Carmela Corbett, A Young Filmmaker Continues
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill.
When we step into the cinema and are so swiftly transported to another glorious world, time or place it is a magical experience. We enjoy the finished project with no inkling of how painstaking the production process may have been or how many disasters were averted along the way. Yorgos Lanthimos’s recent critically acclaimed film, The Favorite, took twenty years to make. Craig Borten originally sold the script for The Dallas Buyers Club in 1996 and it took a further twenty years to be made and lost funding ten weeks before filming was scheduled to start. And in television, Mathew Wiener famously went to meetings for seven years with the original incarnation of Mad Men in his briefcase.
In my own personal experience, I have been working on a beautiful short film about Alzheimer’s and young carers for five years and have had two different teams fall through before finally finding the right director and producer for the project. Most recently we were locked in with dates, cast and a promise of funding only to have it fall through at the final hurdle two weeks before shooting. And on we go as determined as before, though somewhat shell-shocked and exhausted. This is not an exceptional story, it is the norm.
So how do filmmakers survive and how do we muster the will to keep going?
- Create community. A supportive creative community will bolster you
- Sheer will and determination
- Knowing that your productivity does not determine your value
- Having a good part-time job. Or maybe a few. And ideally, something that can bring you joy as it supports you along the way
- Most crucially, find a story to share that you have to tell, not one you merely want to tell. A story that won’t leave you alone until it’s out in the world. One that will keep you up at night and one that just might inspire peoples hearts. I believe that that alone will give you the courage to continue when the struggle is real.
- And finally, read lots of Winston Churchill quotes.
Carmela is an actress and writer who grew up in London and went on to study acting at The Juilliard School in New York City. A dual citizen of the UK and USA, she has most recently starred as Sheila Birling in Stephen Daldry’s critically acclaimed production of An Inspector Calls in London’s West End and as Viola De Lesseps in the Los Angeles premiere of the stage adaptation of Shakespeare In Love. On screen, she has appeared as Olivia in Mississippi Requiem alongside James Franco and Beth Grant, which premiered at the Nashville Film Festival in 2018; as Lola in the BBC series Undercover; and in the final season of the highly popular Mad Men (AMC). Carmela currently has two television series in development in the USA: How to Stay in America, a tongue-in- cheek comedy poking fun at the American immigration system and English Girls do Great in LA, one woman’s journey to womanhood through the mayhem and misogyny of Hollywood set before #MeToo. Her poetry has been published throughout the USA in the literary magazine ONTHEBUS and her children’s book Dandy the Rescue Dog is in final production. Her short film, Her Majesty, is currently in pre-production in the UK and will be directed by Alexandre Moors and produced by Sonita Gale of Galeforce Films. Carmela is thrilled to be playing a small role alongside her Father, Harry Corbett, as part of the Intelligence Forums team.