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article imageFilmmakers discuss working together on 'Beverly Hills Ghost' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 8, 2018 in Entertainment
Filmmakers Julie and Kemmy Moran chatted with Digital Journal about working together on their feature film "Beverly Hills Ghost."
"Working together on Beverly Hills Ghost has been a whirlwind in some ways, especially since we had three live music performances and an action sequence with stunts, and that could be really stressful for both of us at times," Kemmy said. "We always had one another's backs and were supportive of each other onset and offset."
Kemmy added, "Sometimes because we are also family, it would be hard to separate work from having fun as family members together. But eventually, we got into the hang of putting work aside so we could just enjoy each other's company, instead of having all of our time together be about stressing over the production."
"Boot camp meets family adventure might be the best way to describe it," said Julie. "It was a ton of work, but a lot of fun too! We are a close family, so we knew working together as mother and daughter would be a rewarding experience."
Kemmy noted that the best part was seeing everything come together, and pushing through the bumpy moments. "I think one of the more rewarding things was the fun atmosphere, and so many cast and crew members told us they had a blast working on set," Julie said.
On their future plans, Kemmy said, "We are in development for another feature film that will also focus on a ghost, but will likely be more thriller/horror this time rather than comedic. We should begin filming in the next year or so. We also have a script that has won several awards, including the grand prize at the 'Women in Horror Festival' in Atlanta, Georgia, that has been requested by over a dozen studios and major production companies so far, so we may work on selling that as well as we go into pre-production on this other film project instead of trying to juggle both."
Julie's plans are to continue to create more feature films together. "Our next project on the slate as Kemmy mentioned is a horror film, but with some social depth (our favorite kind), we also have a comedy slated behind that. As Kemmy also mentioned, we have a completed horror script that won the Women in Horror Film festival last year and placed second in the Stage 32 annual script competition as well that is currently being considered by several studios," Julie added.
Digital transformation of entertainment industry
On the impact of technology on the entertainment business, Kemmy said, "I believe technology has had a huge impact on the entertainment business, maybe even more so than on other industries. It has led to some negative trends like piracy and lower turnouts in movie theaters."
Kemmy continued, "Those have made it more difficult in some ways to get a spec script made as big studios and production companies seem to go with the sure thing, like sequels or movies based on a book that already has a following, more often than taking a risk because of shrinking margins on their profits."
"Technology has also allowed the industry to democratize in so many ways," Kemmy added. "This includes making it easier to shoot movies to the point where you can film an entire movie on your phone, as the filmmakers for Tangerine did and were still able to have their film go to the Sundance Film Festival. The technology behind streaming services and the ability to watch movies on your phone or laptop has also allowed independent filmmakers to distribute much more easily and have their films seen, rather than having to go through traditional distribution channels."
Julie acknowledged that she remembers the old school days before the Internet, cell phones, file-sharing and of course, social media. "Communication on set and during everything from the writing process to the set coordination is made much easier. Word processing programs have been around a long time, but script software has made that process easier and new programs that assist in organizing writing also help streamline," he said.
Julie added that having a smartphone that can send documents, messages, take photos and exchange photos and videos almost immediately (and even make phone calls) is an amazing way to make communication and collaboration much faster and easier. "The film-making process still takes a lot of time. It's tough it to try to check your messages all the time so again it can be hard to shut down and call it a day (or night), but the collaborative and artistic process and exchange of ideas is more immediate," she said.
On their use of technology in their daily routine as filmmakers, Kemmy said, "When we're not on set, a lot of our use of technology revolves around social media outreach. We'll film or take pictures of moments at the office or film festivals just on our phones, and then post those to build a following online. Even before Beverly Hills Ghost was completed, we started building social media accounts and posting about the project because it never seems too early to start building that online presence and creating a following."
Julie added, "I definitely use writer's and script software programs. They make staying organized and things like script formatting much simpler. We use online programs like Dropbox to upload and exchange files from stills to promo clips and keeping up with social media, not only on our projects but other films and what's going on in the industry."
For aspiring filmmakers, Julie said, "Choose a project you really love, since you’ll be with it a long time. Also, story development and preparation, basically pre-production, isn't a process you should rush. On the other hand, don't seek perfection because no script (or novel or painting, or any art) is ever going to be perfect, so you don't want to spin your wheels and never get started."
The filmmakers are stoked to see Beverly Hills Ghost become a feature film. "We have continued to receive messages from fans of the web series up until the release – asking about when they can watch it – and that has always kept us going throughout the process of finishing post-production and arranging distribution through streaming services. We are also so happy with the feedback we've gotten from fans telling us that the twist ending to our mystery did not disappoint."
Beverly Hills Ghost is available on Amazon Prime.
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