Allyson West is a talented filmmaker, actress and the founder of “Cindependance”, a local film festival for filmmaking enthusiasts. Allyson sat down with Cincy Wave to give advice for filmmakers, talk about her successes so far and share more about her creative process.
Tell me about yourself and how you developed a love for filmmaking?
I’ve been a storyteller since I was a child – imagining and playing all kinds of scenarios with my siblings and the neighborhood kids. I’ve been a performer for nearly as long – karaoke-ing “All my Exes Live in Texas” before I was in Kindergarten. And filmmaking just came naturally after that – a great medium to tell and share stories.
For artists looking for funding, what advice do you have?
Think outside the box! There are so many creative ways to develop funding and it takes time, persistence, and creativity.
What do you think filmmakers need to do to stand out from their peers?
Become a great producer – I see many filmmakers that don’t know how to develop the marketing or post-production aspect of their films, and I think that diving in and advocating for your own films is a great way to represent yourself and your work well in the industry.
What has been your biggest success so far in your career? What was it like to achieve it?
Oh gosh, I think the Cindependent Film Festival has been my biggest success so far. It was such a labor of love – and I say that having grown and birthed a child in practically the same timeframe. I had so much support from my friends and community and worked so persistently and diligently to find ways to achieve that vision. The Sunday the festival ended, I walked from 4th to 14th street in Cincinnati and called my husband: I had no idea how to get home. I’d spent so much time focusing on achieving that festival weekend that when it became time to go home I hadn’t even put the brain power into arranging my ride home or downloading a ride-sharing app. Philip (my husband) showed up in front of the Woodward to pick me up and I hopped in the car and just started crying – it was all so amazing.
How do you describe your filmmaking?
Heartfelt. Empathetic. Funny.
How do you go about your filmmaking process?
Every project is different but the very first thing I ever do is pick the shooting date and location and work background from there. The pressure of having to get the shoot organized before the deadline is incredibly helpful for me.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I really want readers to know how much fun The Cindependent Film Festival actually is. We organize it in just such a way that our screenings are interjected with filmmaker Q&As and then music, storytelling, food, and dancing! I think films and filmmaking are easily shareable, so we make the film festival support that!
Tell me about what projects you’re working on right now?
I am working on post-prod audio and color for my short film, ‘Love These Days.’ LTD is a six minute short film about a crying lady in a bar hitting on an older gentleman – and failing! It’s so funny and heartbreaking and I love the look and feel of the film.