Written by Luke Barnes
Hey Everyone! I recently had the chance to have a chat with Shaun Rose, the writer/actor/director behind Making And Unmaking a very personal documentary film that chronicles Rose’s experiences within the film industry around the film of him making Upstate Story. We discuss the creative process, whether the toll of Hollywood is worth it, and mental health. I hope you enjoy.
Q: If you were to sum up Making and Unmaking in a word what would it be?
A Therapeutic. Another word would be extensive or exhausting.
Q: What was your message with this film? To inform? To share?
A: Initially it was just me trying to get so many feelings out in the midst of production of ‘Upstate Story’ as they both overlapped. I was in a deep crisis period. I will say that many who have watched the film consider it educational in regard to the creative process. Not just the no budget tier of filmmaking.
Q: What was the inspiration or catalyst for you making this film?
A: Just wanting to heal or get better. My mental and physical health were in pretty rough states due to so much I was going through. I wanted the film to act as a sort of journal or diary where I could vent.
Q: Would you describe the struggle you and other filmmakers go through to get films made as worth it?
A: Most of the time. There are horror stories out there. Mainly in Hollywood where filmmakers have expressed regret over certain projects. For myself, I have no regrets at all. It might be hard and at times frustratingly difficult, but the finished product has always been worth the hardship.
Q: What advice would you give to young filmmakers working in the industry right now?
A: Keep writing and filming. There are a plethora of affordable cam options out there for you. Even modern cell-phones are being used frequently. Go for whatever you want to do.
Q How did you find the production of Making and Unmaking different from that of your other projects?
A: I’ve only experimented with the documentary form in college so that was a departure from the norm. Many years in between. I also just started using DSLR’s too for the documentary so that was a learning curve. I was late to that party.
Q: Did you find the format of Making and Unmaking, freeing or constrictive?
A: Very freeing, but at times overwhelming. As a documentary, I feel the possibilities are endless or more flexible. Just stick to the truth no matter what. It’s the editing that becomes hard. Trying to keep the story moving along all the while keeping a smooth edit going is where it gets tricky. We only had 1 cam to use during the interview sections, so we had to film each interview 2 times at different angles. From there, try to splice it together. Trying to place the music by Jake was also tricky. Considering it’s a documentary, it was especially tricky. I just took his tracks and placed them in a way to compliment as opposed to overwhelm. I hope I did him justice.
Q: If you won an award who would you thank?
A: My children. Adrianna and Keenan. My co-creators on the film. My Father, Andrea, Jake and Charles. My family, critics who gave my work a chance. A bunch of my friends who have been very close to me in my darkest times. People to confide in during both personal and creative rants. And those that have passed who made a strong impact on me as a person. Gracelynn, Sue and Darlene.
Q: What are your closing thoughts on the film industry in general?
A: I’m concerned about where it seems that comedy is headed. For centuries, comedy has largely consisted of others laughing at the misfortune of others. It’s always been offensive to some degree or other. There are so many different realms of comedy as well and nowadays, I fear that we’re heading into territory that minimizes what we can laugh at. Perhaps I should say censorship in general.
Q: If you could go back in time to when you were young and just starting out in the film industry, would you tell yourself to go for it, or to rethink?
A: Go for it. It’s difficult, but getting your works out there, seen and appreciated, makes all the struggle worth it.
You can check out Making and Unmaking right now on Youtube, and as always you can find a review of the film on my site!