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Documentarians explore life after Georgetown
In May, three weeks before graduation, Rachel Shone (MSB ’10) and Laura Sortwell (COL ’10) decided to move to India to explore low-income housing and Bollywood filmmaking. Neither wanted to give up the plan when Rachel was unable to find a job in the country, so they talked Carlee Briglia (COL ’10) and Mary Clare Semler (COL ’10), both aspiring filmmakers, into filming a documentary. Briglia spoke to the Voice about the film, tentatively titled Three Indias, which is now in post-production. Interview conducted and transcribed by Diana McCue.
How did you decide to make a documentary?
The reason that Laura [Sortwell] and Rachel [Shore] wanted to go to India in the first place was because Laura is interested in film production and Rachel was interested in green architecture, so what we wanted to do is make a documentary about them pursuing their interests. This all started because I thought it was sort of a strange thing that two Georgetown grads had this same unique idea to move to India and pursue completely different interests. So we wanted to see if we could weave them together in some sort of narrative documentary.
Once we were over there, it evolved to be sort of self-reflexive, in that it’s about them and their pursuit of their different industries, but it’s also about us and the fact that we’re four amateur filmmakers, four recent college graduates who were just taking this crazy adventure trip and trying our best to make a documentary.
What is the status of the project?
We’re all back at home. Because this is an independent project, we don’t have funding … so we can’t really afford to only do this. We all have to go back to our lives and working jobs and making money, which makes it a little difficult for the post-production issues because we’re not with each other every day.
Right now we’re going over all the footage. We have hours and hours and hours of footage. And I am in the process of looking at all the footage and compiling a script, which will be like a transcript of what the video file will look like. That will take a couple of weeks, and then we’re figuring out when exactly we can all come back together to put it together. We still have a couple of more things to shoot on video.
What are your plans for distribution?
We’re definitely going to post it online. It’s hard to say right now. We still have so much work ahead of us. We just want as many people to see it as possible, because hopefully we’ll come out with something that we’re really proud of. If … we’re seeing people responding to it in a really big way … we could see it going further.
But as far as anything big-time, going to distributors or making a movie and selling it, I don’t think it will be anything that will turn a profit for any of us. It’s just something that we can all look back on and say, “We were at a point in our lives when we all really didn’t know what was coming next for all of us, and so we just did this.”… So if people just see it and like what they see, I think that’s probably enough—that’s enough for me and I think it’s enough for everyone else.
Would you encourage Georgetown students to take this kind of chance after graduation?
One of the focuses of this film is that feeling that young people have today when you come out of school and you feel like you’re supposed to be really filled with hope and idealism and you’re just going to fulfill your passion, but then you’re facing a reality where it’s really hard to connect those two. For some people it’s really easy, they know what they want to do and they just go and do it, but for me it wasn’t easy. I want to be a screenwriter. But for me getting from point A to point B is so difficult, I’m just starting to figure it out now.
I don’t know, because I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m hoping after all of this I’ll be able to find something that I love to do and be in a position where I can do the things that I like to do. So I don’t really have a lot of answers because I’m still in the same process [as graduating seniors], but I’m hoping.