Living with the consequences of rape today in short film ‘Lullaby’ (Part 2)


Below is a continuation of the interview with Camille Kane about her debut self-written and directed short film Lullaby.

KJ: What do you hope the audience will take away from your film?

CK: Well, there is a socio political aspect that I hope will provoke thought that can evoke change. I don’t have a conclusion, I think that is the power of art, that it proves that a question can have more than one answer and a problem can have more than one solution. Ultimately you have to decide on what you are trying to say and for me the important thing to expose was the way the rapist’s presence dismantles the relationship between mother and daughter. I would never betray those we are trying to give a voice to by fabricating a solution in order for the audience to feel there is a resolve. There isn’t. And that is why we should do something about it.

KJ: What was the process of writing and casting? How long did each stage take?

CK: I would binge research for hours and days and then act out the scenes in my apartment. I would say the exact words the women had told me or survivors had said in court and then continue the conversations out loud based off of the research. I had post-its everywhere. I would improvise with the little girl that plays the daughter and write down scenes that actually happened in real life. I had story structures for 18 different versions of this 15-minute film sprawled out across my living room. I had notes on my walls, on my computer, and in five notebooks. I had so many notes I had to take notes of my notes. Alyse Kano finally said “You’re done. No more” and that was the script we shot a week later. On the other hand, casting took no time at all. Evie who plays the daughter and Ryan Carnes, who Plays “Him” were always in my mind. I couldn’t imagine the movie without them. I had met Allison while doing research for a documentary I was making and she was profoundly brave so we asked her to play Mrs. Lial.

KJ: What was the process of gathering funding like? Did you manage to get help or interest from any organizations in particular?

CK: I had written another piece, a politically driven narrative that was funded by private donation, but I quickly realized that film was a huge endeavor and didn’t fit well into a short film platform. I wasn’t ready to make a feature, but when I started writing Lullaby, I realized it was the film I should make with that money. I was fortunate in that the film was fully funded even before the script was finalized.

KJ: How did you go about finding your crew and what was your experience of working with so many female key crew members?

CK: Producers Arielle Wyatt, Alyse Kano, and the production company Nine X Three Films, sourced through TONS of referrals and ultimately were a great judge of character. I don’t want to speak on their behalf, but I don’t think that they only considered women, I think they just wanted the right fit for the jobs and for the most part that happened to be these incredible female filmmakers. On set I like to be vulnerable and explore. I value freedom and artistic contributions so it was very important that people were passionate and not looking to just get a job done and get paid. My experience working with so many females was the cultivation of an environment that was supportive, nurturing, and tenacious. There was an obvious sensitivity and respect to the subject matter that gave us all the sense that we were contributing to something much bigger.

KJ: Would you consider this a precursor for a feature film of a similar theme? Or will you be exploring other themes too?

CK: I will continue to explore female driven socio-political narrative, but the next couple projects have very different stories. Motherhood and being a woman are still things I am exploring. I think for too long there have been these secret rules and behaviors that women are supposed to abide by. Civilization is bound by blood to so many arbitrary social contracts. As a woman it is hard to harness and respect the power we have when you haven’t seen it expressed honestly or felt safe enough to express it truthfully yourself. Societal pressures and stigmas are ideas that rob and destroy our potential. Anything I can make to challenge the legitimacy of social constructs is my contribution to unlocking the cages we’ve freely walked into. This is the source of inspiration for the next few projects.

KJ: From pre-production through to the completion of the film, what has been the most challenging aspect? And what has been the most rewarding part?

CK: The most challenging thing is to take an abstract feeling and translate it to the screen and hope it affects the audience. We all experience things through a unique filter and the way we describe that back to the world is entirely personal. You reveal the inner workings of your mind and you feel raw and exposed. It is very messy and every moment you have to fight the urge to close yourself off to protect your heart. I don’t really think about rewards, or what I get out of it. I don’t expect a return. The reward is the challenge, you fight to say something or give voice to someone else.


To read the first half of the interview, please click here.

Tags: Camille Kane, Lullaby, Short Films

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Katusha Jin joined FF2 Media’s team in 2017 whilst she was still a film student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2019 she was the recipient of SCMP’s journalism scholarship and studied under the mentorship of an Oscar award-winning documentary director in Hong Kong. She went on to receive her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Hong Kong where she graduated with distinction. Katusha has previously worked in the advertising industry, and when she is not writing for FF2 Media, she can be found working on films as a director, producer, and writer. As a trilingual filmmaker, her experiences have cultivated an interest in the intersection between cultural diversity and creativity, and she brings that to her work both as a creative and as a critic. She is also a voice-over hobbyist, a fitness enthusiast, a student of comedy, and is always on the lookout for musical and theatrical collaborations.
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