Interview with Actress & Filmmaker Ella Greenwood

Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with British actress & filmmaker Ella Greenwood. I had the pleasure to watch her most recent short film Faulty Roots. Faulty Roots promotes awareness of teenage mental health. Fun fact, it has recently been announced that Faulty Roots is being developed into a feature film. Greenwood also just finished her first animation Dreary Days. In our interview, we discuss the concept behind ‘Faulty Roots’, tips for writing a script, some of Ella’s influences, her upcoming animation film Dreary Days, and much more.

1. How did you come up with the concept for Faulty Roots?

I wanted to make a film about something that was important to me, and I’m very passionate about mental health awareness, but I also wanted the story to involve friendship. I came up with the idea of Faulty Roots to show how relationships can be affected by mental illness but also to show trust and humour between two friends.

2. What was it like writing the script? Any interesting stories in the development stages?

I actually wrote the first draft of the script one afternoon, and then didn’t read it or edit it for about a month. In the second draft, I completely changed the ending. But in the third draft, I went back to the original ending. In the final draft, I made a few line changes to the script. It was pretty similar to the first draft.

3. Can you give us your thoughts on this short film being adapted into a feature film? What can we expect? Will the story be different or quite similar?

I’m very excited and extremely grateful! The set up of the story is the same so it’s still about the characters of Zack and Lola being forced to form a friendship but there will also be some interesting new characters. I’m so happy that I can expand on the topic of mental health, I want to show Lola in a wider range of situations, some she finds difficult but also things that help her with her depression. There’s also a lot more humour and fun situations between Zack and Lola.

4. When did you know you wanted to get into acting/producing/directing? Can you list some your favourite writers, films, directors and why?

I’ve wanted to act from a very young age but I’d never thought about producing and directing till last summer and just jumped right into it. One of my favourite directors is Mike Flanagan as I’m a huge horror fan and his films always have great twists that play with your mind and loads of tense moments which make you feel so immersed in the film. One of my favourite writers is Greta Gerwig as Lady Bird and Little Women are written so beautifully. I love the film Eighth Grade as it’s such a good portrayal of being young, and I also love the Disney film Inside Out.

5. You have an upcoming animation film called ‘Dreary Days’. Can we get some insight into this project?

Dreary Days is about a young girl who is very different from her family. It was inspired by films like Corpse Bride and Coraline which are a few more of my favourites! The film was made using a combination of stop-motion, cut-out, and digital 2D animation. It has a beautiful score by the composer Gaby Ambler who I worked with on Faulty Roots.

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Tags: Ella Greenwood, Faulty Roots, Dreary Days

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.