Helena Coan is a author, director, and musician. Her first documentary characteristic, “Chasing Good,” was produced by Salon Footage and distributed by Lionsgate. The documentary is a portrait of legendary automobile designer Frank Stephenson and his mark on the automotive trade, and is at the moment out there on Netflix. Her first narrative quick movie, “Memento,” premiered ultimately 12 months’s Underwire Movie Competition and scored a nomination for screenwriting. Coan can be a musician. Having beforehand been the entrance girl of band Dios Mio, she has now began a solo profession, together with her first single “Baptise” premiering on BBC Radio 1.
“Audrey” is now out there on DVD and Blu-ray and hits VOD and Digital January 5.
W&H: Describe the movie for us in your personal phrases.
HC: It’s the story of Audrey Hepburn’s seek for love.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
HC: Audrey is such an awesome individual to make a documentary about as a result of she is somebody that everybody is aware of, however nobody actually is aware of. She is likely one of the most celebrated movie stars of all time, some of the photographed individuals to have ever lived, and but I’ve felt that most people’s notion of her is basically superficial. I needed to have a look at why she is so liked to today and stays on the forefront of our public consciousness.
For me, she’s a star that filmmakers haven’t actually tackled earlier than, as a result of she doesn’t have that actual tragic story — there’s not a variety of filth on Audrey Hepburn. She wasn’t a Hollywood star managed or destroyed by the system as different actresses of the time infamously have been. She retained an actual management in her profession that others didn’t.
She suffered enormously in her life however she overcame her struggles and remodeled them, at all times main her life with love. I feel a variety of filmmakers draw back from tales like that however I needed to inform a narrative of hope — one full of love.
W&H: What would you like individuals to consider after they watch the movie?
HC: I’d like individuals to have a newfound appreciation for Audrey, and perceive her extra as an individual, and never simply as a 2D portrait plastered on a tote bag. I need individuals to grasp what an exceptional individual she was and actually perceive the huge extent of her humanitarian work, which set an actual precedent for these after her. She wasn’t only a fairly “waif” — she was a robust girl who had a deep, real love for humanity.
I additionally hope the movie permits individuals to mirror on their very own lives, their very own struggles and difficulties, and perhaps even really feel comforted by her story — how she took her trauma and remodeled it into love, gratitude, and giving.
W&H: What was the most important problem in making the movie?
HC: This movie was very, very, very exhausting to make. Very!
Firstly, Audrey was notoriously non-public, so getting her nearest and dearest to belief me and divulge heart’s contents to me was an actual problem, however we bought there and feeling these closest to her begin to belief me was a really emotional and rewarding expertise. I at all times made positive individuals knew my intentions for telling her story have been real, and I allow them to know I used to be simply at all times on the lookout for the reality. Having her son Sean belief me to inform his mom’s story actually meant quite a bit.
Simply determining the right way to inform her story was a problem as a result of it’s been instructed earlier than in numerous TV tasks, docs, and books. It was so essential to inform her story in a brand new, contemporary manner. Utilizing Audrey’s personal voice to information the movie was on the coronary heart of this, together with the dance sequences choreographed by British choreographer Wayne McGregor. We now have so many cuts of this movie, I don’t even know what number of, and to high all of it off, we completed the edit of the movie over Zoom in lockdown with my editor Mark Keady.
One other enormous problem was the price of archive footage — footage of Audrey might be very, very costly and we needed to chop and alter many occasions to get someplace near our archive finances! It was a extremely shut name some days, however we bought there in the long run!
W&H: What impressed you to turn into a filmmaker?
HC: I feel it’s simply my want to attach with different individuals. As Pablo Neruda mentioned, “All paths result in the identical aim: to convey to others what we’re.” Filmmaking for me is all about reference to others. Why else make movies, or any type of artwork? It means a lot to me once I get messages from individuals, some I do know and lots of I don’t, saying how moved they have been by “Audrey.”
W&H: What’s one of the best and worst recommendation you’ve obtained?
HC: The very best recommendation I’ve obtained was from an editor known as Hendrik Faller, who instructed me that it’s everybody’s job within the movie trade to push as exhausting for what they need. As a younger girl within the trade, I can typically really feel like I ought to mainly simply be quiet and behave, and never push my luck, however he helped me to comprehend that’s my job as a director — to struggle for what the movie wants, and I actually did that with “Audrey”!
I don’t know if I’ve ever obtained unhealthy recommendation. If I’ve I’ve simply blanked it out of my reminiscence!
W&H: What recommendation do you’ve got for different feminine administrators?
HC: Belief your intestine, however filmmaking is a staff sport — discover your collaborators and belief them too. Don’t create out of your ego or for validation, simply make movies since you suppose you’ve got one thing essential to say and also you’re one of the best individual to say it.
W&H: Identify your favourite woman-directed movie and why.
HC: “Morvern Callar” by Lynne Ramsay. It’s a really nuanced, devastating, and delightful depiction of the strangeness of trauma and grief.
W&H: How are you adjusting to life in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you maintaining inventive, and if that’s the case, how?
HC: I’m making my subsequent movie! It’s a characteristic documentary on boxer Nicola Adams, who was the primary feminine boxer to win a gold medal on the Olympics. She is a pioneer of the game, and probably the most inspiring and empowering individual I’ve ever met. I’m so enthusiastic about it.
I’ve additionally simply secured funding for a brief narrative movie, and I’m simply wrapping up post-production on a brief movie I directed in between lockdowns known as “Demise and Canine Strolling.” It’s a few canine walker having an existential disaster.
W&H: Latest protests within the U.S. and overseas have highlighted racism and anti-Black police brutality. The movie trade has a protracted historical past of underrepresenting individuals of colour onscreen and behind the scenes and reinforcing — and creating — detrimental stereotypes. What actions do you suppose should be taken to make Hollywood and/or the doc world extra inclusive?
HC: There must be actual, basic change each within the tales which can be instructed and the individuals telling them — and not simply advantage signaling. I feel collaboration is the important thing for actual, lasting change. Intersectionality is so essential to any motion. We now have to work collectively to create lovely, advanced characters from numerous backgrounds.
We now have to talk out once we really feel one thing is unsuitable, and administrators like myself should be conscious of constructing positive our solid and crews are numerous in each manner throughout the board — and never simply to tick a field, however as a result of variety makes for higher tales. Variety creates empathy, and that needs to be the driving motivation. Variety makes artwork higher!