Carrie Gadsby is a Vancouver-based story editor and analyst for feature film, who has lived in Los Angeles, where she worked in development for Oliver Stone. A freelancer, Carrie has also worked extensively with Telefilm Canada and Super Channel.
Working collaboratively and intimately with writers has always been her true passion, says Gadsby in a recent e-interview. Most recently, she was involved in the book adaptation of The Dwelling with Robert Cuffley, and as story editor for WIFTV member Suzanne Crocker’s multiple award winning documentary All The Time In The World.
She mentored the 2015 From Our Dark Side recipients Carleen Kyle and Lindsey McNeill and in 2016 worked with Ashley Lynch; in 2016 she will consult with Bridget Canning on her project Water From Stones.
So what’s her opinion on genre films?
Why is genre important?
Genre enables the artist to explore and experiment in a way that keeps creativity as the centre focus. It is a way to play and hone skills in a context that may both push the boundaries and provide familiarity and comfort. Genre should provide freedom of expression without confines or judgment.
Why are you involved with this contest?
I have always loved the horror genre, and the darker side of the human condition. It is amazing what these talented writers come up with! It is a fantastic way to explore the most unusual and inconceivable ideas that can somehow be united in gripping concept and story. Plus it is an absolute privilege to be able to work with these talented writers. It’s a blast! I also hope that I am able to provide some insight and guidance for them during their process, and to help them elaborate and delve deeper.
Who are some of the filmmakers or artists that inspire you?
The storytellers that inspire me are wide and varied, and probably unexpected. I love Edith Wharton and Fitzgerald’s craft of storytelling in a short format. For utter escapism, my current favourite is George R.R. Martin. In terms of filmmakers, I was completely moved and touched by Suzanne Crocker’s painstaking labour of love, All the Time in the World, and her process, which I got to see and be a part of. I am also a huge fan of Ang Lee, Alfred Hitchcock, and love the pure perversity of the benign and unusual becoming the feared in the original Twilight Zone series.
What can mentees expect when working with you?
Curiosity! I really do enjoy getting a sense of the writer and their process and the reasons behind their chosen story and its voice. I respect that. I am also very accessible and let them know that I am available for kicking around ideas, trouble-shooting and problem solving if they get stuck. I am solutions-oriented and am happy to get involved in the creative process to help the writers reach a particular goal with their story. Collaborating in this way usually brings fresh perspective and an avalanche of ideas. That makes it very exciting. I am also very curious and inquisitive and ask a lot of questions to get people thinking of the backstory of their characters, and what led them to their current predicament or journey on the page and in the story. I have been told that I ask really hard (but helpful!) questions, and have asked many more than one writer to create a backstory to their characters to help flesh out story and character development!
Q&A by Katja De Bock