Cast & Crew Profile: Sonia Lowe

Todays cast and crew profile is a pretty exciting one! But before we dive in, I have to say that when I first met Sonia I was a little nervous. She had way more experience then I did, she had been working on commercial sets and big budget productions. So when she agreed to work as a script supervisor for a zero budget short film I was shooting, I jumped at the chance to have her on board!

She's the definition of what you would want from a producer or really anyone on your set for that matter. You'll see what I mean when you read some of her answers. Needless to say working with Sonia really helped me step up my game as a Director and Producer. It's because of people like her, people who already have some success under their belt and are willing to work with someone who is still getting their feet wet that I was able to grow from that short film experience. So without delay, here are Sonia's answers followed by a word of advice for those looking to break into the media world. Thank you Sonia for taking the time to share with us!

Name: Sonia Lowe
Country: Canada
Position: Producer
What got you into the film world? It evolved from my background as a magazine editor for print media. In short, I was approached to write a tribute book about Michael Jackson shortly after he passed away. 

Media exposure from the book led to broadcast content creation for television segments on Good Morning America, Oprah, Dateline NBC. etc This opened the door to subsequent opportunities freelancing as a Field Producer, interviewing celebrities and creating content for major brands like SyFy Channel, entertainment Tonight, USA Network, Dreamworks Ent. Which eventually led to my working as a Distribution Executive and Executive Producer for Independent feature Films, where I continue to hone my skills today. 

Who is your film icon? Quentin Tarantino - he's a genius. 

What makes a good film? High concept, believable performances, punchy dialogue, killer soundtrack....and  a director who understands the art of subtext & visual story telling. 


Who is your favourite character of all time? I have many so I'll name one from a film I saw recently: Jackie Brown

As far as powerful female characters go, she has a rare balance of intelligence, strength and  sensual energy which transcended atypical female roles in cinema. 

Not only is Tarantino a master of designing memorable and complex characters but he is also skillful at casting. Choosing Pam Grier as Jackie Brown because she exudes the essence of the character Tarantino aimed to capture, is why her performance felt authentic. 

Favourite animated movie and why? The little Mermaid because it reminds me of my childhood and ongoing fixation with the ocean. Not to mention....mermaids. Enough said. 

Also a big fan of Finding Nemo - it's an exceptional film with incredible dialogue. And again, takes place in the ocean...where mermaids live. 

And honorable mention for a foreign animated  film called Illusionist - because it's an absolute masterpiece. 


A tip for the next generation? Filmmaking is one of the biggest challenges and toughest industries to succeed in, but if you love this art form then stay strong, roll with the punches, stay flexible and don't ever quit --- few careers are as rewarding, in my opinion. Don't just learn your craft, master it. And if you're not prepared to have your heart broken, at least once, then the entertainment business is not for you. 

 

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Happy February!

Where to begin? I've been a bad friend and haven't posted in a while! There's no excuse really, I apologize.  

 

Now that we've taken care of that let's get back to it! With the Academy Awards (AKA The Oscars) fast approaching I always find myself wondering how I've never heard of a good chunk of these films. Does this make me a bad film maker? I hope not... I think it has more to do with the media and marketing for most of those films.

I guess I'll answer my own question in a way and talk it out. I wouldn't say people are bad or not film savvy for not seeing these great films. To be honest, unless you know where to look most of them aren't plastered all over the city like the next 50 shades movie. They're the films that are shown in art houses and at festivals- and that's the key right there. Festivals. tiff, Canes, Sundance, etc. This is where the buzz for these unseen films begins. It could start slow with an award or two however it could also cause a huge splash getting critics raving and the chat rooms flowing with praise.

Winning various awards at some of the most prestigious festivals will get you noticed by the big dogs. But let's get back to the main point- why haven't I heard of these films? Well some of them may not have the Transformers or Lord of the Rings budgets to pay for Super Bowl air time. Instead they've taken their limited budget and put it into festival entries (There not free ya know!) in hopes of following the above pattern which may get them some more cinema space and hopefully their name out in the world to shoot a new film with a bigger budget and more freedom. (That's my goal anyways)

There we have it. Want to see interesting films before they hit The Oscar nomination list? Take a trip down to your local film festival and give some a watch! You won't know exactly which ones will make it big but part of the fun of movies and festivals is the journey, the art and experiencing new things.

From here I promise to be a better friend and write more and would love to hear your ideas on what to talk about next!

 

James

 

tiff Season Is Coming!

It's almost that time of the year where the festival circuit makes it's way to Toronto. Hello tiff season! This year the festival will be in town from Sept 8-18th. 

Now if you've never been downtown during festival time, well, it's an animal like no other! The streets are packed with producers, videophiles, movie connoisseur's and boat loads of celebrities all bathing in the electric glow of the city lights.

If you have the chance to get down to see some films, do it! It's a different experience then going to the theatres any other time. It's hard to explain but the biggest part is the atmosphere. It's a wild ride of hustle and bustle, exclusive screenings, private parties and fun! We had the chance to volunteer there a few years ago where on our first day we did usher duty for Snoop Dogg's Documentary where Drake and himself were there with a number of other artists. The next day we did line control for an Amy Adams movie and spoke to Canadian director Sarah Polley while being invited to an exclusive party with George Clooney and the Reitman family. Pretty good for a volunteer opportunity! 

So you're not used to the festival scene? Just want to get your feet wet? Perfect! Volunteer! It's one of the biggest festivals around and volunteering will give you the opportunity to watch some awesome films you may never see otherwise, you'll get to be up and close to your favourite celebs and maybe even attend a party or two. Cool? yeah we think so! 

We'll have a film there soon enough, but for this year, do yourselves a favour and see a film or two- you'll thank yourself for it afterwards and will give you plenty of stories to tell around ye olde water cooler. see you at the top!

 

SevenSeas Productions