Kristen can now add filmmaker to her many accomplishments. Her short independent film, Murder Creek,. is about to premiere at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival. On August 27th Her film has been nominated for outstanding Western New York Short Film at the festival.
I hope you find Kristen's interview as fascinating as I did. Remember her name because I have a feeling that Murder Creek is just the beginning.
1. How long have you been a writer/storyteller?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I would write X-Files fanfiction on my parents’ computer before I knew what fanfiction was. This was before we even had Internet access. There were stories I wanted to see from the characters of Mulder and Skully that weren’t being provided us on the show, so I wrote them myself. It was about 10 years ago that I started calling myself a writer and sharing my writing with the world.
2. What is your favorite writing genre and why?
I like writing drama with some comedic relief dropped in. There also tends to be a tragic arc in my stories too and I’m not quite sure why. I’m a huge fan of music and musicians so a lot of my stories are set in the music world. I’ll still dabble in fanfiction from time to time as a guilty pleasure.
3. Do you outline a story first or just start writing?
I haven’t written an outline since we learned how to do it in school. I prefer to just sit down and start writing. It may take me more time to figure out where the story is going than it would if I outlined, but I’d never start a story if I had to outline the whole story first.
4. How difficult was the transition from writer to filmmaker?
Not too difficult. I tend to be reclusive so the hardest part of it was crawling out of my hermit hole and working with other people instead of by myself. Once I was out though, I found the entire process enjoyable.
5. What is the premise of your short film Murder Creek?
Murder Creek is set in my hometown of Akron in New York where there is a real creek called Murder Creek. The creek runs through our local park, Akron Falls Park. The film is the fictional tale of a young woman who comes to Akron to investigate serial killings happening on the bed of the creek. While she’s there, she interacts with residents of the village to learn about the ghostly legends behind the name of the creek.
6. Where did the idea for Murder Creek come from?
I hike along Murder Creek and the scenery is beautiful. For years, I’ve wanted to film something there for this reason alone. About five years ago, I wrote a simple four-page script that was something that could someday be filmed there. Once we decided to shoot the film, I added some of the true legends behind the name of the creek and worked those into our fictional story.
7. What was the best/worst part about making your film?
I can’t say there has been a worst part about making the film. I’ve enjoyed every aspect of it. I think my favorite part has been the people I’ve met, and the personal and professional connections that came from that.
8. Murder Creek is about to premiere at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival. On August 27th. Congratulations. You must be excited.
I am! Just yesterday, we learned we’ve also been nominated for Outstanding Western New York Short Film at the festival. It’s truly heartwarming to know that everybody’s hard work is being validated in this way. This is my first experience having a film in a festival, and it’s been incredible so far. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to see a film of mine up on the big screen and now it’s happening
9. Can you give us a hint regarding future projects?
I’ve just started a film project called Alive: Fallout with Ty Cheman. Ty was our cinematographer for Murder Creek and is an accomplished writer and filmmaker in Western New York. He did an incredible job for us on Murder Creek and I’ve very excited to be working together with him on this next project. Ty wrote the script for Fallout (it’s based on his previous film, Alive) and I’ll be directing the film so he can focus on the cinematography. He’s generously given me some creative control over the script as director which is greatly appreciated. I’ve also got a sequel to my novel Down Went Alice in the works.
10. Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know?
I’ve recently begun freelance writing and specialize in content writing for crowdfunding campaigns. You can find more information at my website: kristenskeet.com/crowdfunding. You can also follow me on Twitter (@castawaykristen) and Instagram (@kristenskeet) and Facebook at facebook.com/kristenskeet.