Cinema Without Borders interview with Grace McPhillips

Bijan Tehrani:  How did you come up with the idea of making THE OTHER ONE?
Grace McPhillips: My film THE OTHER ONE was originally a short film I had been cast in, but that had never been made.  It was a script that haunted me, spurred my imagination towards different story lines, and I saw the film fit perfectly in a location I knew I had pretty unlimited access to. So when it came time for me to produce and star in a feature, that screenplay immediately came to mind.

The short was only 15 pages and a feature needs to be closer to 85 pages, so we, the other lead actors and the director, took a collaborative creation approach and we developed a storyline and script within 3 months and immediately went into filming.

BT:  You are an independent producer and filmmaker with an extensive background in arts, has that background helped you as a filmmaker?
GM: Having a diverse background in the arts is super helpful for perspective and gumption.  I was mostly dancing, singing, and acting in musical theater prior to film, but choreographed in addition to performing, which is a lot like producing and starring.  It's deciding how you want the cake to be made and then being the one who walks out with it on your finest cake platter.

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The Other One Production Design: Amber's Room

The Other One production designer Lena Rush takes us through her process of working on the film, her inspiration and how she implemented personal touches from the cast into her design of their rooms and living space.

Amber's room from the feature film The Other One

Click the photo to see a behind-the-scenes video of Amber's room.

In the words of Lena Rush...

"Conservative nature and the free spirit of youth were emotions I was working with while designing Amber's room, and these were strong themes I referenced. I felt that we had a great mix of both working for us and were able to bring in props, set dressing and design to complement them. One of my favorite props that Grace actually provided was a photo of her grabbing someone's butt (her husbands) and I thought it was great because its exactly the type of thing I would have had up in my room.

"The most interesting elements I had to tackle while designing this space were the personal components of her bulletin board and photo collage. The stand out picture we actually picked as reference for David, which was the most featured image of him, was chosen because it showed him on a snowy day where he looked content and cozy, almost as if that moment and that day would always be remembered. This fact is what actually made me tear up on set. As I was discussing it all with the director Joe Steiff I just thought, "Wow - that is really touching." Before filming began, I went back to my own mother's home and my old childhood room felt like a time capsule - it was a great reference for me. We really wanted that feeling of "not lived in" and almost sterile in the beginning, but the more time Amber spends back home, the more those old memories feel real again.

"Really, the most important aspect was just making sure it was conveying that this was once the place where she collected the most happiest memories of her life. Working with Grace on this front was extremely helpful not only for the aesthetic but really bringing this sense of realism to the set. Each personal object she provided as "Amber" made her room seem less like a set and more like a lived in space, and as a designer I can only appreciate that touch. It's always really exciting to see what the actor's will do with their space and I love to give them that creative freedom. My own personal touch was a childhood toy I brought on to use as a prop for another character in the film. It was an opportunity to show my connection to the story - but I don't want to give too much away! Indiefilm is one of the rare outlets where you can share yourself personally with your work.

The Other One- Amber's room

"There were a few pieces my team and I created from scratch, and one of those I am the most proud of are a set of envelopes later found in the house. The way we designed them, the envelope and the accents that went with them were completely made from scratch and they came out exactly as I had imagined.

"Amber's room was definitely the hardest to design because we were trying to convey a journey with just props and set dress - a place where someone once found comfort and is now haunted by. It really forced myself and art director Agnes Starczewski to think creatively, but I am so happy with what we were able to pull off. Working on this movie has been one of the best experiences I have had so far, really. With the limited time we had to film and crazy shooting schedule, we all came together as a team and were completely there for each other. I couldn't have asked for anything better."

Check out more of Lena's work at & on IMDB.

Meet the Producers: Elizabeth Theiss

 Meet one of our producers, Elizabeth, and get to know The Other One by getting to know the people behind the camera.

Movie Producer Elizabeth Theiss

Elizabeth Theiss holds a degree in Film & Video, and has been an associate producer for award-winning short films and the soon to be released feature film, The Alley Cat, filmed in Chicago last summer.In addition to producing The Other One with Sterling Rock Productions, Elizabeth has production managed and is associate producing Prescription Home Performance, The Cost of History, and in working in development on the feature film, Beautiful Little Fools.

Behind The Scenes: Meet the Crew will be a new series of videos on our official YouTube Channel, so make sure to subscribe so you can meet the crew and hear their personal connections to the film!