Emily Sandifer Interview By Chris
I found Emily on IMDB, she was a fresh face, I viewed her website and like what I saw and what she is doing. What she is doing to get herself out their and known by the industry. She even making her own film called Finding Sky. So read on and see what this talented actor is doing.
Interview by Chris 13/5/10
More information on Emily: http://www.emilysandifer.com
1. What has been your favourite role to date?
My favourite role wasn’t even for an actual film, to tell you the truth. It was for a showcase scene I did for my acting class. I worked a scene from “Fight Club” for two months as Marla Singer. I loved Marla. She was one of the most fun characters I’ve ever developed; mostly because being her brought a lot out in my own personality that I’ve suppressed my entire life. She’s so much different than I am, but she’s so much of what I wish I could be. Developing a new Marla aside from the Marla in the movie was also a challenge, and it was just a great experience.
2. What do you do to prepare for a role?
My acting coach Carey Scott trained with Stella Adler for over 10 years, so he teaches us to work from the “inside-out;” very method. Preparing for a role is a very long process that goes on for weeks and even months, but basically I start with a journal that I fill with everything that remotely relates to my character. How I’m like and unlike that character, what her life history is, what she eats, what music she likes, everything. Once I get a grasp of what makes that character who she is, then I start working with wardrobe – figuring out what feels right. And to make a long story short, just reading the script over and over again – making new discoveries each time and building, building, and building. Never judging the character, but embracing her negative and positive traits. Each character has a life outside that play, so you can never know too much about them. Just like yourself in real life; you make discoveries everyday about who you are, and it changes the way you behave and live your life. It’s the same with a character.
3. Any techniques to remember lines? The more you know about your character, the easier it is to memorize. But good old fashion repetition never hurts, either. And if you’re really listening to the other character(s) in the scene, you won’t easily get lost in your lines.
4. Why did you want to make your own feature film?
I was tired of the ridiculous casting notices I saw out there on the casting websites. Roles for women are really lacking; and I honestly didn’t want to start my career as a “hot chick,” “bikini babe,” or a “pole-dancing prostitute.” I wanted to write my own roles. My mother is an author, so writing is in my veins. And I’m a professional photographer, so the art of filmmaking has always interested me. I didn’t want to wait for the right role to possibly come along. I’m very impatient and I wanted strong material to show to agents, casting directors, etc, to jump-start my career. So, I decided to write my own short film “Finding Sky”; which later turned into a feature length. I’m extremely proud of it and excited for it to be submitted to film festivals this fall.
5. What is the film about?
The film as mentioned is called “Finding Sky” and is filmed in Los Angeles and Southeast Idaho where I grew up. It’s about a struggling actress in L.A. who returns home to her family ranch for a much needed vacation. She becomes close with the ranch-hand her father has hired – a budding friendship that keeps her there at the ranch for longer than expected. Meanwhile, something unexpected in her career happens and she’s forced to decide between her two worlds.
6. What will it be shot in?
My cinematographer Sergio Z. Bernal is using the Panasonic HVX200 for the film, so it’s digital format. A few scenes have been shot on my Canon 5D Mark II as well.
7. How has the internet helped with your career?
The majority of casting these days is via internet, unless you’re a mega moviestar. So, you can submit for roles through online breakdown services like L.A. Casting, Actors Access, and Now Casting. Not only that, but having a website is extremely beneficial as long as it’s professional. It’s so much easier to have someone click on a link to your reel or additional photos – and things like this can help you get an audition or book a job.
8. Do you think it’s a useful tool?
I really do. I mean, if it wasn’t for IMDB featuring me as a Fresh Face of the Week, you wouldn’t be interviewing me right now, would you? The internet has made it easier to do self-promotion, and as long as it’s done right, you can really get yourself out there – especially on a budget. The internet has also increased the competition, though, because of the easy access. So, it’s a catch 22. You have to work harder than ever to prove you aren’t just another flash-in-the-pan wannabe who thinks they can post a couple of photos on their Facebook and become a moviestar. It doesn’t work like that. This is a business, and you’ve got to treat it as such. Do your research, be professional, work on your craft, and never give up.
9. What don’t you like about Hollywood?
You know, I don’t want to say much against Hollywood because frankly, I haven’t deserved the clout to say anything against it. I work on my acting every single day, and I hope that in the long run, that’ll pay off. Sometimes I get discouraged because I get bunched in with the rest of the girl-next-door, Caucasian, brunette types out there that have overrun Hollywood. My “type” has some tough competition; I’m a dime a dozen in Los Angeles. But, everyone is unique in their own right, you’ve just got to be lucky enough to have someone give you a chance to prove it – and be trained enough to make it count when that luck does come around. I’ve been told I need to lose weight, I’ve had trouble getting an agent because I’m not ethnic enough, I’m not tall-enough, I’m not sexy enough, I’m too sexy, I’m not pretty enough, I’m too pretty, I’m too young, I’m too old, whatever – you get so many differing opinions and in the long run, you have to put them aside, be confident in who you are, and just keep trying.
10. How did you get into photography?
Photography was my plan B because I knew acting was going to be long journey. I was a theatre major in college until my advisor told me I needed to quit my job to be in the productions. I was living on my own; I couldn’t quit my job. That’s when I knew I needed a back-up plan. I loved photography, I was good at it, so I turned it into a business. So, now I’m self-employed and can concentrate on my acting without being pinned down to a 9-5 job. Photography keeps my creativity flowing, I meet amazing people, and I use my photography experience in my acting and filmmaking, too. The two really co-exist beautifully.
11. Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with so many amazing people in my career thus far. My partner, Sergio Z. Bernal, is my favorite just because we’ve worked together so much. He wrote me a great role in his short “El Alacran” that he directed, but from there, we’ve been producing other films together, and now he’s my cinematographer for “Finding Sky.” I expect great things to come from the two of us. We’re a great team and I owe him everything. Working on Rockstar Games’ “L.A. Noire” this year was really life-changing, too. I met so many amazing recognizable working actors on that project; it was so inspiring.
12. What is on your stereo at the moment?
The Temper Trap, Mute Math, Phoenix, the soundtrack to “Book of Eli.”
13. What movies you have seen lately you have really enjoyed?
At the theatres: Book of Eli, Alice in Wonderland, and Iron Man II.
At home: The Proposal, Boys Don’t Cry, The TV Set, Changeling, Inglorious Bastards, The Blind Side
14. What are your favorite movies?
I have so many – but The Fountain is my top favorite – that film is underrated in so many ways. The Matrix, Requiem for a Dream, The Horse Whisperer, Book of Eli, to name a few.
15. What is next for you?
Finishing “Finding Sky” and submitting it to festivals this Fall as well as looking for distribution for it. Acting in a short film directed by Patrick Richmond, an incredibly awesome Irish director. Working on getting some TV co-star credits hopefully this year. Generally working on moving onward and upward. These things take time and I’m just loving the journey. For a country kid from Idaho, just being in L.A. and living the journey is a success for me.
16. Who would you most like to work with?
Robert Redford. His work on the “Horse Whisperer” actually inspired me to write “Finding Sky” in a round-about way. I would love to meet him, but it would be a dream come true to work with him, especially in a Western.
More information on Emily: http://www.emilysandifer.com
“Finding Sky”: http://www.facebook.com/findingsky
Her photography: http://www.sandiferphotography.com
Her production company: http://www.wix.com/ESProductions/esp