Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Sarah Schenck Is Helping To Change Our World
Be open to changing everything in your film. The story you set out to tell may not be the one that finds you, that DEMANDS to be told, during the process of making the film and that is okay A similar caveat is my beloved dad’s advice to his students “Don’t let your education get in the way of your career.”
As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Schenck.
Sarah Schenck is an award-winning writer, director, and producer devoted to cultivating scientific literacy and improving public health through compelling storytelling. She is the co-director and producer of the feature documentary The Invisible Extinction. After receiving degrees from Bryn Mawr and Stanford, she worked for the New York Times in Rio and was the Senior Policy Advisor for Education for the NYC Comptroller. She is a self-taught filmmaker.
Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?
When my friend Dave was a film student he asked me if I could build a jail for a short film he was making. I enjoyed doing this, and what was a LOT more fun was watching him direct the actors and camera. It felt like falling in love — a coup de foudre! It was intoxicating to see a world take shape, purely from one’s imagination, and to create the work with all these other talented people(actors/makeup/composers/shooters).
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
On the set of Slippery Slope, one of our crew placed an HMI too close to the ceiling on a set (the fancy lobby of an old building in downtown Brooklyn) — our production designer had created an elaborate set and beautiful costumes for the scene (a [fake] porn version of…