After Christina Parisi graduated from San Diego State University, she promptly moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles, California, to pursue a career in filmmaking. To gain experience within the entertainment industry, Christina worked in various positions, which include assistant to producer Scott Rudin, production assistant on various independent films, and assistant editor on several productions, including American Idol and The Kennedy Center Honors. Armed with knowledge learned on the job, Christina then stepped behind the camera as a filmmaker.
Setting out to make films that told philosophical stories, Christina wrote and directed the short film, Making Your Tea, marking her directorial debut. Making Your Tea world premiered at The 2006 Palm Beach International Film Festival. She followed this with short films, Never Get It Back and The Beginning. With writing, directing, producing and editing her first three films, Christina was able to learn the filmmaking process and hone her skills as a filmmaker, while also getting a taste of the festival circuit. Equipped with this knowledge, Christina then wrote and directed the short film, Rhythm of Causality, adapted from the full-length feature film she is currently seeking finance to make. Rhythm of Causality played at several festivals in 2010, including the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, which is in the city Christina was born in. And in 2011, Christina wrote and directed her most recent short film, Your Move. It is set to hit the 2012 festival circuit. Please stay tuned for more details…
In addition to writing and directing, Christina has worked as a freelance script analyst for Imagine Entertainment since 2006.
Christina’s latest film – YOUR MOVE is a short film about humanity shown through the meeting of Giovanni, a businessman who believes everyone deserves respect regardless of one’s station in life, and a Homeless Man, who is treated with little to no respect by an attendant at a casual restaurant.
What attracts an independent filmmaker like yourself to want to enter your film?
I really appreciate a film festival that supports the films and filmmakers they select to screen and invite. I look for longevity and dedication to filmmaking when I submit my film to a festival.
What film of yours are you the most proud of? Why?
All of my films are like my children so it’s very difficult to chose the one I’m most proud of but each film I make gets progressively better than the last because I learn from past experiences and apply what I’ve learned to my next production. My latest short, “Your Move” has benefited from the wisdom I’ve gained from shooting four short films prior to it. I think as a filmmaker, you gain experience and knowledge every time you make a film and then you apply what you’ve learned to the next one you make, so each film in progression will hopefully get better and better…
Tell us about a problem in making one of your films that you had to solve? What helped you come up with a solution?
On set, many problems will occur. Practically every minute. But one problem in particular that I can think of was when one of my actors was running incredibly late and was going to miss the shoot. I quickly asked an extra to learn the lines and do the role, which he happily did so, and we managed to make it work. Fortunately, I give all my extras the entire script so the one stepping in for the new role had already known the context of the scene.
What is your filmmaking process in a nutshell? Have you ever had to sway from it? Why?
I can’t explain my filmmaking process in a nutshell because each film calls for a different process as a whole but I can say that organization and preparation are key. And being able to roll with the punches is very important.
What kind of advertising and/or marketing have you done for your films? Is there something you’ve done that you feel is successful? Why?
Social networking is great and also Amazon has a distribution arm that is beneficial for indie filmmakers trying to get their films out there. But I think the most important thing for a film, in terms of marketing, is word of mouth. The problem for indie filmmakers though is getting the film seen but it’s the audience that will be the best salesmen…
How far is the farthest you’ve traveled in shooting for your films?
I’ve shot all my films in either Los Angeles or Riverside county, which is close to where I live. This is due largely to the fact that it’s most economical for me at this point.
Ever met or worked with anyone famous or they became famous afterwards? Who?
I have yet to work with anyone “famous” but I believe the actors I have worked with are close to being this…
Money is no object: who’s your leading actor and actress? Why?
Daniel Day Lewis and Kate Winslet. Talent. Talent. Talent.
Thank you so much Christina for telling us so much about your filmmaking career to date. We look forward to seeing more of your films.
You can find out more about Christina on her website at http://christinaparisi.com/about_christina