Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Take 5 with "The New Debutantes"

Jarratt Taylor, director

As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2012 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 9-12, 2012 and also at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Feb. 11 as part of the Oxford Music Festival line-up where we will show music films, videos and a panel on music + film, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com.

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Jarratt Taylor, director of “The New Debutantes.”

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
A: Inner city kids learn how to grow up by taking classes in etiquette. While not unproblematic it's important to see cotillion transformed to empower kids at a point when they're often powerless.

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?
A: Even though I have done quite a few documentary shorts before it felt like I was making a documentary for the first time. I needed to let myself be open to learning all of the things I thought I knew. The best part was finding good footage in all that I shot. It helped that I shot 30 hours, but I was nervous that I was shooting poorly and that the lighting and sound weren't good. So, to find that all wasn't lost was really encouraging. Also, I was so excited to be welcomed in by Ms. Pat at Urban Bridges and given the access to shoot her classes. I can be challenging to get access. So, the fact that she liked the story I told meant a lot to me.  

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
A: I have been involved with film/video since 2004. I first got involved while I was working in social services. The filmmaking I wanted to do was connected to the social work. I now work as an editor but I the filmmaking I would like to do continues to have a social issue focus. I just finished my certificate in film at the NW Film Center School of Film in Portland, OR. So most of my project have been connected to classes I have taken, but I have also done a number of independent and freelance related projects for Current TV.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?
A: There is a chance it might play on a new cable network with a focus on the African American experience. I have also entered it in the Doc Shop at Hot Docs so we'll see if anyone notices it there. I'll take whatever I can get.

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
A: At the moment I am just hoping my film gets into a few festivals. I am trying to develop a couple of ideas for another documentary short. I always want the perfect thing to just fall into my lap but it never works that way. I am also in the process of revising a screenplay for a narrative short that I would like to shoot in the summer. It seems like if you have a bunch of ideas going at once one of them might actually get completed.

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