Interview with ASFF Filmmaker Kate Herron, Director of Rest Stop

Writer and Director Kate Herron has been selected to showcase her films at number of festivals around the world, including Flickerfest, Palm Springs Shortfest, London Short Film Festival and the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival in 2015. Her short film Rest Stop (2014) is about a young girl named Meredith and her meeting with a mysterious stranger in a service station. We talk to Kate about her progress in turning it into a feature film since being shown at ASFF 2015.

ASFF: What is the main inspiration for your work?
KH:
It depends, my shorts Valentine and Rest Stop are both loosely based on my experiences whereas Kill List – The Musical was just an idea that made me laugh and driven into existence because I was keen to film a giant dancing hammer. I think what excites me though is usually a story I hope that’s a little bit out of left-field and the drive to write female characters that are challenging, funny and flawed, real basically.

ASFF: You are working on developing Rest Stop into a feature film. What is required in adapting a short film for a feature length movie?
KH: 
It wasn’t actually our intention to originally adapt Rest Stop into a feature but me and Monica had such a great time writing together and our actress Cari Leslie did such a beautiful job bringing Meredith to life we feel we had unfinished business with her character and it gave an idea for an even bigger and more miserable story. I think shorts are a fantastic way to give an example of the tone or character that you want to see in a feature so even though this happened afterwards we hope the short will give people a peek into what we are planning. For the requirements I think it’s very similar to writing any feature but we are lucky in that me and Monica are already going in with a clear tone and lead character in mind.

ASFF: Is there a link between all of your works?
KH:
I’ve never actually thought about this but there has to be, right? I mean, I am very focused on wanting to make films that are female-driven and are as cinematic as they are funny so I hope that link carries across them. There probably is some deeper link that shows some underlying issues I have but as I made them I will be completely unaware of this.

ASFF: How has your career developed since your work was screened at ASFF?
KH:
It’s been great! With Rest Stop I really wanted to have a short that would be a step-up from Valentine and challenge myself as a writer and most importantly have a film that could show I could write as well as direct. Rest Stop has really opened doors for me not only with film opportunities but television production companies also.

ASFF: What are your future projects?
KH: 
I am very busy writing across a few feature projects at the moment, including the Rest Stop adaptation and another with Katie Mavroleon. I am also writing a sitcom, so basically I am writing day and night. I also have a new short called Fan Girl on the festival circuit that I am very excited about. It stars Steve Oram as a faded 90s pop star and is written by Screen International Stars Jessica & Henrietta Ashworth. We had our premiere at London Short Film Festival in January where were nominated for Best Director & Comedy.

To find out more about Kate Herron’s work, visit www.kateherron.com

ASFF 2016 is open for entries. To submit, visit www.asff.co.uk/submit

Credits
1. Kate Herron, Rest Stop (2014).