Interviews

Crystal Faith Scott – Girl Clown

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By: Ruth Hill

 

In the world of film-making, female directors are rather scarce. It’s easy to find a great actress, but all too often, men fill the role of director and women get overlooked. In the world of independent or indie films, there are often more opportunities for women to get involved and it just so happens that is where we find Crystal Faith Scott. Recently, I happened upon her work. I realized that she was just the kind of person to not only shed light on her crowdfunded feature for which she is actively raising support, but she was the ideal person to highlight the importance of indie films as well as women’s roles in this dynamic industry.

What inspired you to get into the world of acting/entertainment?

I started acting when I was seven years old. I was shy, so my mom put me in a local children’s theater to help me overcome my shyness! I started out playing small parts and by the time I was nine or ten years old, I was playing the leading lady roles in the children’s shows. I also used to write plays and screenplays as a child and direct/produce them using my siblings and neighborhood kids as the cast members. My family lived in Southern California and when I was about 14 years old I found a book at the mall about how to get into show business in Hollywood. I was obsessed with this book and would read it all the time. My mom noticed this and asked me if I wanted to try to get an agent for acting. So, I did and I started auditioning as a teenager for TV, film and commercials in LA. After college,I moved to New York City and started working regularly as an actor here

Tell us about some of the other works you have been involved in and any training you have received.

When I first moved to New York City, I did a lot of theater – many national tours – Evita, The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella and regional and Off-Broadway productions as well. Later, I started acting in indie films, TV and commercials. It’s very important for me as an actor to keep studying and growing as an artist so I always try to be in acting class. I have studied with several different acting teachers, but my favorite (and current) acting teacher in NYC is Sande Shurin.

Please tell us how about the development of your short film Girl Clown.

One of my day jobs between acting gigs was being a clown for children’s birthday parties. When I first started out, I would always walk to my gigs in my clown costume and I was so surprised at how many people would drop their serious New York “poker faces” and smile and call out “Hi!” to me from across the street! And when I would sit on the subway, there would inevitably be a person that couldn’t contain their curiosity and would come over to sit next to me and ask me questions about how I became a clown, where I got my costume, etc. It was amazing how friendly and open New Yorkers on the street would become. This happened to me so many times that I thought – I have to make a movie about this!

Besides the phenomenon of being a clown in NYC, the movie is also about shyness and trying to overcome it. The story is kind of a microcosm of my own life because I started out as a shy child and eventually overcame it through the process of becoming an actor.

Please give us some insight into the film festival process, especially as it relates to your short Girl Clown.

It is quite a process to get a film into a film festival. There are thousands of films submitted to every film festival every year and usually only a few spots available in each. So, in my opinion, just getting into a film festival is a big honor. I am always in awe of the talent of other filmmakers at film festivals and I think everyone is award-worthy. So to actually win an award (or more than one) – that is really cool, too.

What inspired you to turn Girl Clown into a feature film?

Throughout the process of making Girl Clown and even during the festival run, I noticed that the film really had a specific audience. Girl Clown is very much a joyful, uplifting film and I would often meet people after the screenings who would thank me for making it because it made them feel good or realize something new about themselves. For a long time, I had been planning to make a feature film, but I thought it was going to be a different movie. I had another completely different script in mind, but people still would always ask me if I was going to make Girl Clown into a feature.

Finally, I started writing the full-length Girl Clown script and it really just started writing itself, which was very exciting for me. It is still about a woman overcoming shyness, but it also expands on the romantic story about the two shy people who work as clowns who feel much more comfortable in their costumes than as themselves. The need to hide behind a costume proves especially difficult in dating because dating and relationships are all about being open and revealing one’s self.

Please tell us about the Kickstarter campaign and how that works.

Kickstarter is a platform where creators can get their passion projects funded through people donating to their campaign, and in turn, the backers receive rewards based on their donation level. The funding is “all or nothing” on Kickstarter, meaning that the creator only receives the money if they reach their funding goal IN FULL. Otherwise, they do not receive anything. I personally love giving to Kickstarter campaigns (especially films) because I love supporting the arts and instead of giving a donation to a large arts organization, it just feels more special and meaningful for me to give to an independent artist’s project directly. Plus, as a backer I feel very personally involved in the project and it’s so exciting and satisfying to follow the project after they make their goal and then watch it become an actual film. Films are quite expensive to make and indie filmmakers in particular can really use any extra financial support they can get.

As for my film, it is especially important because I am a female filmmaker making a feature film and there aren’t that many of us! There was a recent article that said it’s something like 8% of film directors are women. And I have definitely seen evidence of this in my own life. In fact, among all my filmmaker mentors, NONE of my female mentors have made a feature film–only shorts – while almost ALL of my male mentors have made not just one feature film, but SEVERAL full-length films. I think we need to change this by supporting female filmmakers and their films. Also, my film is very much a joyful film. And I do think we need more joy in the world!

Why are you so passionate about indie films?

Indie films are definitely my favorite kind of film to watch. When I go to the movies, I always pick the indie film to see over the Hollywood-type film. I love everything about indie films – the creativity, the focus on characters and script, the acting and the originality. I just love the feel of indie films because they are always so authentic.

Do you have any other upcoming works you can tell us about?

I love working as an actor and have a few projects coming up (a role in a film, a web series, etc.). So, I will be doing that along with the film’s pre-production and production later this year.

As you read Crystal’s responses, you cannot help, but catch the spirit and fervor of her work and passion. She has definitely done her homework and it would appear that success is on the horizon. Although she has much work to do, I can speak from experience that she treats her supporters with incredible respect and grace. There is no doubt that her optimism and joie de vivre are infectious. Furthermore, the fact that she is seeking to expand the number of female directors in this thriving business, it is even more imperative that she succeeds.  Be sure to check out the links below as well as her current project. I would invite you to join if you can.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/crystalscott

Kickstarter Campaign for “Girl Clown” Feature: https://t.co/qoAMDjn06i

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