Interview with Carla Seneca - Filmmaker
I am Carla Seneca, Screenwriter, producer and actress in the short film The Latency, Annual awards winner – Best short film. Our production company is called Overlook Entertainment and we have started to produce during the pandemic. We have already 2 features, one completed and the other action film called D.O.E. in production. We already have a distribution deal for D.O.E. because of the way we are doing action, any fight shows violence and realistic moves. We are very close to Jason Bourne style of film and we hope our hard work with have success. Huge thank you to the team for this awards. It gets to my heart! and worth the tears of the producing at small level when you do….EVERYTHING.
Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a filmmaker?
This was something I wanted to do at a very young age. I live in the US now but I was born in Europe and English was not my first language. But for a certain reason I was trying to speak at 2 years old repeating the lyrics of Barbara Streisand’s “woman in love”. My parent’s friends were quite impressed. I wanted to be different characters, including but not limited a Warrior, a soldier, a native American etc.… So acting was part of my daily games. I was making some of my friends suffer as they had to do the stunts when I had Wonder Woman powers, throwing them against the wall. I was taking each role seriously for a little girl. If I were Native I was eating and sleeping in my Teepee as uncomfortable as it was. That was the beginning of my method acting I guess. For screenwriting, I always had imagination and hundreds of ideas. I’ve always written stories. My dad was saying I was like Tolkien. They are more interesting now, as an adult, I became vicious (lol).
Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker? Not sure, it was in my mind at a very young age. I cannot define that, it was a call even before really watching films. I am not an influenceable person, I have my own ideas and that is enough to inspire me. I just have so many of them in my mind and I already see all the images. Who is your biggest influence? The little fairy who whispers all these ideas in my hears. What were some of the challenges you had to face in making your films? I think all films have challenges. But for sure, when you start your production company, finding funds can be challenging. There are some ways to work it. The other part is probably what I call “the box”. No one looks at you unless you prove you can deliver good content. Reason why we called our company Overlook Entertainment. We try to give a chance to some film industry talents and crew that are totally disregarded because they do not fit the box, the “politics”, or they have some disability and they can be “socially awkward” at a point they cannot pass an interview but they are genius in what they do… This is what represent some of our co-workers. And they are family to us. Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite? Mostly Action and Adventure. My idea of films is to see something outside of the daily life. What’s your all-time favorite movie and why? I do not have one specific movie. But I love movies from the 80s,90s and early 20s mostly where the story was making sense and making you dream . Those movies where you want to be the character like Back to the Future (I mean I wanted to drive that car), The last of the Mohicans, The big blue, Nikita, Gremlins, Goonies, the Mummy, ET. Later, Jason Bourne where action is more realistic and not acrobatic. All these films have a real story, no “lost dialogues” which mean just what is necessary to the story, great casting with actors who have a presence on screen, and great cinematic work. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be? It doesn’t matter, I work with the person who has the same “vibration”: hard worker, transparency, ethics and straight to the point. No politics. Tell us something most people don't know about you. I can’t, otherwise they will know then (lol). Let’s keep some secrets! The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career. My husband Sam Medina. Not sure if I have a career yet but I am working on it. Stretch goal. What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker? 1/Do not work with persons who do not the same vision and ethics. Make sure the word “work” has the same definition as yours. Again we need to have the same “culture and standards”. 2/ Film is a business mixed with creativity, not the contrary. Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either? Nothing is too hard. I have been working for big corporations and what I have learned along the way, as an executive, is that having ideas is nothing, everyone has. Now, putting them in action and finish, this is the most important. No matter what, finish. So, my answer is Finishing is the hardest, usually the last extra miles require the biggest effort, consistency and focus. This is where most people fail actually especially in management.
What keeps you motivated? Nothing special I am always motivated when I do something. I am a finisher! How has your style evolved? Understanding how to deliver the expected and the unexpected. From an audience and camera point of view. On set, the most important thing is: The team. The project(s) you’re most proud of: All of them but particularly the one we are filming now, an action feature film called D.O.E. And of course The Latency which just won the Annual Awards 2022 at the Florence Film Awards for Best Action. Thank you for that, we are very grateful for this recognition. The most challenging project you worked on. And why? The feature film we did during the quarantine called 22-The Unforgotten Soldier. We started with nothing really, a little crowdfunding campaign. An investor joined after 2 weeks of filming. We were a 5 persons crew, filming in our little house. All of us living there. One of them sleeping on the floor on a futon. We did a very nice film to support veterans, PTSD and raise awareness. Filming was very complicated and we didn’t take a break during a month. No off. Every day, after filming we had to cook, edit, do payroll and SAG paperwork, budget….. close to a burn out actually. That was our company first feature film. https://pro.imdb.com/title/tt12675808/?ref_=nm_filmo_pastfilmvid_1 What are your short term and long term career goals? Full time working actress for sure. Your next projects? Our next project is called D.O.E. and we have started filming already. It is an action thriller directed by Sam Medina. The project is getting bigger now and we do have some named actors who are joining the film. We already have wonderful collaborators who came on board and bring superb added value to the movie: production, special effects, International sales & distribution. I have the lead role and this film will be very demanding physically. I already have bruises everywhere. Lots of action and some adrenaline. We do have some investors but we are still welcoming additional ones who want to be part of this project. https://pro.imdb.com/title/tt18547778/?ref_=search_search_search_result_9 Imdb Profile https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8106226/ Instragram https://www.instagram.com/carla.seneca/