An interview with Edie Gaston
An interview with Edie Gaston, an up and coming young freelance film director and producer, who I first met studying A-levels together. Always original, sharp witted and fiercely opinionated, Edie is a classic case of someone who will work best working for herself, or collaborating with a creative team. At a dazzling young age of 21, Edie has already produced her first short film, which is being tipped to win awards and has been funded solely by crowd funding, a campaign which Edie has managed herself, alongside her full time day job working for Sky. Edie agreed to fit me in her busy schedule in between her day job and finishing and publishing her short film, SUFUKU.
Q. Can you tell us a little about SUFUKU?
A. SUFUKU is a violently feminine short film about the plight of middle class millennials, and the lengths they will go to for an income of their own. María is a young woman feeling the sting of youth unemployment. An outsider in her group of friends, she finds both solace and a source of income in completing Sudoku puzzles for prizes. Spending her newfound cash on drink and drugs, María begins to lose touch with the world around her, leading to complication and resentment. SUFUKU not only tackles relevant issues faced by many in the United Kingdom today, but also the age-old question of what it is to be human, and how we relate to one another. The film also presents the theme of female anger and aggression in the context of tragic comedy, with influences spanning from classical literature to film and television of the last decade. Visually, Sam and Edie want to take inspiration from the drunken, multi-coloured madness of the nightclubs in Trainspotting, and the blood-soaked feminine nightmare of The Neon Demon.
Q. Can you tell me how your initial idea and concept evolved into this exciting reality that you are now directing and making a film?
A. My process from turning SUFUKU from an idea in my head into the professional production it is today began with the script. Once I had written the first draft, I began exploring some of my cultural, musical and visual references and collating them into moodboards. Making the decision to shoot in Cambridge began directing me towards various actors, crew and location. I only made the decision to bring my good friend Sam on board to co-direct and produce; which was a turning point in the film’s development.
Q. Have you relied on collaborations with other creatives for the making of the film?
A. Film is a collaborative art by nature, but I took it one step further by making the decision to co-direct this project. Although this is a WALLFROG production, we’ve used cast and crew with many different skill-sets and backgrounds. Film is a collaborative art by nature, but I took it one step further by making the decision to co-direct this project.
Q. How have you achieved the huge task of fundraising, and how much has it cost you to make?
A. As this was WALLFROG’s first production, we decided to go through Kickstarter. With a goal of £5,000, we raised £5,035 in 30 days through the use of social media as well as traditional media such as articles and radio. By the time post-production has finished, and we’ve entered the film into our desired festivals, we will have used the entire initial budget.
Q. What is your proudest moment of the journey so far?
A. My proudest moment is unequivocally listening to the actors reading my dialogue out loud. Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of having your words come to life through others.
Q. I know you decided to leave uni to go solo and make this film, that was a very brave decision. Have you had any regrets about that?
A. Leaving the University of Manchester was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made. I was studying a subject I loved, English Literature, and enjoying a city with so much culture. I still miss immersing myself in literature, and may well go back later on in life. However, in terms of my career both in film and in media, it was a very good decision.