Hollywood appeals to all of us. Whether you’ve dreamt of being in front of or behind the camera, there is an allure to the movies that is undeniable. However, many twentysomethings only dream of one day being involved in the film industry. Few actually act on it, and even fewer are actually successful.
But Caroline, 22, is a shining example of a twentysomething who has made her dreams come true. “Experience is really how much time it takes you to do something,” she contemplated, in reference to her whirlwind of a year almost single-handedly filming the feature film, A Larger Life, set to release at festivals hopefully sometime in 2014.
A year and a half year ago, Caroline was based in Los Angeles, editing hundreds of hours of audition footage for the Real Housewives of Orange County. Her life-changing moment occurred when she got a call from a family friend about a project he’d been telling her about for years. The project was a semi-autobiographical film about a small town lawyer and how his choices have made an impact on the different generations in his town.
Caroline said yes, and flew to the small of town, Cedartown, Georgia, to what she initially thought would be a few months of production. When she arrived, they started filming immediately to make the most of her time, despite the practically non-existent pre-production.
Working through these setbacks, with a crew of only ten people, Caroline gained a wealth of experience in only a short amount of time. She wore many hats: cinematographer, story editor, producer, lighting master, and post-production editor. But primarily, she gained invaluable experience as a Director of Photography, her dream job.
Caroline started this process alone, thinking she could just do all the editing, but soon realized the need for team. “You really can’t do it alone,” she stated. Taking on many roles during the production process gave her experience she could never receive elsewhere, but she also learned the value of relying on others.
When it comes to new projects, Caroline and a producer friend are looking at buying the rights to one of their favorite books and turning it into another feature film. This time, though, Caroline will have more of a role on the front end, with the story and creative development, but of course she would love to have a chance at Director of Photography again, and eventually move on to doing more large scale projects in that role.
At the end of this year, a much longer one than anticipated, Caroline is glad that it took as long as it did. “It just goes to show that a nearly impossible project can actually be done, even if it’s a mess in the beginning and most of the way through– just give it time,” she reflected. And most importantly, she is well on her way to a successful career as a Director of Photography – something most of us can only dream of.