Virginia, Forever won Best Short Film - Less then $5000 Award in the 6th Season of MP Film Award Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell Director, Writer & Producer of the Film Virginia, Forever agree to interview with us.
Award winning Director and Cinematographer Daria Rountree found her passion in film at 5 years old while visiting her father on a film set. She fell in love with “movie magic”, began acting, and then picked up a camera to make her own films by the age of 12. Her films are known for their dark, psychological themes that truly make the audience feel like they are part of the story. Daria’s goal with her filmmaking is to create a true, understanding, and accepting culture around the lgbtq+ community and their experiences. By telling stories everyone can relate to as well as make them think and question themselves, she is hoping to remove the separation between “straight” and “gay” and show that we are all just complex humans.
About The Film: Synopsis: Virginia, Forever Film Synopsis
The heartbreaking journey of Addison following the sudden disappearance of her wife.
Trailer of "Virginia, Forever"
What was your drive behind making this film?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Jordan had taken the core concept of a feature I wrote and turned it into this beautiful, heartbreaking, and twisted story. I was in such awe while reading the script I knew we had to make it. It gave me a chance to show my skill while making the kind of film I am passionate about.
Jordan: The filmmaking answer is I’ve never done anything sad or dramatic before so I wanted to try my hand at that. The philosophical answer: I wanted viewers to question their perspectives on their relationships with people, specifically romantic relationships.
How you feel when you are awarded with the MP FILM AWARD Award?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: We were so excited and honored. It’s great to get recognition for a smaller budget film and know that with hard work and heart you can still make an effective film.
Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: For such a dark film we had so much fun shooting it but when we shot the ending scene it was the first time all of us felt the heaviness of it. We were all so mesmerized by the performances I sometimes forgot I was filming. I definitely teared up while shooting that scene. That moment was when it hit me that we were making something truly great.
Jordan: I’m with Daria. The ending scene, experiencing that tension, was chilling. It felt like one of those moments where we weren’t making a movie but we were really present in the universe with those characters.
How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: I changed/got rid of a few lines in the script but since Jordan writes in such important lines that come to be very important later, we stuck pretty closely to it. We lost a scene because of a location issue but that ended up turning out for the better. The ending wouldn’t have been as impactful if we had that scene so it was a very happy accident. I added the montage in the beginning to create some critical backstory which I felt was important to get the audience invested in their relationship and feel like they were a part of the journey with our main character.
Were there any onset problems During the filming of the film & how did you deal with it?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: One of the days we shot outside was extremely windy and the audio was unusable. We ended up doing a reshoot shoot but I didn’t like how it looked as much as the first so I frankensteined the audio from the second shoot with the footage from the first. I’m still shocked with how well it worked out. I won’t say which scene it is but none of the audio was from that footage.
Jordan: That audio issue was a nightmare. The fact she Frankensteined the audio from the second shoot and edited it into the first shoot never ceases to amaze me when I watch it.
Do you have any advice for young filmmaker out there? Or like yourself?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Keep creating, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what equipment you have access to. I learned to figure a lot out using minimal equipment which was very helpful. I definitely think that made me a better filmmaker. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’ll learn important lessons with every project you make.
Jordan: Just keep making movies. Don’t be afraid to suck. Whether your movies suck or don’t suck, you will learn something each time and be able to use those lessons for your next one and better yourself. We never stop learning.
Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Jordan and I both went to film school. I personally think it was beneficial for me. I learned every aspect of filmmaking from people who worked in the industry and the school provided equipment for us to use. Though you can learn a lot online, you don’t have the opportunity to create relationships with people or always have the resources. You have professionals guiding you and giving you feedback to help you grow as a filmmaker.
Jordan: If you have the means go for it, but you don’t have to go. With that being said, you need to really discipline yourself in studying film and making films in your own time if you wanna do it. I studied film and having a professor hit you over the head with a concept and needing to know things for a test is different than sitting down with popcorn and watching a movie.
