#CreateYourOwnWork: 5 Questions With Victoria Negri

 

Creative people are often skilled in many fields at once, and multi-hyphenate filmmaker Victoria Negri is no exception. I first became aware of Victoria (and her acclaimed film, Gold Star) when I saw her quoted in an article on female filmmakers who “wear all the hats” – a formidable skill in itself. I have been eagerly following Victoria’s work ever since. Read on to find out her thoughts on how confidence, knowing what you want, the particular power of artists, and more.

Gold Star, a highly personal story based on Victoria’s experience caring for her father after he suffered a stroke, featured Robert Vaughn in his last role. You can (and should) sign up for updates on the film here.

Victoria Negri Headshot
Victoria Negri (©Leslie Hassler)

1. Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m a Writer/Director/Actress/Producer. I wear many hats and am focused on telling character-driven stories with beautifully flawed characters. I love collaborating with people who challenge me and vice versa. If I’m not on set or working on a film in some capacity, I’m probably watching a film.

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Victoria Negri and Robert Vaughn on the set of Gold Star (©Ben Jarosch)
2. #CreateYourOwnWork: what does that mean for you?
#CreateYourOwnWork means being brave enough to say to the world, “This is a story I want to tell and it is worth telling.” It doesn’t necessarily even mean doing something as a multi-hyphenate writer/director/actress, what have you. To me, it means knowing what you want and taking the necessary steps to go from wanting to make a film, to making it.
 
3. What have you gained by creating your own work; on the flip side, what challenges have you faced?
The first thing I think of is the confidence I’ve gained. Something that was once an idea in my head is now playing on movie screens in festivals across the country. It’s surreal. The challenges are maintaining stamina and energy to keep pushing. I’ve been working on this feature Gold Star for five years now. It’s worth it, but every single day I’ve ticked something off a list of things to do, which can take a toll. Self-care is important and sometimes ignored. Reminding myself to focus on small tasks rather than insurmountable ones can be challenging and overwhelming. So yeah, there are lots of challenges!
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Victoria Negri on set (©Lora Warnick)
4. What do you think is the most important skill for a creator building his/her career from scratch?
I think communication. To be able to clearly communicate your ideas to somebody else, a potential crew member, an investor, an audience. To be concise, passionate, engaging, all while being a leader is important. People want to support somebody they believe in. Energy and passion, I’ve often found in those I admire and want to work with, is contagious.
 
5. Which project of yours are you proudest of?
I’m proud of my debut feature Gold Star. There were many people who told me not to direct myself acting in almost every scene in a feature, but I knew what I wanted. What’s been so rewarding for me is the journey. I made this film as a means of therapy for feeling stuck. I felt stuck as an actress and stuck helping care for my father after he suffered a massive stroke. The film’s content confronts that directly, as does the actual making of the film. I feel like I’ve come out the other side of this film journey a completely different human being. I lost a parent, and in screening this film around the country, I’ve connected with people dealing with similar situations, and it’s been a wonderful experience. Artists have the power to turn pain into something beautiful and meaningful, and through that, to make others feel less alone.

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