having to ditch the car mount and improvise, which meant Gio shooting handheld inside the vehicle and me crammed in the back (behind the seats) in a minivan with no AC!
What did you learn while making it?
Sometimes you have to make hard decisions while filming even when it seems like every available option sucks.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the film?
Besides having some laughs, I hope the audience can see the love the characters all have for one another. They’re are all close friends in real life, so it was a blast watching them work together. Because of their friendship, they were able to ad-lib and improvise dialogue, much of which ended up in the final cut of the film.
What are you working on next?
I’m presently in post on another short about racism and tolerance. I hope to have it completed within the next several weeks. I am looking for a feature to direct next, so reading a lot of scripts as well.
Where can we follow your work?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for featuring Solstice Ranch! And a big thank you for providing a platform that supports and elevates female filmmakers!