This week we’re joined by Chicago filmmaker, actor, & photographer, Emma Thatcher!
(This interview was edited and condensed for clarity)
CA: Hey Emma! Hit us with your bio.
ET: I'm Emma Thatcher. I am a Chicago-based filmmaker and photographer and artist and friend.
CA: What's been inspiring you lately?
ET: I have actually not been watching as many movies and TV shows as I usually do, but I've been bingeing on new music, particularly country music, like alt-country, like Dougie Poole and Sturgill Simpson.
CA: When it comes to film, what gets you excited?
ET: When I first started to get into film was actually because of Sean Baker's movie, "Tangerine," because he shot it on an iPhone. And I thought that was really inspiring that, um, I could just pick up my iPhone and start making stories and no one had to give me any kind of permission. And then, I kind of spiraled into getting super into the mumble-core movement. I watched a lot of interviews with them and they said that they would shoot from outlines and people would really improvise.
CA: Tell us about your choice and process with improv?
ET: I love mistakes because they're super human. And I like seeing people stumble over their words. I like people making, fucking up like in the moment. So I like to use like an outline sometimes, or I'll write a script, but I really liked to have actors playing characters that are already similar to themselves and just run with it.
CA: Any shout outs for your favorite collaborators?
ET: Nice people. You have to be nice if you're not nice, then you're not on my set. It's really, it's really the most important thing. But so my favorite, some of my favorite people that I've worked with recently: my friend JP ORourke shot a couple of my shorts, super talented; my friend Connor Allen Smith is an amazing producer, super, super talented actor improvisor, which is really important; I like to cast my sister, Sophie in shorts. My sister, Ellie is like a claymation artist and musician, so I like to use her music. Chicago is really great and I think everyone should move here. And this is actually a commercial for Chicago filmmaking.
CA: Thank you, Emma! Where can we find you?
ET: You can look me up Vimeo, under Emma Thatcher, or you can go to my Instagram, it's Emma Thatcher with an extra -r. I also do the 35mm film portraits, so you can follow me on my portraits account @thatcherportraits. Thank you Camera Ambassador for featuring me for Filmmaker Friday.
Check out the video interview (and all our #filmmakerfriday videos on Youtube):