The Final Girls and #DIRECTEDBYWOMEN2017 proudly present Kate Shenton’s latest film, Egomaniac, a mise en abyme horror pastiche about a female film director in making of a zombie rom-com. After Kate’s successful documentary, On Tender Hooks, she endeavoured making a feature film, but little did she know! After many trials and tribulations she took the no budget way shooting Egomaniac in merely 10 days. Enjoy this bad-ass director’s story on Egomaniac’s birth.
***From Kate: “When I decided to make Egomaniac I had one thing in my mind. Either I made this film no matter what, or I gave up on filmmaking altogether. Ever since I’d first pressed the record button on a camera I’d wanted to be a filmmaker. However I had no idea how I was going to get my next film made. I’d spent the past couple of years trying to get projects off the ground and came to the horrible realisation that I was no closer to getting a feature film made than when I started. It had been two years of meetings, promises and whole load of bullshit. I was frustrated.
So, I decided to just do it. I put aside my ambitions for a beautiful set, gorgeous costumes and fancy camera work and went down the no budget filmmaking route. Instead of searching for money to make my next film, I decided to make the film on as little money as possible (In total I pulled together £5000). I wrote a script aimed at the resources I had.
I am lucky that I’m surrounded by very talented friends, both in front of and behind the camera, who kindly agreed to give up their time and talent to make this film. In total we had 9 crew and 22 actors. We filmed it in 10 days in 11 locations.
I’m not going to lie, it was rather a crazy experience. I was both directing and producing, which led to sleepless nights. On several occasions worrying whether the location that we were filming the next day was actually going to let us in! On a typical film there are contingencies, both financially and with timescales, this was a luxury not available to us. It meant we just had to make it work, no matter what the day threw at us. Sometimes we could only afford a location for an hour and I think the most pages we shot in a day was 16. Nic Lamont was exceptional as the lead character, crafting a fantastic performance under huge pressure, particularly when it came to time.
Egomaniac is a satire about trying to be an independent filmmaker. The lead character Catherine Sweeney is an alter ego version of myself and the whole film is drawn from deeply personal experiences. It dances between the lines of fact and fiction and though I will never tell anyone which bits were really true, I can safely say that the more surreal the film gets the closer to the bone it is. In the end I found it an incredibly cathartic experience to make this movie.
One year later Egomaniac had premiered to a full house at Fright Fest, received rave reviews, screened at festivals all around the world and has been nominated for a number of awards. I never expected the film to have the success and positive reaction it has had. To be honest the only thing I was focused on whilst making it was just to get the damn thing done! I’ve had number of filmmakers approach me, after seeing the film, to say how similar their own personal experiences have been. I guess it took making a film about being unable to make film for me to realise how many people are in a similar boat.
I strongly believe that anyone can go out and make a film like Egomaniac. All you need is drive, determination and a bloody good story! This may be the most exciting time to be making films because anyone can do it. Films that have been shot on iPhones are winning awards, it’s never been easier to get your hands on a half decent camera, and even a little film like Egomaniac can screen at a wonderful cinema like Genesis. All you need is a good story and the courage to press record.”
Egomaniac is screening at Genesis on the 20th of June at 21:00pm, and Kate will be joining us for a post film Q&A where you will get the chance to ask her all the gory details about the making of Egomaniac, as well as get first hand insights into her new film, Bloody Burrito! BOOK HERE