Jabree Webber”s It Happened One Night
Date: 9th August 2019
Director: Jabree Webber
Producer: Jabree Webber
Writer: Jabree Webber
Lead Cast: ‘name1′, ‘name2’, ‘name3‘
It Happened One Night highlights a distressing decision for a Black woman with an unintended pregnancy in the aftermath of sexual assault: a #MeToo film plus a #ProChoice conversation. In this film, I explore the influence of money and power as it pertains to sexual assault and the survivors’ livelihood. I explore the topic of sexual assault and how it affects survivors in their day-to-day, interpersonal relationships. This film is important and timely as state legislators across America continue to pass laws banning abortions without any exceptions for rape or incest. This film is a piece about social issues that affect our country as a whole.
indieactivity : What is your film about?
Jabree Webber : In 2022, after Roe v. Wade is overturned, a woman struggles to find the care she needs after being sexually assaulted. It Happened One Night is a pro-choice short film which also draws inspiration from the #MeToo Movement. It Happened One Night follows Tia (an aspiring actress, early 30s, moderately accomplished) as she grapples with a tough reality after returning home from a scheduled procedure. Unbeknownst to her fiancé, Daniel (30s, principled, and didactic), Tia’s choice inspires a point of contention for this couple who would otherwise be happily in love. With the pressures of the outside world rising, Tia and Daniel struggle to maintain their relationship and are forced to make a hard decision about their future together
indieactivity : Tell us about the festival run, marketing and sales?
Jabree Webber : We began our festival run at the end of spring 2019. We will be screening at some really exciting festivals.
– Official Selection 2019 Cannes Film Festival Showcase.
– Official Selection 2019 LA Shorts International Film Festival.
– Official Selection 2019 BronzeLens Film Festival.
– Official Selection 2019 Global Impact Film Festival.
– Official Selection 2019 African World Film Festival.
– Official Selection 2019 Independent Short Awards: Won Bronze Award for Best Acting Duo (Duain Richmond & Paulina Bugembe); Won Bronze Award for Best Actress (Paulina Bugembe); Honorable Mention for Best Women Short Director Jabree Webber
indieactivity : Dramatic Feature?
- Director: Jabree Webber
- Producers: Jabree Webber
- Budget: $2500
- Financing: Self-Financed
- Production: Los Angeles, CA
- Shooting Format: Red Digital Cinema, 8K
- Screening Format: 16:9
- World Premiere: Upcoming Festival
- Awards: Bronze Award for Best Acting Duo (Duain Richmond & Paulina Bugembe); Won Bronze Award for Best Actress (Paulina Bugembe); Honorable Mention for Best Women Short Director Jabree Webber
indieactivity : Give the full Official Synopsis for your film?
Jabree Webber : TIA (an aspiring actress, early 30s, moderately accomplished) grapples with a tough reality after returning home from a scheduled procedure. Unbeknownst to her fiancé, DANIEL (30s, principled, and didactic), Tia’s choice inspires a point of contention for this couple who would otherwise be happily in love. With the pressures of the outside world rising, Tia and Daniel struggle to maintain their relationship and are forced to make a hard decision about their future together.
indieactivity : Development & Financing?
Jabree Webber : Since 2016, I have wondered what overturning Roe v. Wade would do to our country and our women. Between the protests and reading the articles, it started to get a lot harder to tell the difference between then and now. Additionally, I began to become doubly frustrated seeing that women who looked like me, women of color, were often left out of these conversations. Being an advocate for women’s rights on social media was no longer enough. It Happened One Night spawn out of my desire to be more proactive in the fight for equal access. The development process for the film started in an intermediate screenwriting class at USC over two years ago.
The story took on many forms before we arrived at the one brought to life by the wonderfully talented Paulina Bugembe and Duain Richmond. Throughout the development process, I charged myself to explore the topic of sexual assault and how it effects survivors in their day-to-day, interpersonal relationships. The assailant wasn’t given a face and a storyline. We focus on our protagonist to see how the actions of another person caused her world to shift entirely. So often, we talk about topics like assault and abortion in broad strokes. I wanted to use my voice to raise awareness in a different way. Hoping to not see so many survivors suffering in silence.
was self-financed inspired by the protagonists’ (and so many others) settlement
offer in the film. The restrictive budget encouraged me exhaust all of my
creativity and resources.
indieactivity : Production?
Jabree Webber : Initially, the goal was to shoot the film in Atlanta in hopes of saving money. With the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday, it was difficult securing the locations and crew that we needed. We allocated more time for pre-production and pushed physical production back until the first week in December. Our deadline to deliver a rough/assembly cut was much closer now. We lost the first location we secured. Knowing that the house plays such an important role in this piece, we prioritized finding a replacement – which turned out to be the perfect home to shoot in. It was spacious and allowed for more options for lighting, camera moves, and production design.
We spent three months on the edit. After the rough cut, I did a director’s cut. Our fantastic editor, Megan McVey, worked so hard turning around cuts and getting us to picture lock. Once we secured our phenomenal sound designer, Assata Jackson, things were literally coming together. Assata brought the sound to life with the ambient noises, backgrounds, and her overall finesse. We really wanted to get a song by LP cleared but the process took longer than our deadline and budget allowed. I got in contact with our composer Jaimie Pangan and Mateus Freire who worked together to create the music for the film.
indieactivity : Festival Preparation & Strategy?
Jabree Webber : The strategy for the film has been to break up festivals into tiers – approaching top choices in the first pass and so on. We created a grid of festivals and started there. It was important to identity which festivals would be a good fit for the film. The film started its festival run when the bill to effectively ban abortion in states like Alabama was sign, PR for the film came in naturally that way.
indieactivity : The Release?
Jabree Webber : The film will finish the 2019 year on its festival run. We will explore opportunities for distribution in Q1 of 2020.
indieactivity : Advice from the Filmmaker?
Jabree Webber : Throughout the process, there were many people who told me that the notion of an abortion ban was implausible. People thought that the story was an extremity. Having been privy to the stories in the news, I knew this wasn’t so. I had to filter through notes to see what was actually useful for me and the story. Sifting through people’s biases in order to determine what actually served the story was certainly a task.
Nonetheless, I knew that feedback was necessary to truly evolve the story. Filmmaking after all is a collaborative art form. When bridging art and passion, I strongly encourage other creative to follow their instincts. Often times, the vision for a piece can become so tainted when there are so many cooks in the kitchen. These opinions can often diminish the significance of a piece. Remember your why. That’s what makes you and your voice unique.
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