My serendipitous connection with two-time Telly Award winning Filmmaker Sue Vicory began in 2015. It was meant to be! San Diego filmmaker/entrepreneur/educator Jodi Cilley, the President of the Film Consortium San Diego and the founder and producer of the annual San Diego Film Awards (and an equally extraordinary person) recommended that I connect with her film colleague Sue. Jodi was so intuitive in facilitating our connection (which I hope will last a lifetime)!
A quote about Sue from Jodi:
“Sue Vicory is one of the most inspiring and amazing people I know. She has dedicated her life to helping others and has gone out of her way to help build the film industry in San Diego in a variety of ways. She is a role model and I’m constantly amazed by her efforts to help people from all walks of life.” – Jodi Cilley
After reaching out to Sue via email, my daughter Emmy and I were cast in the short fiction film Downstage for the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project. Sue’s production company “Heartland Films” produced and Sue directed, along with the writing team of Sariann Monaco, Holly Rone and Talia Pauletti. “Team XX” was a history-making, twenty-five member, all-female team. Downstage is now on the film festival circuit. You can view Sue’s films and videos on Sue Vicory’s YouTube Channel. Read my previous post about Team XX .
Besides working on Downstage Emmy and I have participated in a few of Sue’s community service projects and we continually network. It was because of witnessing Sue’s purpose, passion, vigor and selfless “chill” demeanor that I decided to interview her here as an Extraordinary Person, Sharing her Story!
Sue is currently on an amazing one year trip across the U.S. in her branded van with her “extraordinary” “My Power of One” (MPO1) 12 Acts of Kindness National Tour”. Her recently retired and extremely supportive husband Jay and their amazing (will tell you why later) Golden Retriever Kacy are accompanying her.
If not, the best way to describe it is a whirlwind weekend of tight deadlines, a love of the craft of filmmaking, an appetite for team building and bonding and a love for creativity. What more could film aficionados ask for? Oh, there’s also a screening on the “big screen” for each team soon after the weekend of filming!
How does it work? A team is formed and over one weekend, a short film (under 8 minutes, including a minute of credits) is written, filmed, edited and submitted within 48 hours! You might be saying “Are you kidding me”? NO, this is really how it works!
What’s the procedure? On Friday evening, in an orderly fashion, each team randomly picks a “genre”, (in San Diego there was a giant “plinko board” that teams took turns at), after which all teams are assigned the same line, character and prop that MUST be included in their film. For this 48 Hour Film Project. We’ll get to Team XX ‘ challenge soon!
Read more about the San Diego 48 Hour Film Project, which took place July 24-26, 2015. The event is Produced by Duane Trammell and Robyn Sarvis, and the website includes information about the Project, the film “Premiere” Screenings August 10-13, the “Best Of” Screenings and the wrap party August 22nd.
Producer/Director Sue Vicory, of Heartland Films (www.suevicory.com, Sue Vicory, IMDB Link) formed, Executive Produced and Directed the first “all-female” 27 member “Team, XX” film titled “Down Stage” for the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project.
“Down Stage”, a Holiday Film, will screen with 12 other film entries in Group A at 6:30 p.m., plus about 13 films in Group B at 9:00 p.m. at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15 on 701 5th Ave. in the Downtown Gaslamp District of San Diego (92101) on Monday, August 10, 2015. Tickets are $15 for the “Premiere” Screenings and $20 for the “Best Of” screenings. Tickets
Team XX at the Horton Grand Theatre. Photo by Nannette DeRobertis
Vicory had several “bonding” meetings with most of the 27 members of the cast and crew (mostly from Southern California) a few weeks before the actual filming weekend. One such meeting had the 10 actresses, performing in a “mock talent show” audition which featured a variety of techniques, such as monologues, singing, dancing and improv.
With Vicory and a few Team XX’ers present, Team XX Assistant Director Jen Allen drew the genre “Holiday Film” for Team XX at the “kickoff” event at Liberty Station on Friday evening, August 24. The designated line for all teams was “Sometimes that’s (or that is) all you need”, the prop to be used was a “flashlight” and the character was to be either “Alan or Alice Downing, a Coach”.
Team XX writers included Sariann Monaco, Talia Pauletti and Holly Rone. The multigenerational writing team cranked out the “Down Stage” script about Mother’s Day within a few hours from Friday evening into Saturday early morning at Vicory’s seaside condo.
The crew included: Sue Vicory: Executive Producer/Director; Lori Jones: Producer, Jen McCleary: Assistant Director; Maidy Morhous: Production Assistant. Amanda Niles: Sound; Angela Wong: Director of Photography; Kymberrly Scott: 2nd A.D.; Krystin Cline: 2nd Camera; Tamara Ilich: Gaffer; Cara Myers: Editor; Natalie Lauer: Production Assistant; Danni Michele: Animation; Nannette DeRobertis: Photographer; Sariann Monaco: Writer; Talia Pauletti: Writer; Holly Rone: Writer; Corrinne Smith: Communications; Pamela Weigelt: Massuese; Miranda Muse: Massuese; Lisa Wintersdorff: Makeup; Crystle Orantez: Hair; Susan Farese: Public Relations. Special Thanks to SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and Derek Johnston at the Horton Grand Theatre.
Team XX filmed Down Stage at the Horton Grand Theatre throughout Saturday, August 25th. In the meantime, editor Cara Myers began the editing process from her hotel suite at the Horton Grand Hotel as soon as Saturday’s footage became available and into Sunday with only one “pickup” of a voiceover on Sunday morning. Serendipitously, the “7 minute 29 second” completed film, “Down Stage” was turned in to the 48 Hour Film Project at 7:29 p.m.
I asked Sue Vicory about her experience with Team XX and the 48 Hour Film Project. Vicory stated “The passion within this group was palpable. We each brought our A Game to the production. Collaboration is a natural strength for women and it shows up clearly on the screen of our first film, “Down Stage”.
Down Stage will have a Premiere Screening with over 20 other films on Monday, August 10th at starting at 6:30 at the Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15, 701 5th Ave. San Diego, 92121. Here is the Ticket Link. Note: You must purchase tickets online, there will be no ticket purchases at the theatre.