Emma Bell: Actress, Director & Writer, "Between The Pines"

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Admission Statement: I come to directing with 16 years as a working actress under my belt. Sets of all sizes have been the best classroom I could ask for, working alongside greats in productions such as AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, TNT’s ‘Dallas’ and New Line’s ‘Final Destination 5’. The greatest skill I learned that I bring to my directing is the art of collaboration. Making movies is a team effort. https://www.emmabellfilm.com/

Why did I get into the business:

Adding writing and directing to my repertoire felt like something that wasn’t in my control honestly. There was a yearning to expand my creativity, an insatiable drive. At a certain point I realized I couldn’t wait for someone to give me permission anymore, so I gave it to myself. Being both behind and in front of the camera has given me such an insight into the process of making stories come alive that  I will never be able to give it up now! 

What is my costumers ideal experience using my product:

My hope is to inspire a sense of whimsy. I have always had a deep connection to the fantastical. I use it in a myriad of ways- to escape, to inspire, to explore. When someone leaves a movie I’ve made I want them to feel the impossible is possible I guess.  

Career advice:

This is corny but my first career advice is don’t give up on yourself. This town is full of rejections and heartbreak and seemingly impossible obstacles but the truth is if you are always open to growth and possibility and you can keep yourself in the game then you will have a career. I’m also a real believer in developing other hobbies for yourself to keep your creativity flowing and those serotonin levels up!

What do I do best:

As a director I think what I do best understand the process for my actors. Obviously this is because of my acting career. It’s rare to get an intuitive director who know what to say or how to interact with actors to get the best possible performance. I try to bring my knowledge of that part of the process to my sets.

As an actor I think what I do best is listen. Making distinct choices is essential but listening to the choices your scene partners have made is almost more so. When two actors are listening and acting off each other that’s when the real magic happens. At least that’s what we’re all striving for!

My aspirations:

I aspire to be a voice in this industry. I hope my work forces people to take a look at the world they live in and the world they want to live in.  I want to be able to continue making stories that speak to me and telling them in a way that speaks to others. I’d like to make my money doing that! Be it as an actress or a director I want a career that’s long and filled with people who inspire and nurture me, and be able to do the same for them. I aspire to be a loving and patient mother as well and raise my children in this vastly changing world to be honorable, creative and resourceful humans. We need the generations after us to be better than we were.

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My biggest challenge:

As a director my biggest challenge came recently actually. I had a project that did quite well in festivals and one that has received a lot of  rejections. The constant rejections on something you’ve spent your blood sweat and tears on is so challenging. Especially when you love that thing and can’t understand what’s not hitting about it. For some reason I find these rejections harder to bear than acting ones! Don’t know why, I definitely have FAR more rejections as an actor than as a filmmaker. The challenge comes in building yourself up, while still be open to changing what doesn’t work. 

My daily thoughts:

- what am I grateful for?

- when can I eat next?

A day in my life:

I wake up and make coffee. My life can not start without coffee. Then I journal and feed my dogs. Not at the same time. Workout. Breakfast. Work. Write. Lunch. Auditions sometimes. Dog walk. Dinner. Hang with my husband and/or friends. Some streaming service. Read. Bed.

What should everyone try at least once?

Everyone should try a dance class at least once in their life. Especially at the Sweat Spot in LA.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I enjoy getting lost in new cities. Meandering around is the best way to find the real charm of a town and its people.

What else to know?

I am launching a crowdfunding campaign for my first feature film as a director on Seed & Spark! It’s called ‘Nice Trick’. A disenchanted actress is on the verge of giving up but when she befriends a magician, his whimsical outlook on life might be the trick she needs to believe in herself again.

You can follow me on Instagram at @emmabell to learn more and get involved in the campaign. 

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