The Larkspur Youth Film Festival will spotlight some amazing local talent on April 29. Among the local film makers is Ross' Jasper Conacher, 11. A sixth-grader at Marin Country Day School, Jasper will present her narrative Perfect.
Following is a Q&A with Jasper:
Jasper Conacher, 11 years old
Marin Country Day School, Grade 6
Perfect (Narrative with music)
• Where are you from?
I was born in Toronto, Canada and I live in Ross.
• What's your movie about?
A family seems ordinarily perfect, on the outside. As you pry into their private lives, you understand their thoughts, secrets and fake smiles they plaster on for their mother.
• How did you hear about the festival?
My mom found it and I thought I would be interested in it because I enjoy writing.
• How did the idea for the film come about?
I was driving back from Tahoe with my computer and was bored. I like to write at least once a week, and I had already written three songs on that drive. So, the idea for the film just sort of came to me because I was writing about love, and to me family means love. I started writing about a family and twisted it, adding in things that no one seemed to write about. I was aware of the these sorts of things were happening in families. Everything seemed to fall in place in those 3 and a half hours (it was a long drive!)
• What were the challenges of making the film?
The biggest challenges for me were directing and filming. Directing was difficult because I cast close teenage family friends and I didn't want to upset them or do something wrong when I gave them advice or criticism. Filming was a challenge because I was nervous I would do a shoot wrong, or my hands would be too shaky. I thought I would waste everyone's time and the scenes would turn out sloppy.
• What's the best part of being a film maker?
The best part of being a film maker was definitely the satisfaction of having a finished product and being proud of it. It took a lot of effort from the actors, the musicians, my family but mostly me. We all sweat a lot and it ended up worth it, which feels really good inside. I can't believe how lucky I am to have this opportunity.
• Would you like to pursue a career in movies? In what area?
Actually, I am a performer and a writer. I would love to be on Broadway and then later write some films, music and shows. So, I guess that falls under the category of Hollywood movie. My unlikely dream is to win an Oscar for my film and a Tony for my performance.
• What's your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Secret Life Of Bees, it always makes me sob my heart out. I love the close knit relationship between the family of sisters. I also have a sister and it made me realize not to take her for granted. I also love the emotion each actor puts into the film. I have seen it five times and sit there every time and cry along with them, even though I know what’s coming up. Now that I think about it, movies about sisters or families are my favorite to watch and to write about. Maybe that’s why I love Secret Life Of Bees so much.
• Who's your favorite actor/director?
My favorite director is Amie Williams. She makes documentaries on problems that are in our world. She also started a nonprofit called Global Girl Media that trains girls from disadvantaged areas (South Africa, Morocco, L.A., etc) to tell their stories through film. She is a close friend of my mom’s, and when she visited she inspired me about film. She is probably the reason I became interested in film and that’s why my mom showed me the film festival information.