Greta Villani (she/her), Culture and Media ’22
Minor: Film Production & Entrepreneurship
Independent Research and Creative Project Grant
Driving home one evening, Gray gets a phone call from an ex-partner’s mother informing her of their death. In a state of shock, she pulls over and happens to pull into a gas station. Unsure of what to do after hearing the news, she gets out of the car. As soon as she gets out of the car, the environment is suddenly filled with blasting classical music. Gray becomes obsessed with finding the source of the music, but no one else seems to care about the strange occurrence, and despite her many efforts she can’t find the source. After an odd interaction with a regular at the store, Gray realizes that she must come to terms with this anomaly, and in this also come to terms with the death.
Outcome: It is not released yet.
Who was supporting you and how did you work with them throughout your project: My advisor, John Didato, helped me keep in mind the big picture as there are many moving parts to this process. He and I worked to ensure that my team and I are properly prepared before filming. This included going over the shot list, scheduling, and how to communicate my director’s vision to the cast and crew. It was and still is important to me that I create and facilitate a productive and creative environment and bring everyone and everything together. I have been working on this project since my Juinor year. So ultimately I relied on many different advisors throughout the process. However, honing in with one person at the end was essential to getting the film off the ground. I also ended up asking another professor to act in the film which just showed me how important and impactful utilizing The New School support can be.
How has this project has been impactful or transformative — for you personally or for those this work has impacted:
I worked on this project with students that I had gotten to know over my time at The New School, this was a culmination of many of our time spent together making films and is part of the fabric of the films that we continue to create and work on together. I think what’s really great about spearheading your own project is that you really can learn about what each department you’re bringing on needs in order to excel. By being responsible for all sectors I really understood that the success of one are the successes of all. And this is a core aspect of bringing projects to fruition.
What would you do differently? How would you advise a student who is going to do something similar?
Putting in the work ahead of time vastly impacts the outcome of a project. I cannot stress enough how important it is not to leave things up to chance or to be decided on the day. Within this, having moments to connect with the cast and crew ahead of time was really important in creating a streamlined production process. However, there are certain things that are hard to control. I ended up getting rained out on the second day of my two-day production, resulting in us not being able to film three scenes. Although there was not much I could have done to prevent this, there were some things I could have done to plan ahead to get reshoots done sooner. In retrospect, operating under the possibility that we would have to shoot another day a week later would have helped with coordinating schedules as well as equipment rentals and all the other variables that go into getting to the point of filming.
Will you publish your work?
It will eventually be online, but first will go to festivals.
Overall this was an immensely important moment in my life. I learned so much that instantly helped me as I continue to work in this field. I could not have realized this project, in this capacity, without the contribution of the Eugene Lang Opportunity Award.