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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Cast & Crew Profile: Rupert Hodson

Sometimes you just have to take a chance and go for it. This is the case with our next showcase. We first met Rupert when we started our first ever project "YYZ 2 LHR". It was super ambitious and we bit off way more then we could chew at some points. The premise was to shoot a web-series in Canada and the UK and edited them together to make one episode. We finished 2 and a half episodes. Oh boy, let's not get into that half episode! 

So how did we meet? Well we put out a posting for cast and crew in the UK (as we're from Canada) let's take a minute to grasp the scope of things here. It's our first ever project on our own as SevenSeas Productions and we're bringing on an ENTIRE cast and crew in another country! Rupert applied as a Director for the project. He was maybe 17-18 at the time, just starting out in film school and he lived almost 2 and a half hours outside of London but we went with him anyways! He was hungry for the opportunity and did whatever had to be done to get on board and help. Auditions, scouting, filming - he went to London for all of it and didn't complain or cause a fuss ever. 

If you want to know what makes a good crew member- look no further! Ruperts a beast when it comes to getting things done and we couldn't be prouder to call him part of the SevenSeas Productions famjam. Here's to many more project together in the future! 

 

Name: Rupert Hodson

Country: UK

Position: Writer, Director, camera Operator 

What got you into the film world? After getting a camera for my 15th birthday I decided to make a short film with my mates that were around at the time. I had so much fun filming and creating a scene that what was supposed to be a few minutes of fooling around turned into a twenty five minute short. It was only when editing all my footage I discovered that when combining music and sound effects with video a moment of magic happened and my vision really came to life. Since finishing that film I haven't looked back and have set my goals high on film directing.

Funniest moment on a set? Not that it was that funny but on one of my first film shoots I was a bit nervous as there was a lot of drama involved in the scene I was directing that day and due to time constraints we didn’t have much time to shoot the scene. Luckily for me one of the actors turned up in a different costume not realising it was set on the same day as the previous shoot. Thankfully this meant we could spend the time rehearsing and I’m so glad. It was needed!

Who is your film icon? Quentin Tarantino. I feel his work is so unique and very inspiring to many young upcoming filmmakers like me. Particularly his choice of music in the scenes along with his great dialogue just creates magic. His advice is also very inspiring. For instance, he talks about not needing film school as it can put you in a box. “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, "no, I went to films.”

What makes a good film? Well for starters I believe a good script is essential, because without a good script no matter how good the director is it can’t become a good film. Also a good director is required to make the writers vision a reality. The audience doesn’t read film scripts they watch films. Decent actors who can produce a believable performance is paramount. I can’t remember who it was but a great filmmaker once said directing is 60% casting. So if you get good actors it makes the job of a director so much easier. I would say from the top of my head those are the most important elements however I don’t think a great film can be achieved without team work so it’s more of collaboration rather that a one-man band.

Who is your favourite character of all time? This was a difficult choice but I’d have to probably say Heath Ledger as the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’. I just feel Ledger’s performance as the joker was so outstanding that when watching him he’s the type of character where you never know what he’s going to do. He’s always got something up his sleeve!

 

Favourite animated movie and why? It’s got to be Ratatouille mainly because I love to cook myself. It’s got everything from a great soundtrack to relatable characters and a good storyline. It doesn’t get old!

A tip for the next generation? I haven’t done this yet myself but would like to in the future. It would be great to see 35mm film be brought back a bit more in filmmaking. I find it is a dying art now that digital has taken over. There’s something more cinematic in a movie when shot on film, I can’t say what it is. Maybe it’s the depth of field or the richer more vibrant colours but it just feels great to watch.

 

Cast & Crew Profile: Nathan Hibbert

It takes an army to make a film into a reality. It could be a small team of 2 or a massive horde of hundreds.

So we thought it would be great to start a piece on the blog that showcases the awesome talent we've been fortunate enough to work with! Some of them are actors, some are crew that have freelanced with us while others call SevenSeas Productions home.

To start us off we thought it would be great to share with you Nathan Hibbert. Where to start? The man is a multi-talented artist who creates wherever he goes! We had the chance to have him out for a promo shoot last spring and needless to say he was a character! We're always a bit skeptical when someone says their a triple threat of any kind but man did he deliver and was so much fun to have on set! 

We've asked all out Cast and Crew Profiler's the same questions and asked them to share some personal moments along with a bit of advice - so here are Nathan's Answers. Be sure to check him out on twitter & Instagram @renovalay

 

  • Name: Nathan Hibbert (Reno Valay)
  • Country: Canada
  • Position: Music Artist/Actor/Model 
  • What got you into the film world? To be honest when I was a kid I just loved creating my own world. I would imagine things and i'd be the star of everything. I would picture everything like a movie, and I was the main actor. It got to a point to where I'd watch a movie and the character I felt I connect with the most, I'd leave acting pretty similar to them in the movie. I guess in short, I like becoming someone since I get to enjoy being myself majority of the time.
  • Funniest moment on a set? I think one of the funniest moments for me, would be when filming one of my own videos. I had to dress up like a girl and dance in front of my friends and get their reaction. It was kinda embarrassing but well worth the laugh. 
  • Who is your film icon? My film icon would be... hmm good question. I don't think I really have one but the first person who comes to mind is Denzel Washington and Will Smith. They always deliver great performances!
  • What makes a good film? Many things can make a movie good in my opinion. Though when it comes down to it I'd have to go with a good story and a good cast to bring it to life. 
  • Who is your favourite character of all time? Haha! this one is simple for me. Devon Miles from Drumline!
  • Favourite animated movie and why? Spirited Away because it had such a dope story and was well animated. I could go in more details but why spoil it for someone who hasn't watched it?
  • A tip for the next generation? If you have a dream, Go for it. What others think or say doesn't matter. This is your life so live it the way you want to.
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