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Creating The Future We Want 2022
Interview

Augusta Woods 
Writer/Actor/Producer
Creator of Track Films
The Track

Tue, 1 February, 2022

19:00 – 22:30 (GMT)
creating the future we want: tickets

A celebration of female-led stories brought to life by up and coming production companies | created & run by independent female producers

Based on a true story, set just before the pandemic, a businesswoman kindly donates her one night's stay at a five star hotel to THE TRACK, a day shelter for rough sleepers. 

 

Hey Augusta thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these very strange times?

 

Good thank you, apart from having covid infested December period although it kind of feels like old news now since nearly everyone had it over Christmas. So just trying to stay careful whilst seemingly ending up out for a festive drink every evening. 

 

Has this time at least offered you any new and creative opportunities?

 

I’ve been able to read a lot more which I love. Currently reading ‘Luster’ at the moment, a cracking read! Although as things start to open up my book takes longer and longer to finish. I also have been able to venture into Producing having had more time to write my first film and then managed to crazily shoot it in the depths of a pandemic and that ball has kept rolling for me this year which I’m very grateful for. 

 

Congratulations on The Track Premiere screening at the Creating The Future We Want event, how does it feel to have your film part of such an incredible initiative?

 

Thank you! I’m excited to finally sit down with a glass of fizz and watch all these fantastic films. Oriane Pick contacted me back in September wondering whether I wanted to collaborate with her in putting on a female filmmaker led event. I’ve been wanting to work with her for a while now as her production company Candid Broads have produced some incredible films so it felt like perfect timing to do something together. 

 

Creating The Future We Want and the support it is offering The Page One Project is incredible but it seems that the burden to offer access and opportunities for filmmakers from disadvantaged/underrepresented backgrounds seems to fall on smaller independent filmmakers. What more can the established film industry in the UK do to change this? 

 

Great question because this seems to be an ongoing battle and one that I don’t think will ever be completely resolved to be dissatisfiedly honest. I think things are changing though. I follow quite a few casting directors on social media and I see more and more posts requesting actors with no acting experience or requesting more specificity regarding race, disability, skill set etc. But I do think the film industry can continue to better itself by searching harder. My production company and companies I’ve worked with have gone above and beyond to search for more female, lgbtq+ and racially diverse crew and I think the industry needs to keep pushing in that direction. Hopefully all these new aspiring production companies can continue to drive this wave.

What does it mean for you to be able to premiere The Track at the event and how did you get involved with this short film?

 

I’m very much looking forward to FINALLY seeing The Track on the big screen. I started writing the film in 2019 drawing from personal experiences of volunteering at a homeless shelter before the pandemic so it’s a narrative that lies close to my heart and spearheaded me into creating my production company as I eagerly wanted to tell this story. The screenplay took a year to write as I wanted to get it perfect and true to the reality of sleeping rough on the streets in the UK.

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What where the biggest challenges you faced making The Track?

 

The biggest challenge was Covid I’d say and confirming shoot days whilst praying someone wouldn’t test positive days before. It was also something we had to factor in to our budget because at this point lateral flow tests weren’t free. Also the narrative is centred around a rough sleeper being turned away from a five star hotel where as a lot of hotels were taking in rough sleepers during the pandemic so it was a worry trying to find a location that would agree to hosting this storyline. 


How important is the relationship between producers and filmmakers during post and pre-production?

 

I think the relationship between the producers and the whole team is crucial. We as producers are running the production and I want my team to feel comfortable and be open and honest with their ideas. I also think in the short film world loyalty really does show integrity and passion for the industry when you’re on such a small/tight budget most of the time. I’ve worked with producer Cat White for nearly all my projects as not only is she a complete powerhouse of a producer but she’s there for the entirety and she won’t stop until we can get the film where it needs to be. Big fan of her work. 

 

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

 

I would say I’ve always had a weirdly obsessive passion for film ever since I was a child. My parents work in the film industry so I’d always love coming in to work with them and being fascinated by these ginormous cameras and incredible sets and costume hoping I could be a part of it all some day. I’ve been actor since I was young and then graduated from drama school 7 years ago and have loved working as an actor in the industry ever since. I’ve only recently taken to producing and started my production company in 2020 when I realised I wanted to tell some important stories and create the work myself alongside auditioning. 

 

How much has your approach to your work changed since your started?

 

I think I’ve always been a hard worker and won’t stop until the job is done or someone tells me I need to or I’m boarder lining insanity and I feel this has only become enriched as I’ve started producing. The producing world definitely feels like 100 miles per hour most of the time. Rest doesn’t come very naturally. Although since I’ve started I’ve definitely overcome a lot of learning curves and become a lot more brave, resilient and honest with myself about the industry, especially coming from a place of consistent rejection and insults in fact from representation telling me that I’m not good enough or look good enough which were some really vulnerable moments for me. 

 

What has been the best advice you have been given?

 

The best advice I have been given is to ask questions and hold yourself accountable. I wouldn’t be a producer unless I hadn’t asked a million questions, mostly how the hell do you even become one. This one really sticks out though, when I told my Dad I wanted to be an actor I remember him sighing and telling me ‘you know it’s not going to be easy but you got to do what makes you happy’ and I think his honesty has kept me humbled and I’ll always remember that it’s never supposed to be an easy journey. 

"I think we all want important stories to be heard and by important I mean to stimulate important dialogue around pressing subjects as demonstrated in the films that are being premiered."

Are there any top producer tips you would offer any emerging filmmaker? 

 

Reach out to other aspiring filmmakers and people you aspire to and never stop asking for advice. I am constantly asking for second opinions or checking in with my co-producers who I respect so much. I’m 100% still learning and still at the very beginning of my producing career. There’s always something new on the next project and I don’t think that stops ever, especially with the year we’ve had. I’m always very excited to have friends or anyone come to me and chat about an idea they have to see how it could be developed. Keep discussing ideas, as that’s where the magic starts. 

 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Creating The Future We Want?

 

Hopefully Creating The Future We Want will inspire people to carry on creating and hopefully have a resounding sense of empowerment in that. Especially for women and aspiring filmmakers and under represented communities. I think we all want important stories to be heard and by important I mean to stimulate important dialogue around pressing subjects as demonstrated in the films that are being premiered. I also think hard work should be celebrated that’s what makes it fun, nothing says completing a project like a lovely glass of vino with some ice cubes.