Which film has inspired you the most?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Naissance Des Pieuvres (Water Lilies) a french film that mainly used visual storytelling over dialogue heavy storytelling. I remember watching this in high school and being in awe that the story wasn’t mainly driven by dialogue. It made me feel so many emotions just from watching these characters live their lives. It wasn’t like other movies I had seen, it felt almost like a camera was following these characters and I was on the journey with them. The cinematography was beautiful as well and it drove my passion for visual storytelling with minimal dialogue. Drive is another favorite film that just solidified my love and passion for films with minimal dialogue.
Jordan: JAWS because it has a great balance of suspense, humor and character depth. It is all the elements of filmmaking perfectly in balance and unison. The drive to make movies that comes close to that balance has always been my goal.
Which particular film maker has influenced you the most?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Nicolas Winding Refn definitely had a huge influence on my filmmaking. I learned a lot watching how he tells an impactful story with minimal dialogue. He also uses silence and holding on shots to build tension which you don’t normally see. His films are so artistic and he is a true master of visual storytelling. I’ve always loved this style of filmmaking and he gave me hope that people will enjoy my films even though I take more of an artistic approach.
Jordan: I’m gonna cheat and give two answers. Spielberg, for obvious reasons. M Night Shyamalan because he’s continued making twisted heartfelt movies that are completely uniquely his and hasn’t conformed to any of his critics wishes.
Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: I’ve always wanted to make the play Spring Awakening into a film. I’ve seen it done by countless theatre productions and it makes me laugh and cry everytime. It would be a dream if I got to make the film though according to IMDb there is one in production. *snaps finger in defeat* I’m still excited to see it though! I’ve been waiting since high school for there to be a film so I can watch it anytime haha
Jordan: I have a twist on Sherlock Holmes that I don’t *think* anyone has done yet. According to my research at least. I know I know, *another* Sherlock Holmes story, but I swear this one is fun.
If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes will you opt for?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: There’s a shot where I used a different camera for steadicam purposes that bothers me because the quality is different. I didn’t have a focus puller but I wanted my steadicam shot and nod to Wes Anderson so I used a camera with autofocus. I’d definitely go back and shoot it on my Panasonic EVA-1 with my 1st AC and our new rig. ;)
Jordan: Nothing comes to mind. I would have to go back to rewatch our films and nitpick something. I am very proud of what we’ve put out.
If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Getting more help. We would’ve finished quicker and been less stressed. We also wouldn’t have bothered my mom as much shooting in her house for so long haha Sorry Mamma
Jordan: Yeah, getting more help. Makes the day go by faster, less stressful on us, less waiting time on the actors. It’s a win for everyone.
What is your greatest achievement till date?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Virginia, Forever. Hands down. The responses we’ve gotten have been so amazing. One of the festivals we won sent us a video of peoples feedback which I should not have watched on set because I had tears streaming down my face haha Hearing everyone’s feedback was so touching and I was so grateful that people loved this film as much as we do. I am so in love with this film and to get so much recognition for it has been a dream come true.
Jordan: VIRGINIA, FOREVER for sure. As a filmmaker the emotional responses to it have been something you can only dream of. Being able to get the same emotion out of a film that’s 16 minutes would usually take 2 hours of storytelling. It is very gratifying as an artist.
How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: Daria: Though some films may not have turned out exactly how we wanted in some aspects, we have succeeded in other aspects of those films. Every film we have made has had learning experiences and has helped us grow as filmmakers so we have never looked at any project we’ve done as a “failure. The lessons we’ve learned in the process are so crucial to becoming better filmmakers.
Jordan: I don’t see us as having any failed films. If we did, we’d just learn from it and move on to the next one. Life is short and I’m not one to dwell too long in a pity party.
Where our viewers can catch you (share your social media)?
Daria Rountree & Jordan Campbell: IG: Daria-@AyyeDaria
Daria & Jordan - @90DegreeFilms
Twitter: Jordan- @Soupydoupyy
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