Debuting on both sides of the camera
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Over the past few years, Doneger has written, directed and acted in a number of short films, but “This Thing With Sarah” was his first venture into feature filmmaking. He produced the movie with Michael David Lynch, who also served as the project’s cinematographer. When the script was completed, they had to cast the project. Doneger, who would play the main character. A friend of his, who works at a talent agency, recommended Wes Chatham, an actor who has appeared on television and in films, for a role. Chatham accepted, and recommended Amanda Brooks, who also had several acting roles under her belt, for the female lead.
“The actors were terrific and were very flexible with me,” Doneger said. “They really had no reason to trust me, and so I’m forever grateful that they did.”
Since this was his first feature, he said, he was nervous about acting and directing simultaneously, but is happy with how the film turned out. The 15 days of shooting, he said, was one of the toughest things he ever had to do, since he, as the director, had no one to take direction from. Doneger said that Lynch played a key role behind the camera to help him along the way.
The movie came together during the editing process, Doneger said, especially because there wasn’t much time to review footage on the set. He and his cast and crew had to trust that what they were shooting would work.
“I had to trust the actors and trust my own instincts and create the movie in the edit,” he said. “We were fortunate to create a good movie, at least I think so.”
The film has received positive feedback, he said, adding that the most gratifying experience to date has been the question-and-answer sessions with the audiences at the film festivals.
Doneger has already completed the script for his next film, and is now working on financing and casting the project. He plans to start shooting toward the end of this year.
To find out more about “This Thing With Sarah” and to watch the trailer, go to www.thisthingwithsarah.com.