Suzann Wade

Suzann originally trained as a Toxicologist and spent her free time singing in bands and musicals. After moving to London full time from Sydney, she obtained funding from Video Engineering Training to train in camera, sound, and editing and moved into film/TV and documentaries, as a runner, researcher and script writer, radio editor and announcer and talent agent. Now able to spend time on her passion which is film making, Suzann recently produced a Drama Short called Musketeer which has won awards for best cinematography in NY, LA and Europe, as well as best actor and official selection in film festivals around the world.

Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
This film focuses on Shakespeare and the secret garden he drew inspiration from, for the characters in his plays and we revisit some of the extracts of his plays. The secret garden is now residential and we learn of other notable thespians that lived at this address.

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What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?

The actor had to be experienced in verse and have good comic timing. Being able to deliver lines with different accents and have clear narrative voice.

How did you communicate with the cameraman?
We moved though the script and placed the actor, then I spoke to the cameraman about angle and lighting. If the scenes were the same, we kept the same. After every take, we both confirmed whether we think it was right and if unsure reshot.

What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
We chose 49 Bankside this is where the story takes place, and where the garden is situated. Then we filmed the surrounding area to showcase London's natural beauty that we thought we have interest to the international community and from a practical prospective, saved on moving crew/equipment and time. There script lended itself to 'waterman', The Globe and the architect of St Paul's Cathedral which were located here also so it was natural to include them as relevant.

Why should distributors buy your film?
Distributors should be interested in purchasing the film as it is timeless and thus has longevity. It is a theatrical, entertaining and historic portrayal of an icon, with international appeal in regards to both the topic and scenery, it can be used within educational settings as well as has commercial usage, the colours of the garden on the big screen are captivating, and it transcends across several genres. It is a high quality, tidy 7 minute piece. This is a taster for a docoseries.

What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?

With the narrator being the sole performer also, this offers a quirky expression of the topic Shakespeare whilst being informative, it is entertaining and has comedic elements.

At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?
The short has been well received internationally. It was awarded in the London Directors Awards and London Independent Film Festivals and official selection in Pune, Goa, Red (Reim), BRNO, Prague International Film Awards and is premiering Thursday 05 October 2023 at the Marbella Film Festival.

What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I have always been a filmmaker from an early age as I am inquisitive and love learning so facts in any area fascinate me and always enjoyed the big screen blockbusters though not had the opportunity to do it professionally. I produced 2 short films 20 years ago when I trained at Video Engineering Training at Hoxton Square but didn't know anyone in the industry to get a break and worked briefly at BBC, as a researcher in Specialist and Factual but to be considered there as a director or producer, it didn't seem an option so I was stuck with writing scripts and found out about a talent agency job and gave up on the filmmaking dream. Only now have I been able to go back to what I love and after working with actors, crew, directors and producers I realised, hey, I actually know more about filmmaking than most, so why aren't I doing it?!

Which movies are your favorites? And why?
I tend to follow the talent, like Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta after I saw them in Greece I was hooked! Despite the gruesome images, I loved Pulp Fiction, and Saturday Night Fever. Musicals are a big draw card for me, so Mamma Mia with Meryl Streep another favourite and Muriel's Wedding. I enjoy animations as they are so clever the ideas and amazed with conviction to put it together, so UP and The Incredibles are a favourite. Action movies with high octane choreography always fascinate me. Harrison Ford in The Fugitive and Indian Jones movies, is just great, I enjoy the adventure and action. I've had clients in Stan and Ollie, Captain Philips (style of directing of Paul Greengrass and actor Tom Hanks I love), Taken (with Liam Neeson), The Infiltrator, Sherlock Holmes, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, (and why I referred to Kingsman in the Queen of Parks in the context of Shakespeare), and enjoy all of the Kingsman Movies that it's only natural these end up being my favourites too! Love comedies, Twins with Danny DeVito and the Hang Over are always a mood lifter. But my all time favourite would have to be the Shawshank Redemption, Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins give an unforgettable performance.

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
I have had a career predominately 50% of the time in medicine and science, and 50% in the arts. What I really like is entertaining movies that have solid research or realness even if they are fiction and dramatised, the facts are underlying, so I like to shoot topics that I know well or find the story enjoyeable.

What genre do you like to shoot and why?
I like to appeal to a large audience and I think movies can have several layers, so I like to shoot a mixture of genres if I can, a mix of science fiction, doco, history, adventure, drama, comedy, action or romance but not all in the same movie!

What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
I wish I had a really big budget as then I could shoot a movie that had a lot of virtual reality, drama, elaborate costumes, top actors, action and glamorous locations. It would be about Ernest Hemingway, locations of Key Largo, Juan Les Pins, I have the outline but not yet figured out anymore as the script tends to be dependent on budget, so I don't want to have high hopes where characters and events will just be cut out!

How has COVID affected your film life?
The agency fell off a cliff during COVID, so I went back to writing and did COVID protocols on sets. COVID was a horrible time as I lived in a household where 2 where on the extremely vulnerable list so we really were isolating for much longer than we wanted. Though COVID lead me back to filmmaking and for that I must be grateful.

What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?
Between work (where I have to see a lot of movies and theatre shows to by default), cooking, filmmaking, writing and general life, there isn't much time left, though I started to play paddle ball, and try to go to a golf driving range once a week for exercise. I do a lot of walking but I wouldn't say that's a hobby just my way of getting around town and clearing my mind at the same time.

What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I have several movies I would like to shoot and they are all based on books so I don't have those options as I haven't approached the writer as I have not had funding so I can't give too much away, though one is about a prominent Australian female politician which is a historic drama, another is about an Autistic boy's journey which is a musical comedy and the other is a biography Drama about Homeless man, Corky Clubman, who I am working with and how he changed the Homeless Bill with Teresa May to allow any person without an abode to have a bank account, essential a right to work so they could receive a pay check. Corky met, 'A street cat named BoB'!