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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Filmmaker Meredith Hama-Brown for 'Broken Bunny' (2018)

Interview with Filmmaker Meredith Hama-Brown for 'Broken Bunny' (2018)

Interview with Filmmaker Meredith Hama-Brown for 'Broken Bunny' (2018)

Film stills from 'Broken Bunny' (2018)

Filmmaker Meredith Hama-Brown's latest short 'Broken Bunny' (2018) screened earlier this summer at the Palm Springs International Shortfest. Inspired by a childhood experience of hers, it tells the story of a young girl who finds a dying rabbit in the middle of the road. Just as she's trying to figure out what to do with it, another young girl picks it up and takes it home as a kind of broken pet. Meredith wrote, directed and executive produced the film. She is also known for previous films: The Fight (2011), Two Dreams (2011) and Nature (III) (2014). 

I interviewed Meredith shortly after the fest. Here is what she had to say:


What inspired this story? Was it based on real events?

MEREDITH: The initial inspiration for the story was in fact real events. When I was a teenager I also came across a severely wounded rabbit on the road and wanted to help it but had no idea how. As I went inside my home, I saw another teenager come across the rabbit and she immediately picked it up to take care of it. I felt awful seeing it because to me it was so clear that the animal should not be moved as it would only hurt it more.


Is this story a comment on human nature?

MEREDITH: Yes it is on some levels. I think that the story examines a human desire to ignore the reality of death. Our main character, although a child, can clearly see that the animal she comes across will not survive. However, she chooses to deny this fact. This is also linked to her inability to let go of youth.


How did you go about casting the film?

MEREDITH: Casting the film with three young actors was surprisingly easy. We sent out a few casting calls and received many submissions. We asked for self-tapes for the initial auditions and brought in a few people for callbacks. During the callbacks we also chatted with the actors to see what they thought of the story. It was nice to get to know them and also it was an opportunity to see if they responded to the material and if they were emotionally prepared to work with the subject matter. I think for a lot of kids (and adults), an injured animal story can be quite traumatic, so we really wanted to make sure that the people we chose would be comfortable working on this.


You have directed a lot of shorts. Do you think you will go on to a feature?

MEREDITH: Yes that’s the plan! I hope to come up with a script in the near future that I want to move forward with. I love working on shorts but I know that if I want to stay in the narrative world of filmmaking then it just makes sense to move on to the next step. I also see a lot of amazing filmmakers around me do their first feature and I see how much new opportunity it brings to their careers. 


You recently attended PS Shortfest. How was that experience?

MEREDITH: Palm Springs Shortfest was an amazing festival to take part in. It had an incredible line-up of films, it was very well organized, and there were so many inspiring filmmakers there that I had the chance to meet. Most of all, the people organizing the festival were incredibly hospitable. It really is the type of festival that has a ton of heart. I will certainly be submitting all future short films there.


What are you working on next?

MEREDITH: The next few months I have a lot of projects to wrap up. The main ones are two more short films I shot recently. One of them is another narrative film called “Cosmic” that follows a couple in their sixties as they grapple with conflicting personalities on a second date. And the other is a three-minute stop motion experimental film called “Mind Mirror” that took me three years to shoot! It is made from hundreds of hand cut pieces of paper and shot on Super 8mm film.


Interview by Vanessa McMahon





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