Becky Preston is an independent director and co founder of Tread Softly Productions. She has just finished principal photography on her first feature, Inner Calm, and was kind enough to sit down with IndieFlicks to discuss her career and her current project.
IndieFlicks: How did you get into filmmaking?
Becky: For years I wanted to be an archaeologist, it was only when I went on my first dig that I realized I actually just wanted to be Indiana Jones. Seeing The Fellowship of the Rings was the turning point, I knew I had to make films. I did a foundation course at film school and just carried on from there.
IndieFlicks: Where did the idea for Inner Calm come from?
Becky: Originally the film was a short inspired by a boring day, sat staring at the rain. Everyone always looks at the afterlife with such hope, as if it’s the solution to all problems and I wondered what if the afterlife began just as drearily, how would people react and would they be able to change their perception.
IndieFlicks: How long did it take you to write the script?
Becky: The short was written over six years ago so for me it’s been a long process. The development of the feature started about three years ago, and it’s been through over twenty drafts since then.
IndieFlicks: How different was it directing a feature film compared to the shorts you have made in the past?
Becky: For the most part directing the feature just like the shorts I’ve done, except that everything was on a larger scale and we didn’t go home after a week. I learnt a lot during shooting, but I think you do on every shoot, it was just wonderful to direct and develop a film over such an extended period of time.
IndieFlicks: Did you allow your actors much freedom in their performances or did you keep them on a tight leash?
Becky: I like to allow my actors a fair amount of freedom, though there are certain things I want them to do. I tell them what’s in my mind and give them as much information as I can about the characters and the scene and then I let them use that to create their performance. I will tell them if there are elements I want changed, but I like to watch and see what an actor can create from the things I’ve imagined.
IndieFlicks: How close to your original vision do you think the film will be?
Becky: The team were fantastic and have all worked so hard in putting together what I imagined, but there are always going to be things that vary, especially when working to a tight budget. A lot has changed from what I originally envisioned but I’m still pleased with everything we did and some of the changes have already turned out for the better. I’m sure it will be quite different, but I think I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
IndieFlicks: What can we expect from you in the future once Inner Calm is completed?
Becky: We have a number of features in the works and there are still many stories in my head that I’m itching to get onto paper and shoot. Now that we’ve started we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
IndieFlicks: What advice could you give to any budding filmmakers out there?
Becky: Be determined. There are so many things that will get in your way and so many people that will try to tell you to do something else with your life. If you really want to make films then you’re going to have to stick to that goal and keep fighting for it, no matter what.
For more information on Inner Calm and Tread Softly Productions, visit their website - click