Indie Film: Christina Raia

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We’re back! After an almost 2-year hiatus while real life took some interesting turns, the Road Less Traveled is back to bring you indie and Canadian film interviews, news and other exciting content!

I am so pleased that we are making a comeback and we have a lot of stuff lined up to discuss as we approach 2016.

Obviously with the end of Falling Skies, the focus of this site will shift dramatically and emphatically with a renewed commitment to independent and Canadian film.

Our first interview in this new phase is posted right now, I hope you enjoy it and our upcoming content!

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Last week I got the chance to catch up with indie filmmaker Christina Raia. You may remember my previous interviews with Christina, talking about her first feature film Summit. Those interviews can be found here and here. Let’s get right to the interview!

Christina and I discussed Summit, looking back since its completion. Things have been going well for the most part with Summit, and it has been an interesting journey; but Christina admitted that after two years of post-production and festival submissions, she is over watching her own film.

With Summit making the festival rounds, Christina said that it has been refreshing and exciting to watch Summit with an audience. At Manhattan Film Festival, there were loud and vocal gasps from the audience at the scary moments! The emotional component to the film, Christina says, has broadened the appeal of Summit to people not traditionally attracted to horror films. While the festival responses have been positive, Christina cautions that this is a no budget horror film, so don’t expect it to be at Sundance! Summit will be available on demand starting in January, with the first platform being Vimeo on Demand.

Summit was definitely learning process for Christina. With basically no budget and a grueling production on set in the snow, it was a struggle! The sound editing process was particularly important, with challenges from wind to crunching snow.

Christina and I also discussed Indie Works, a monthly film screening series her production company, Congested Cat, has been putting on for 3 years. Indie Works is local to NYC, accepting short film submissions from on the Tri-State area only. At the People’s Lounge in NYC, they screen 6 short films every month, open and free to the public. Christina explains that it can be tough to be a filmmaker in New York, you often feel surrounded and in competition with other local filmmakers and Indie Works gives locals a chance to see each other’s work as well as network and collaborate. Indie works is a true team effort for Congested Cat, with everybody taking a role. With regulars attending every month, and no audience voting to spoil the enjoyment, it is fair to call Indie Works a big success so far.

I asked Christina, if looking back on all her endeavors in the past 3 years, especially Summit, she had any advice for first time filmmakers. She had this to say:

“Don’t underestimate the time it takes to produce a film. Things take longer than you think, and people need to rest. My mistake was cramming so much into such a small time, asking people to shoot four days in a row at time with no breaks! When you film something like Summit, in crazy conditions with the snow and the wind people get run down easily. Also do your best to talk to filmmakers who have done similar projects, and do A LOT of research!”

Christina encourages filmmakers to reach out to her for advice, she tries to be as available as possible to help others. In her own words she is happy to talk to people who need her help!

There you have it folks! Our first interview in the revitalized Road Less Traveled! Be sure to follow Christina Raia, Congested Cat, and Indie Works on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest endeavors!

Please also give the Road Less Traveled a like on Facebook and a follow us on Twitter.

See you next time!

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on October 21, 2015.

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