What is The Story Board & Damnationland?
I work at a film and video production company based in Portland called The Story Board. We produce a little bit of everything from commercial/corporate work to independent film and everything in between.
Damnationland is a Maine dark film showcase that premieres every Halloween season at the State Theatre. I came on as a producer in 2013 and was the Executive Producer of last years program. This year I’m taking a break from program directing and long nights of endless emailing to make a film. It feels really good to sink my teeth into the creative end.
My film is called Jolie Laide. It’s an ultra queer retelling of Dante’s Inferno. The underlying theme is the beauty of what some people might call imperfection and how heaven means different things to different people. Check it out along with some other great Maine made films Friday the 13th in October at the State Theatre.
What inspired you to become a FilmMaker?
I come from a big family, which was great but loud. Watching a movie together was about the only time our house was quiet. There was something magical about that. When you get to pluck a dream from your head, shoot it, and show other people, you get to be the magician.
When did you recognize filmmaking was not just a hobby, but it would be your living?
Well, it’s something that takes a dedication and some sacrifice, and I wouldn’t quite say film is what's paying the bills at the moment. Our commercial work affords us the ability to pursue creative projects. This career path wasn’t a sure bet by any means but when I was finally able to draw a paycheck from something that I actually got to use my brain for and not just my hands it was super worth it.
What is one challenge and one lesson you’ve learned from your experience in the world of film?
Just one challenge? I think filmmaking is all challenges but if you do what you love passion can drive you further than food, a dollar, or a full nights sleep.
What two films have been the most influential to you and why?
Hmmm. Full Metal Jacket was the first film I remember seeing, that might have shaped me as a person. I think I was maybe six or seven and my dad was watching it in the living room on a Sunday morning. He made me leave after a particularly violent scene and I had to watch the rest from between the balusters of the stairs. It was so unlike anything my little mind had seen. It stuck with me even though I couldn’t remember what it was until I saw it again years later as a teenager.
My other most influential film is probably My Own Private Idaho. It changed the way I saw storytelling. It showed me that filmmaking doesn’t have to be a linear unfolding of literal events. In some parts M.O.P.I is almost like film as sculpture. There was a poetry to the characters that I fell in love with.
If you could film anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Anywhere I’ve never been. The variety of cultures and landscapes out there to appreciate are what makes life such an adventure. If I had to choose a top two priorities at this point, I’d say Iceland and South Africa. Iceland has an almost mystical geography. Jagged mountains, deep caverns, Northern Lights, and the midnight sun, there is something strange about Iceland and I want to experience it first hand. On the southern hemisphere, I am in love with the vibrance of South African culture. They have blended influences from around the world and elevated them in a way that is totally their own. There is a stunning swagger to the way they do things. The music, the street fashion, it’s all just to die for.
What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?
It always seems impossible until it’s done. -Nelson Mandela
In one word, describe yourself:
Oh man, I’d love for that word to be “Unstoppable” but a lot of times the world has other plans. You make a great strategy and then find the entire situation shifts and you need to forge a new way to get where you want to go. The most rewarding work experiences I’ve had lately have been where given a seemingly hopeless situation I chose to push through rather than giving up. Every time I’ve done that I’ve been rewarded with something greater than the original goal. I guess “Determined" would be pretty accurate.
"Damnationland presents genre-defying original works from Maine filmmakers that redefine the classic thriller and horror categories. Now in its eighth year, the Damnationland 2017 program will feature world premieres of five short films produced in Maine by Mainers, especially for the Halloween season. This year’s crop of Maine-based talent includes short features by Mackenzie Bartlett, Tadin Brown, Alexander Balzano & Ellis Ducharme, Alex Steed, and Charlotte Warren, with interstitial segments between each piece by Derek R. Brigham, Julia Haltof, Stacey Koloski, Shannon Meserve, Melissa Salmi, and Clark Shepard." -© 2017 Damnationland.
To Connect w/ Charlotte
The Story Board:
*2016 Damnationland Photos by Sarah Truman: ©www.sarahjanephotog.com