6 questions with Noodles director, Claire Fowler at the half-way mark.
Wednesday, April 12th, 2017
1Hey Claire! Congrats on your beautiful film. I really did love it. Could you tell me what the initial seed was that made you want to make this film? I guess the initial impulse came from wanting to make sense of a relationship that didn't work out... trying to figure out what went wrong, when, and why. Consequently, 'Noodles' is a series of vignettes that trace the breakdown of a relationship, almost like a poem about first love. It burns unbearably bright, and then flames out. It was very much about capturing mood and emotion through small moments that had a wider resonance and impact on a specific relationship.
2Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to tell this love story backwards or was it something that you tried while in the editing room? When did you finally realize that it worked? I wrote the script to tell the story backwards. I don't think this is a device that would work by accident, you have to plan out the transitions and the relationship of each scene to the next. In each scene there is a question posed– why is she burning a jacket? why are they breaking up? who or what are they arguing about?– which is, to some extent, answered by the following scene.
3There's something really interesting that happens when you tell a story backwards. I felt like I was paying even closer attention than usual for some reason. I'm curious on your thoughts on what happens to an audience when telling a story in reverse and Telling a story in reverse is a challenge to an audience. Some people like a challenge, some don't.
4What's the film that made you want to be a filmmaker? British filmmaker Jayne Parker's experimental film THE POOL.
5This film looks like it was a lot of fun to make. Can you share a fun story (or war story) from the shoot? This film was hell to make! 4 weeks out from our shoot date we didn't have 3/4 of our budget in place (I finally secured the rest of the money needed about 3 weeks out). An AFI student producer dropped out 6 weeks out for the most whimsical of reasons, only to be replaced by another AFI producer who then dropped out ONE WEEK out for no reason (this is a terrible, inexcusable thing to do so last minute by the way. If you commit to producing a film, you damn well see it through unless a family crisis, sickness, or something equally as serious prevents you from fullfilling that commitment). A lead cast member got another job and dropped out, which then impacted on another cast member who also dropped out. So the whole thing came together very last-minute. I had thankfully locked all of the locations along with my DP and production designer when our producing and casting crises happened at the same time, and with some assistance from the DWW at AFI I found two great producers (Moses Israel Guerrero and Sacha Smith) and with the help of imdb, friends and sleepless nights scouring the internet, I found and locked down our two amazing leads, Natasha Bassett and Shane Coffey.
6What's next? I'm putting a polish on a feature screenplay inspired by "Noodles" the short. That project is being workshopped through New York Women in Film and TV's "From Script to Preproduction" lab at the moment. I'm also making a new short. We're still raising funds for it, but we'll be shooting in NYC before summer hits.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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