#Interview: Sanicole, the Face Behind TexTone

Last Thursday (1/3/13), Y.S. Mag posted an Editor’s Pick, TexTone, a short film, by Sanicole. Well, shortly after the posting, we got the chance to chat with Sanicole, and pick her mind. She is one amongst so many talented individuals in Chicago. Check out the interview.

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The reward of being a filmmaker is not so much the filmmaking, that stuff is fun; but when you go back and re-watch everything that you’ve done is amazing.

Did you always want to do film.

Actually I didn’t know I really wanted to do film. I was always a TV lover, without even knowing it. I was always a TV lover. I had a VCR and I would tape all my favorite movies. I would watch them over and over again. Not knowing, I was studying what the film maker had done. Of course, I had no knowledge of that, at that age. But I knew I wanted to do something in television, I just didn’t know what.

I told my mom I wanted to go to Columbia at the time, because I didn’t really see myself leaving my family, and Columbia [College Chicago] was a creative arts type of school, and I knew that’s where I needed to be. I went to UIC (University of Illinois- Chicago) my first two years for financial purposes. The moment I realized I was a film maker/documentarian- for prom I was given a video camera. As soon as I got it, I turned it on and documented the whole day. I was pranking people. The reward of being a filmmaker is not so much the filmmaking, that stuff is fun; but when you go back and re-watch everything that you’ve done is amazing.

Graduating school I didn’t have a job. I started off doing weddings, then transitioning to music videos and promotional videos. I didn’t start doing film until about six months after. I actually wrote a script, got the actors, a couple of people that went to school with me, and shot a scripted dialogue driven film.

So you’re writing too.
Writing is hard. It’s not easy. It’s frustrating. I find myself up all night thinking about a story idea. Even in my sleep, in my dreams, and I wake up still thinking about it. You know you are on the right track when you can’t get it. When you can get it quick, it’s not interesting enough, so you have to keep thinking about it.

Tell me about TexTone.
With TexTone, I was thinking about how can I make my character forget about his phone in some way, and I was thinking about all the things that can happen to him. Once you get that solid idea and it feels right, then you just go with it. The whole premise around TexTone is to get people to rely on talking in person. These two characters, they care about each other, and they want to be around each other, but we just lean on technology because its convenient.

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Do you have a team.
It’s just me at this moment. I [have] met some really great people, who have helped me. I have resources, and I have people that are in the video world that I can call up and say, hey, I’m shooting this film, I need some help. The guy that helped me shoot TexTone is Eric Seals. I shot all the scenes, except for the last scene. He shot the dialogue, the scene with her and her father. It was just me, her and a friend, and one camera.

How do you get angles- those little details are so important.
You know with film, I’m always afraid of my film being flat. When I say flat, it’s not interesting to look at. As a filmmaker  you need to make your film interesting and easy to look at. I [have] learned my lesson with previous films, where I have made mistakes, as far as the angles that I choose, or sounds. Those things are important, because one little thing that you do wrong, they will [quickly] tap out of your movie and move to Facebook. I just kind of think about my story, what my character is going through, and try to shape that in the way I shoot it.

The scene when Cory throws the iPhone 5 in the water. Did that really happen.
I had recently upgraded to the iPhone 5, so I was like, I can’t throw my phone in the water.  A friend of mine, his dad has the [iPhone] 3S, so he asked his dad can we use [it]. We powered up the [iPhone] 3S, I put Snow’s face on the background, we put a black case around it, and tossed it in the water. When I dropped the [iPhone] 3S in the water, it stayed alive in the water for like fifteen minutes. So, I was able to shoot it for a long time. Then it died later.

What are your goals.
I’m always going to want to make films. I’m always going to want them to get some attention. I think any filmmaker that say’s they are doing it for the love (pauses)…I mean you’re doing it for the love, because you love it so much; but you want people to watch it. It is about getting it out there. I [do not] necessarily have a major goal. I want to make it to Hollywood- I plan to visit. I want to showcase my work there, and then come back home, because I have very strong love for Chicago.

I want a bigger, broader audience. I wanted white people to watch the film, because they always try to separate film- this is a white film, or this is a black film.

Are you living out your dreams.
I can’t keep [TexTone] up long, but, Yeah, I’m living out my dream everyday. Everyday that I do film. I enjoyed creating it, putting it together. I can’t say that I would be doing anything else. I don’t think I would be happy doing anything else.

Make sure you check out TexTone. It is only up for a limited time.

Interviewed by Jonnita Condra

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