I am Rhema Marthalia, 17 years old from Jakarta, Indonesia. I am currently finishing my diploma program at International Design School, taking Digital Film and Media Production as my major. Before I went to Design School, I literally had zero knowledge about the film industry. However, my passion about the film industry now have extended to producing, editing, directing, and motion graphic.
How did producing come about for you?
For me, producing something (not just film) is all about managing. Managing your time, managing your colleagues, or crew in film industry, and also managing your money. Inside the production, there are two sides which need to be balanced throughout the whole process, creative side and logical/realist side. I myself have a tendency to work with my left-brain (logical brain) since I was a little. Before I studied film, I thought I could not fit in with this industry, because it is full of creative people. Later on, I realized that my thoughts were wrong – my lecturers and my friends said that they really need someone like me to manage their works, not to brag or anything, but that happened. So, I think producing is all about managing and collaborating with different kinds of perspectives.
Tell us, what does producing really consist of?
Well basically, producing in producer’s eyes is about managing every process until the product is finished and corresponding to the concept we have planned from the beginning. In pre-production, we manage our concept so it still fits the budget that we have. We prepare everything needed for the production day as what the director wants. Although we do assign people to be the heads of every department, but we always need to control everything. As a producer, you just keep doing that, plan for meetings, previews, and also collaborate with the marketing department for the distribution plan.
Why do you make films?
This is probably the simplest reason why people make films. I love making videos. I think everyone watch videos nowadays and it affect them somehow. Mindsets are changing, lifestyles are changing. The whole world can change with just a simple video that went viral (thank the internet for that). From the beginning I thought that in this era, the most influential media is through videos and films. At this point, I feel like films need to spread good messages to its audience. We can give a good impact to people’s lives through films we produce.
What criteria do you use to select a script, screenwriter, director etc.?
The main thing I consider when I choose scripts or the crews is: does it suit my vision as a filmmaker? If it suits, then I consider: the originality of their works and how much will the market and audience love this movie. The ideal thing is to balance between the idealist and the commercial views.
What is a successful moment in your career so far?
My successful moment is probably when I became the head producer in this big collaboration project. We had this collaboration project between Design, Animation, and Film students. Long story short, we produced a YouTube drama mini-series called Menembus Waktu. It was the most tiring production ever because I was the head representative, so I managed all the production of these three episodes. When we conducted gala screening for the series, the audiences were so happy and the head manager of film major just said “It is successful, you did a great job.” That was the best feeling ever!
What advice would you give to women filmmakers embarking on making their first film?
I would say that being women filmmakers are not easy, that is the truth. Many people are going to be unsure with your work and some people still think that women cannot make films. But as long as you have a strong will to do this and keep your passion stay on fire, you can break any gender roles.
If you need to raise funds for your first feature, simply just learn to pitch, have that charisma that make people interested in you and your works. Show your personality, show what you are really passionate about, show your originality, and show your best feature. To raise fund for your works, you need to sell yourself first.
What advice could offer to female filmmakers who’ve made shorts and are embarking on getting their first feature produced?
For short filmmakers who want to produce a feature, do not get nervous. Everybody has this moment where they do something for the first time and does not know if it is going to work or not. Let me say this, just do it. It is just another project with bigger scale that means you have achieved the next level. Whatever the results, be grateful, because you have done the next step that other people have not done yet.
What’s next for you?
For now I am continuing my YouTube, doing a lot of projects for festivals or competitions, taking freelance editing or motion graphic job.
How can we keep up with you?
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Shivawn Hill, is a writer, wander, and visual storyteller at heart. She’s currently in production with her short documentary film, Lifting Crowns. She believes that one day soon she’ll form the ultimate group of storytellers who will travel the world to share the stories of creative peculiar people. Come and hang out with her on Instagram.