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Finding My Way Back To The Industry

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Hello readers- It has been quite a while since I last wrote in this wonderful forum.

I was a regular contributor to Ms. In The Biz for about a year, and I tried to honestly document the journey of my acting career, while offering advice so you could avoid my missteps.

I came to a crossroads with my feelings about my career and the industry, and found that I could no longer put a positive spin on the less than positive things that were happening. Thus, I stopped writing, I felt that if I had nothing good to say, no moral of the story, then I shouldn’t bring my negative energy to people looking for positive support.

I took some time off: stopped submitting myself on the boards, stopped relentlessly submitting my marketing materials to agents and managers and kind of just took a step back. In that time I realized that If I was going to be in LA, I had to be creating, it was that simple. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but just that I had to do something.

I had, many times prior, thought of making my own film. It never seemed like the right time, place, mood, monetary situation… you name it I made an excuse to avoid making the hard decision. Until one day I realized I had to take matters into my own hands. If I wanted to create I couldn’t wait until someone called upon me, I had to make my own project and put it out there into the world. I am going to tell you a bit about my latest endeavor – the making of the short dark comedy “Not Phillip And I”.

I am going to give you an overview of the process, as I plan on writing individual posts detailing each step of the process, so that you can learn from my experiences.

Nalini Sharma and I co-wrote the script. It came together pretty quickly, to be honest, which was wonderful. It changed vastly from the last draft to what we did in the film, but I guess you can make those changes all you want when it’s your project.

I am not one to drag my heels so I proposed that we shoot the film over the summer, we had written the script to the locations I knew we had in the suburbs of Philadelphia, my home town. I also produced the film, which meant I only gave myself a little over a month to cast, hire crew, deal with catering, rentals, insurance and the myriad other things I didn’t know I had to deal with at the time. But that came through and we flew to Philadelphia to shoot for 3 days (and one pick up day, turns out). I hired a crew of 15 people, all of whom were amazing. The crew was largely female, partly by design and partly by luck. We had an amazing AD Shauna Kartt, I co-directed with Kristine Kennedy, my art department was all female, my lead PA, a member of the grip team, to name a few.

Now, this was my first time doing most of this and I wore almost every hat there is to wear. Co-wrote, co-directed, acted in, art direction, even catered the shoot myself. Hey when you are on a budget and you want to spend the majority on the crew, you do what you have to do.

Shooting was hectic and insane and amazing all at the same time, more detail about this in my next post…stay tuned.

We got the footage and started cutting together the rough cut. It was really rewarding to see things come together. Currently we’re in post-production we have picture locked, but we need to do color, sound design, music, and festival materials and submissions. It’s been a crazy experience, and I have learned so much, I wish I knew all of this when I got stared, it would have made my life a lot easier. I aim to follow this post up with several others detailing my experiences and offering assistance to those of you who are ready to take matters into your own hands.

I just launched a crowd funding campaign on Seed&Spark, a great platform for raising funds, and support for all film related projects. I am aiming to raise the money for post-production, I shot the film with my savings. One thing I really like about them, is that they provide a system to follow the film, if you don’t have the means to donate. If you get 500 people to follow that opens up the chains of distribution to iTunes, Hulu, Amazon and the like.

Please check out the platform and our campaign here:
Not Phillip And I – a short dark comedy trying to find it’s way into the world.

Photo Credit: Nick Belial

Photo Credit: Nick Belial

Follow along to watch our progress.

Stacey Ann Shevlin

About Stacey Ann Shevlin

Stacey Ann Shevlin is a Philadelphia native and currently loves living and working in the much sunnier Los Angeles. She grew up as a competitive figure skater, and all free time not spent on the ice was spent acting and dancing. After studying production and obtaining a business degree in college, she made the logical choice to return to acting. Last year she worked on the feature The Mine in Russia with award-winning director Nurbek Egan. Stacey had the privilege to work on three other films, Paddy Lincoln Gang, Road To Sundance and Awaken, all of which have been selected for several Film Festivals. When she's not in front of the camera, Stacey writes music, travels to places even more exotic than Russia, and drinks craft beer on her back porch while indulging in her latest organic meal creation.