Inside look how on Sage Remo’s creative process and her works

Elise Kaylor

Staff Writer

     Almost everyone can say they have a passion for something, yet only a few take action towards it. Senior Sage Remo is one of these people. She has the drive to take charge and make her dreams into reality.

     Sage’s passion is filmmaking. She emphasizes, “what fuels my motivation to create films is my passion for storytelling. I’ve always dabbled in a lot of hobbies before and had a very strong inclination towards the arts. Much of that comes from self expression and personal stories I want to tell people. Film has been the one art medium that I can properly relay emotion.”

     This year, Sage went through her creative processes to produce, write, and plan short films. Although she “has not entirely finished screenplays,” she has produced many other works, including shooting a music video for her best friend in Seattle and her short film Eulogy that came out just a couple of weeks ago. Sage remembers, “it was something I have been trying to write over the summer but finally was able to work on it when I was back in Palo Alto.”

     However, Sage’s process has slowed down as COVID-19 became more prevalent and created obstacles for filming. Sage reveals “the pandemic has very negatively impacted the process and speed of my work. In the beginning, I already struggled to find actors and now even more so.  I have to find actors that are comfortable social distancing and aren’t showing symptoms. There are many limitations I have because of COVID-19, unfortunately.”

     As a teenager, it can be difficult to reach out and find people who have an inclination to do unpaid work and have that initiative to act in something. This is an obstacle many creators come across. Fortunately for Sage, this is not an issue. She expresses, “I’ve always had a running list in my mind of people I know I can reach out to and would be interested in acting for me.” 

     Sage’s boyfriend, Bryan Tieu (12), sees how this process affects Sage and mentions, “One of my favorite things about Sage as a creator is that she is versatile and able to work with what she has and still create impressive projects. Through her constant hard work, it is clear of how much she has grown as a person in the film industry.”

     For collaborators, it is crucial for them to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with the people they work with in order to create the best piece possible. Sage says, “the most important part of being a director is knowing you are not just there to boss people around, but you also have to listen to people’s insight, advice and suggestions in order to get second opinions. I try to keep everyone on the same level basis where there is no strict hierarchy of creative authority.”

    Finding the best people to work with is only one challenge. For people with deadlines, time management is crucial.  It may be difficult to keep up with work and procrastination occurs. For Sage she states, “in pre production, I have to say that I get writer’s block and creators block often. However, once I set my mind to a screenplay or really tunnel my vision onto something I want, I will sit down for hours just writing or editing. In technical aspects, I plan shooting scenes revolving around the time of day in location.”

     During production, Sage has a set schedule of when to film the scenes.  “I make sure I leave the emotionally charged scenes for later, because I want my actors to get comfortable in front of the camera first and figure out the mannerisms of their characters before pouring so much emotion into the scene.”

     There have been times where she has encountered obstacles. However, Sage demonstrates how it is crucial to work around the ordeal, make use of what you have, and to never give up.    

     “When I went to the New York Film Academy, we had the opportunity to shoot a film. However, with the amount of campers that attended, [scheduling was very tight and I did not get enough time to do mine as I envisioned]. “In the end, I was unhappy with the shots I’d gotten. I really had my mind set on this sort of one pathway to complete this film,” Sage explains.  Rather than dwell on the negative, “I stopped focusing so much on what the vision in my head was and started to look at it from a different perspective. After that, I really enjoyed the outcome of the film and became a lot more comfortable with failure and knowing that my first draft may not be the best. I think it is really important to have an open mind about what I am doing,” she reveals.

     For Sage, her work is far from over. “I can’t see myself doing anything other than film. Whether I end up being a director like I aspire to be or if I’m in the makeup department or if I become a screenwriter, I just have my mind set on becoming a filmmaker and majoring in film when I go to college.”

Here, Sage is giving out directions for her actors to create the best shot for her films. She makes sure her actors utilize their acting skills to relay their best emotions to “create a mood and depth to the film”. Sage makes sure her actors are prepared and put their best foot forward.

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