Anthony Ramil is the Assistant Casting Director and 2nd Assistant Director of the film.
How would you describe In-World War (the film itself) in no more than seven words?
A sci-fi indie film in different worlds.
Why did you get involved with it? How did you hear about it? What interested you in this film in particular?
While in college, I got an e-mail from my Film Studies adviser asking for PAs to help with a local indie film. Initially, all I wanted was experience, but it turned out—after re-evaluating my major requirements—I needed college credit as well. Kill two birds with one stone, right? This particular film struck my interest because sci-fi is not often tackled in the world of low-budget movie making, and I wanted to see how we could do it.
Did you enjoy working on the film? What was the best part for you?
Working on the film meant long, unpredictabe hours, a lot of waiting on set, and countless BART rides around the Bay. . . and I loved every second of it. The large, like-minded crew is what made the whole experience unforgetable. A few of the people I met are some of my best friends to this day.
How long have you been working in film/involved with film?
In-World War has been my only film experience. . . so far.
What is your goal in filmmaking generally (director, writer, director of photography, key grip, etc.) and why?
I had no specific goal and still don’t, but I have always loved film and won’t be surprised if I end up working in the field.
In your view, why is filmmaking and making art important to society as a whole?
What a leading question! Good thing I find it true... Films, as with all art, define who we are at any point of time. History might say what we wore, where we lived, how we worked... but art shows the world how we saw ourselves.
Did helping make an indie film leave you with a positive or negative outlook on this type of ultra-low budget filmmaking (and why)?
It was inspiring to see so many people come together for a common goal, but disheartening to see how a lack of funds stalls post-production. I have a much higher level of respect for any low-budget film that makes it to the end.
How do you feel about the genre of science fiction? Is sci-fi just for fun or can we tell serious stories that are culturally relevant? (Okay, that’s a loaded question....but still, what do you think?)
As I understand it, the common thread in all science-fiction stories is not robots or spaceships, but rather the underlying question, “What if... ?” Science-fiction lets us explore how our world would be different if we changed one fundamental aspect of it, whether it be the existence of a parallel universe or the control the government has over us. In doing so, we learn about our fears and our wonders, our concerns with the present and our hopes for the future.
The film takes an unusual sci-fi approach to issues around the so-called “war on terror” (specifically racial profiling and Islamophobia) and the consequences of massive personal debt -- how have these issues impacted your life and your work?
Racial profiling and Islamophobia have made me realize that cultural ignorance and fear-based hate are not characteristics of an older generation as I had thought previously, but rather issues that can resurface with any major crisis. It’s made me more sensitive to the fact that simple portrayals of any groups or individuals can lead to dire consequences.
As far as the issue of personal debt, I’ve taken care not to spend money I’ve never had in order to avoid such consequences, but fear that I cannot take big steps in life (going to grad school, buying a house, etc.) without doing so. Sometimes I think it’s unavoidable.
Before you started with IWW, what did you expect it to be like working on the film?
I try to start each new adventure without any expectations. I will say, however, that I didn’t think I’d be anything more than a PA. The opportunity for upward mobility was quite favorable.
DIY filmmaking can be rough. What was the worst moment? If you have one, share a painful memory from making the film, to give a taste of how tough it got.
As the 2nd AD in charge of extras and the supporting cast, it was tough to be the face of constant disappointment, i.e. telling the actors and extras to keep waiting for some undetermined amount of time. Once, we asked a couple actors to meet us at a location far out of town for a shoot they weren’t scheduled for because we thought we might need them. They waited around all day in costume and we ended up running out of time before getting to their scenes. It wasn’t my call, but I felt bad nonetheless.
What did your experience of working on IWW tell you about humanity and people in general?
When someone has a vision, it seems hard for people to resist helping that person out. Most of the cast and crew were unpaid, but found it rewarding to be a part of such an endeavour.
What have you been doing since you worked on the film? What other film projects have you done?
I moved to Honolulu just to see if I can start a new life from scratch. I haven’t worked on a film project since IWW, per se, but I was a PA on the set of a week-long photo shoot for a narrative photo graphic novel. Same experience, but with still cameras instead.
Why should people get involved with, donate money and/or help out on IWW?
The time, effort, and money of so many people have taken it only so far. It would be a shame for all of that to be for nought should no one else decide to help.
What else would you like to say about your experience on IWW? Any funny anecdotes or behind the scenes stories?
My favorite behind-the-scenes detail was that we used my childhood home as one of the major sets. My parents consented to have the entire production take over the house for a weekend. During that time, our backyard became a carnival of equipment and actors, my old room was the “trailer” for TV star Erin Gray, and my parents were pretty much exiled upstairs. Except for a little stain on the carpet from a fog machine, my parents were more than happy to have an actual film be made in their house. They even allowed a skeleton crew to return for reshoots a year later.
How can people find out more about you:
www.YoungManWentWest.com is a personal blog about my experience of moving, roadtripping, and love.