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Pussy - Debbie Howard

on Tuesday, 09 April 2013.

"I was an actor for twenty years and decided to start writing my own scripts due to being disillusioned with the lack of strong and interesting roles for women."

pussy

What is your background and what path lead you into filmmaking?

I was an actor for twenty years and decided to start writing my own scripts due to being disillusioned with the lack of strong and interesting roles for women. Once I tried directing, I was hooked. 

What was the initial idea that brought about the development of Pussy?

A real incident that happened to my daughter in school. This is how I would have liked to have handled it. It came about very quickly and was put together in no time on a tiny budget.

Where was Pussy filmed and how relevant was the location?

It was filmed outside my daughters school. Where the real situation happened. The school wouldn't let me film there, so I asked loads of my kids friends to turn up on a Sunday and we filmed it anyway. Luckily the caretaker let us in the grounds.

Where and how did you select the featured actresses/actors?

That was really easy. It's my daughter that plays herself, her real dad, my best friend plays the mum (essentially me) and a friend's son played the bully. They're all professional actors though too. I didn't audition, I already knew who would play them. 

How did you develop the script; was there retroscripting involved or did you begin with a set script?

I wrote the script really quickly while in a teaching I was attending. I'd already said it talked it out loud to myself while I was getting ready that morning, I often talk to myself, and this is what came out when I was thinking about the incident. So I just scribbled it down. I re drafted it a bit later, but it's the same more or less to what I originally wrote. 

Did the screenplay evolve much further through the development of the script?

No, only a little. We made it very quickly with a crew of friends and some of our own kit.

Did any problems occur in the development of the film?

It was tricky on the day as it's one long scene supposed to be lasting a few minutes and the weather changed continuously. It was also tricky trying to get 30 friends (extras) to look like hundreds of people, but we kind of got away with it.

Will the work you have done with Pussy be a significant milestone to even more substantial projects in the future?

Yes, I've made lots of films since and am currently making my first feature film. 

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