Filmmaker Highlight: Jennifer Scharf

Jennifer Scharf’s latest short, “Unchained”, was shown in the Boston International Film Festival last weekend — that was after it screened at SENE Film, Music & Arts Festival and took home “Best Regional Comedy Film”.  She has three shorts and a feature under her belt as a writer/producer/actress, and does a lot of work with filmmakers in Rhode Island.

Jennifer graduated from Emerson in 2001 in Media and Visual Arts, and spent a semester in LA during that program.  She worked in the production office reading scripts and doing script coverage.  “I really felt like that was what I should have been doing all along.  I just enjoy the process of writing.”

After graduating, it took about four years before she decided to make a feature.  She auditioned for local acting gigs, but always felt like writing was what she wanted to do.  She finally asked herself, “why not produce my own scripts?”

After her feature, she started making shorts.  She had auditioned for a Rhode Island director and acted in one of his films, so when she decided to produce her own shorts he jumped on board.  They now create shorts as a team, mostly dark comedy.  (He also directs horror/comedy features.)

I asked Jennifer for a funny story about her feature film, and she gave me a few.  “There weren’t any sites like IndieGoGo then, so I literally ebayed my wedding gown to get funds for the production.  I look back and think maybe that wasn’t the best idea.

“On one of the locations we used, it turned out that someone’s grandmother lived in the attic — there was no silence on set.  And I had hired a professional singer for the film, but after she got on set she decided it wouldn’t be good for her image — it was a karaoke scene.”

Editor’s note to actors: read the script first!  You can check out more of Jennifer’s writing on her blog,  www.momcoms.com.

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