IFH 506: How to Make Your First Feature Film with Rebecca Eskreis


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I am pleased to have on the show this today, the gracious Rebecca Eskreis. Rebecca has had a thrilling path to her dreams of filmmaking. Now a director, writer, producer, teacher, and film consultant whose projects have been recognized by huge platforms like SXSW, TIFF, SIFF, deadCenter, Savannah, Munich, Stockholm, and film Thessaloniki festivals, she’s surpassed her childhood dream. Last year, Rebecca wrote, produced, and directed her latest film, What Breaks The Ice---a coming of age thriller about two 15-year-old girls, Sammy and Emily, who hark from different worlds but strike up a quick and deep friendship during summer break in 1998, set against the backdrop of a world consumed by the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But what should be the best summer of their lives takes an unexpected turn when they become accidental accomplices in a fatal crime. What Breaks The Ice was her directorial debut project. For which she was awarded the Sandra Adair/Empowering a Billion Women Grant for promising female filmmakers from the Austin Film Society, and was selected for the Austin Film Society’s Artist Intensive, hosted annually by Richard Linklater. The project was also a finalist for the 2016 Mayor’s Office of New York/Women in Film/Producers Guild Financing Lab. The film will be released by Cinedigm in the fall of 2021. As a kid, she would steal her dad's video camera self-delegating as the family-vacation videographer. Her parents harness her interest in filmmaking and had her attend film summer camp to develop her love for storytelling and the skills needed too. Quite fortunately, she landed her first job out of college as a news writer/producer with Forbes. Her roles basically involved writing, producing, shooting, editing, and voicing more than 200 news segments and branded content pieces for Forbes’s online streaming network. While also playing a key role in the design and implementation of the video channels on the Forbes.com site. She then went on to work in production in the Hollywood game for about seven years out in LA after going to graduate school at USC. some of her experiences included working with Clinica Estetico, 72 Productions, Red Hour Films, and Di Novi Pictures where she prepared herself for her self-venture by learning film development, and the rare opportunity of being mentored by the late Jonathan Demme. Between 2005, to 2007, Rebecca thought part-time as a teaching assistant at USC for Cinematic Arts. Eskreis's assistant produced the Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids 2016 documentary which documented the star's final performance and the Tennessee Kids' 20/20 Experience World Tour, filmed in 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Some of her other short films include Noodling, The Wicked Waltz, The Argument, etc. Please enjoy my conversation with Rebecca Eskreis.