Lauren Stava is a production assistant.
What was your role on IWW and for those people not familiar with filmmaking, can you describe the job?
I interned on IWW as a production assistant, with duties ranging anywhere from driving talent around, going on runs (i.e. picking up lunch, copying scripts, obtaining supplies etc.), ingesting footage from rehearsals, at times assisting on slate, as well as just doing whatever I could at any given time to help out.
How would you describe In-World War (the film itself) in no more than seven words?
A smart sci-fi dealing with current issues.
Why did you get involved with it? How did you hear about it? What interested you in this film in particular?
I heard of the internship positions to work on IWW through my school, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and knew it was something I wanted to be a part of, not only to have something to put on my resume, but also because I am a huge sci-fi fan and I knew this would be a great opportunity for to work but also have some fun.
Did you enjoy working on the film? What was the best part for you?
I enjoyed working on the film because not only did I get to meet some amazing people (some I am even still great friends with today), it also introduced me to the real world of film, and not just what I thought it would be like because of school. I learned about so many different things while working on IWW, from new terminology to how to operate particular pieces of equipment, but really it was the work ethic that I took from it all - you absolutely have to be a hard worker to be a part of this industry, but you should also be having a good time while doing so.
How long have you been working in film/involved with film?
I started editing in high school and knew then that I wanted to major in film in college, so I did. I graduated from UCSC in June of 2010 and have been working at Bunim/Murray Productions since October 2010, currently now as an Assistant Editor for "Bad Girls Club." Although it is reality television and not film, I would eventually like to make the transition into film when the time is right.
What is your goal in filmmaking generally (director, writer, director of photography, key grip, etc.) and why?
When I was younger I loved to act and really wanted to be an actress, but I ended up going behind the camera more during high school, which ultimately led to me editing some projects. After that, I knew right away that I wanted to go into Post Production and become an Editor. I am currently working in the Online department though (as opposed to Offline) and since that has happened, I would now ultimately like to be both a Colorist and an Editor.
In your view, why is filmmaking and making art important to society as a whole?
It's important because not only does filmmaking entertain, but it also informs, and you could give the same exact script to a group of people and the end results would all be different because of each of their artistic visions, and that's awesome.
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 left me with both, honestly, because while I learned and benefited so much from this experience, it also showed me that unfortunately if you don't have the money, it is very very difficult to do what you want and have it done when you want.
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 have always loved science fiction, and I believe that you can have a "fun" sci-fi that also discusses serious topics (culturally relevant or not), it just depends on how it's executed. I've seen many sci-fi films that were silly, which I loved, and others that tried to be too smart and they failed, so it really doesn't matter what the aim of the film is as long as it's done right. Or at least that's my opinion.
The film takes an usual 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?
Both unfortunately and fortunately I can say that none of these issues have impacted my life or work, or at least not in a major way that I can think of.
Before you started with IWW, what did you expect it to be like working on the film?
I knew going into it that it was going to be a lot of work, but I really didn't expect all of the great friendships that came out of it. When everyone is stressed and going through the same problems, it really brings you all together.
How was it actually, compared to that? What was exactly as you expected it? What was very different?
It was pretty much how I thought it would be: lots of hard work, no sleep, and lots of driving and coffee.
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 honestly can't really remember a truly terrible moment working on the film, other than maybe the one time soup (that was intended for lunch) was spilled all over my car.
What did your experience of working on IWW tell you about humanity and people in general?
I already had known that people are very judgmental no matter what the issue may be, but after working on IWW it really opened my eyes to even deeper issues and how one person's opinion and judgment can change a lot of things, for both better and worse.
What have you been doing since you worked on the film? What other film projects have you done?
I graduated from UCSC and have ever since been working in Los Angeles at Bunim/Murray Productions. From "The Real World," to "Project Runway," to now the "Bad Girls Club," I have stayed in Post Production and am now the Online Assistant Editor for the "Bad Girls Club," slowly trying to learn color to hopefully one day be both a Colorist and an Editor.
Why should people get involved with, donate money and/or help out on IWW?
Not only is IWW a great story and will no doubt look great on screen once it's complete, but the people working on it are all such caring and hard working individuals, and really with a project this large, anything helps.
What else would you like to say about your experience on IWW? Any funny anecdotes or behind the scenes stories?
Although working on the film itself was a great experience, one of my favorite memories was after we wrapped when [Line Producer] Bryan took a bunch of us to a baseball game, but were having so much fun tailgating that we never made it into the game...