This past weekend I sat down to watch a film that had been on my radar for the past few months: independent filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12. The screenplay follows a troubled young woman who works as a supervisor at a home for at-risk teens. It was heavily based off the director’s own experience working at a group home for youth, and the film was shot on a microbudget for less than a million dollars.
This film is the absolute embodiment of a project I want to one day make. When I think about my future I know that I don’t aspire to make movies with massive budgets. I want to retain as much creative control as possible and work without the decadence of major Hollywood productions.
Most importantly, I want to strive to affect audiences as deeply as this film has affected me.
The lead character is hugely imperfect and drowning in personal issues, but still manages to be an incredible source of love and compassion to the kids in the house. It made me realize how everyone has their own baggage, but it doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and connect with others.
After the film had finished I found the confidence to go ahead with something that I had been hesitant about for the past six months: volunteering as a phone operator at
the Crisis Centre of BC.
It was never the training and time commitment that had me doubting my ability to perform, it was the fear that I could never help anyone because I had my own issues.
One day I would like to make a movie with the same spirit as this one. If I can change the perspective of one audience member and open up their mind to new ideas and possibilities I know that it will feel like a success.
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