Shooting a movie on Capitol Hill is not the simplest endeavor, especially when the first day of shooting is May Day. Sudeshna Sen began to shoot her crime drama short on May 1st inside Capitol Hill’s Bonney Watson funeral home.
“We were doing dark, weighty scenes, and there was the parade and helicopters going around,” says Sen, “at one point I just thought maybe we should reschedule.“
The cast and crew were filming inside the funeral home and decided to go outside only to find a S.W.A.T team in the parking lot. The day’s events were unexpected but director and screenplay writer Sen was able to keep her capture the scene’s she needed.
Julia’s Farm was filmed in three day with 90% of the footage either in Bonney Watson or in an apartment in Madison Park.
Sen began the writing process for the screenplay in October 2013.
After finding complicated female characters fewer and fewer in media, Sen decided to write a story that would capture female bonding. One of her favorite films is Thelma and Louise.
“When you are at the point where you either go over the cliff or you don’t, what choices do these characters make?” says Sen who has always been drawn to dark, depressing stories.
Here’s the plot:
When Julia’s dream of buying her own farm falls apart after her boss mishandles her pension, she and her best friend Jenny devise a plan to recover the money. As their scheme gets complicated, Julia and Jenny find true friendship and happiness where they least expect it.
Sen received a doctorate in Japanese Literature and was a professor at UW for a few years. She abruptly quit her job and decided filmmaking is where her interests lie.
She enrolled in a film class and through her teacher she was introduced to filmmaker John Jeffcoat. Sen worked on postproduction for Jeffcoat’s new film Big in Japan thanks to her expertise in Japanese.
Once Sen had an investor and her script was polished, she asked Jeffcoat to help her with her film. After a little begging, Jeffcoat’s schedule freed up in May and was the movie’s cinematographer.
Jeffcoat has become Sen’s mentor and was integral to the filmmaking process, she says. With a well know cinematographer and producer, her movie was on the way.
“For a first-time film maker,” says Jeffcoat, “she was very lucky in that we had a really seasoned group of people.”
The film has been in postproduction since May and Sen plans to submit the short 15-minute film to festivals in September. Sen said she is trying to find a time and a place to have a showing in Seattle.
The filmmaker said she is excited to have the people of Capitol Hill recognize the area and relate to the characters. The characters she says are the type of people you would find living on the hill. Sen lives on Capitol Hill and hopes to gain local support of her film in the upcoming months.
“It’s about a dark crime drama with two women in charge,” says Sen, “What’s not to love?”
For more information about the film visit juliasfarmthemovie.com.