Brook Sitgraves Turner is the Script Supervisor and a Production Assistant for the film.
How would you describe In-World War (the film itself) in no more than seven words?
The Interdimensional Exploration of Freedom and Security in America. Wait… that’s nine words, can we just say that any word with less than 3 letters doesn’t count?
Why did you get involved with it? How did you hear about it? What interested you about this film in particular?
I was a film major at Berkeley. Unfortunately, this didn’t provide a lot of hands-on experience. As a student athlete at Cal, I didn’t really have time to work on outside productions during the school year. I did my best to secure internships during my downtime over each summer. To be honest, I knew that I appreciated film and filmmakers, but I didn’t know much about the process. When Brant [IWW director DJ Bad Vegan] reached out to UC Berkeley students, I saw it as an amazing opportunity to see if I really enjoyed making films, or if I just wanted to watch them in an auditorium.
Did you enjoy working on the film? What was the best part for you?
Working on IWW was an amazing experience. It was a lot of hard work, but I learned so much. I learned that sleep doesn’t come easily during production. Aside from learning from and working with such a great cast and crew, I made lasting friendships. I’m still in touch with some crewmembers. I’ve even worked with Jeff Ponchick (he was amazing, by the way). It’s been a comfort to see familiar faces down in the Los Angeles area. And, I know that there are several people with whom I hope to work again! They’ll be the first people I contact when I get a project going.
How long have you been working in film/involved with film?
I was acting and modeling in high school. My on-camera days were certainly numbered, but I was a host on Browns Blitz, a regional show for NBC. I’ve been really immersed in film for the past four years, but my love for film began when I first saw Lady and the Tramp.
What is your goal in filmmaking generally (director, writer, director of photography, key grip, etc.) and why?
Producer! I’ve been writing a lot more, but not entirely sure that my path will head that way. I genuinely like telling stories. And, as a producer, you start from the ground up.
In your view, why is filmmaking and making art important to society as a whole?
Whoa! Big Question. The best way I can answer this is to tell you why I got involved in media. Media plays a huge role in each of our self formations. Whether we admit this or not, what we see informs us and how we perceive ourselves and others; it helps shape our view of the world. I really want to make sure that media is playing a positive role in people’s self development. I want to make sure that everyone has access to a diverse array of stories told by a diverse array of storytellers.
Did helping make an indie film leave you with a positive or negative outlook on this type of ultra-low budget filmmaking (and why)?
Upside, I got to see the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. At one point or another, I carried a C-Stand, picked up craft services, or sat in for an actor. All in all, it was a tremendous learning experience, at the end of which, I felt as though I’d gained a ‘family.’ With that said, a girl could get used to having a big budget.
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?)
I definitely think that sci-fi is done best when it speaks to the zeitgeist. It doesn’t have to be heavy handed, but it should definitely have cultural relevance. That can be fun too, right?
The film takes an unusual sci-fi approach to issues of racial profiling, Islamophobia and the so-called “war on terror” -- how have these issues impacted your life and your work?
Personally, these issues don’t impact me on a day-to-day basis. Of course, I believe that they are extremely important and ugly facets of our culture that we must explore and do our best to change, even if it is a bit uncomfortable.
Before you started with IWW, what did you expect it to be like working on the film?
I had no idea! That’s the big reason why I wanted to be a part of the process.
How was it actually, compared to that? What was exactly as you expected it? What was very different?
Since I wasn't sure what to expect, my main concern was that it be a valuable learning experience. Working on In-World War definitely gave me a peek inside independent filmmaking.
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.
I had to go around asking restaurants and grocery stores if they’d be willing to donate to the project. At the time, I felt slightly uncomfortable doing this. I mean, it wasn’t as if we were starving and homeless. We were just working on a film. This taught me a couple of important things. 1) You must have clear understanding of WHY you are doing something; 2) At least for me, there must be some overarching positive outcome for whatever I’m involved in; and 3) You have to BELIEVE in what you are doing.
Looking back, I knew that we had to have food on set. I knew that I was a tiny piece in people working towards their dreams as artists, and I believed in the passion of each and every person involved. I think that got me through the rough patches.
What did your experience of working on IWW tell you about humanity and people in general?
People are grumpy when they’re tired or hungry! Unfortunately, sometimes, people can be greedy. But most of the time, people are really working towards being happy. And generally speaking, they’d like you to be happy as well. It’s a very dangerous and scary thing to throw away convention and work towards a dream. Many of the people on set could have gotten a traditional 9 to 5 job and not worried about their bills being paid. But, I must say that being around that many people filled with creative energy is quite inspirational.
What have you been doing since you worked on the film? What other film projects have you done?
I immediately enrolled in the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC. I got involved in some cool projects there. Thankfully, a short I produced, Spice, will be screening at the River Run Film Festival in April. I’m currently working on my own blog, some independent projects, and producing a doc. Basically, there are just a lot of irons in the fire. Nothing too crazy yet.
Why should people get involved with, donate money and/or help out on IWW?
Brant has been working tirelessly on this project. I think that you should help if IWW is a film with a story you can get behind. Donate if you’re passionate about the story; donate if you’re interested in seeing someone’s dream come to fruition.
To get in touch with Brooke and see more of her work:
www.thankfulforamillion.com, @brook_sitgraves @thankful_fam