As producer of the romantic drama Driving to You, Tammy Tsang knows firsthand of the hurdles in making an independent film. As writer though she can attest to the satisfaction in finally seeing her vision come to life. Driving to You screens as part of The Coast is Queer at the 2013 Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
Tammy tells us about her movie and what inspires her as a filmmaker:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have just finished my third year at Capilano University in the Motion Picture Arts Program and am currently working in the Vancouver film industry. While not at work, I also volunteer as a Girl Guide leader on the North Shore; I have been leading for three years now and have been in Girl Guides nonstop since grade one. I enjoy writing and getting my friends together to make short films like the one featured in this year’s The Coast is Queer.
Tell us about your film in 140 characters or less.
After finding out that her girlfriend Eliza has been admitted into the ER, June gets into her car and drives to the hospital. Along the drive, June remembers moments along her and Eliza’s time together. Upon arriving at the hospital, she must face her girlfriend’s conservative mother who is against their same sex relationship.
What inspired you to make this film?
The idea for the film came from when I was on a trip with my parents to Port Coquitlam and along the drive I looked out the window and looked up at the trees. I don’t know what it is, but I just saw that image in my mind and started writing from there.
What challenges did you face while making this film?
It was the first film I ever produced on a larger scale that wasn’t related to school. We had trouble getting insurance, locations and crew for the film. Luckily, I had help from my parents as well as classmates who were open and willing to help out. Also during post production, we went through three or four different sound editors who kept bailing out without telling me until months later. In the end I edited the sound myself.
What’s been the coolest experience so far with the film?
The fact that I know that I can make something that people can watch. It’s been nearly on and off for three years of writing, producing and editing this film. So having it finished, getting it printed with posters and DVD covers makes the fact that my friends and I did it that much more real.
Who were your early filmmaking mentors or inspirations?
I don’t have any specific mentors/inspirational people, but I grew up loving romantic comedies and always wanted to write one. Now that I’ve learned more about films from school and watched more as well, I have grown to really appreciate dark and satirical comedies. I still love rom-coms, though.
Are you a film festival newbie or have you had another film(s) at the Festival?
This is my first time submitting a film in a festival and having it selected. I have had work shown in the Vancouver Asian Film Festival, but it was a contest and all entries were shown.
What are you most excited to do and/or see at this year’s Queer Film Fest?
I’d say going to see my own film on the big screen, but due to getting my first ever union job in the film industry, I have to miss the whole festival altogether. This saddens me a bit as I’m usually excited to see a show with a friend or my mom at the Queer Film Festival each year.
Driving to You screens as part of the 2013 Vancouver Queer Film Festival on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 9pm at the Rio Theatre. Visit http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca for more information. GayVancouver.Net is once again proud to sponsor The Coast is Queer Award recognizing a distinguished film from this year’s program.