It was our pleasure to interview Chloe Traicos, the writer, producer and the lead actress of the award winning Introducing Jodea. The film is an award winners of LA Indies and various film festival in the past few months since its release.
Introducing Jodea is about an unemployed actress who has her fortunes change when a world famous movie director drives into the back of her car.
What draws you to cinema and what was the inspiration behind your film project?
Like the character Jodea there was never another option for me. From as long as I was old enough to work out that the people in movies were acting I knew that was what I wanted to do.
Inspiration wise - As you can probably guess Jodea was inspired by many bad film industry experiences. Struggling to find an agent, being told you can't be represented because you " have the wrong look" etc.
How and when did you start studying films?
I never formally studied making films I just kind of went in there and learned that way.
What is the most challenging aspect of making a low budget indie film?
Definitely the level of commitment you get. When people aren't paid much they aren't as driven. We had our production designer and production manager pull out 3 days before we shot. Jon, the director and I did everything. I would go home after shooting 12 hour days and instead of learning lines and preparing for the day before I'd have to work out if we had all the props needed for the next day, if we had enough extras. I was up till like 2am and up again at 6. It was madness. I'm surprised we pulled it off.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created?
Since I was about 5 .... Lol.....
The first film project I made was called The Sixth Commandment. I was still in college and it was shot on my weekly income that I got from tutoring students.
We shot it over a series of weekends.
Which directors have been influential in your work and why?
So many..... I love Kathryn Bigelow as she directs really hard hitting movies the same with Patty Jenkins. I also love Steven Spielberg I think I've loved every movie he's ever directed. And from Australia of course there's Jane Campion whose movie The Piano remains one of my favorites.
How difficult is it to find the right audience for an indie film and what is your distribution plan?
I think with indies it's the same as big budgeters in finding an audience. It's knowing who your audience is and going out to them. Jodea is a movie that I see as attracting mostly women because of the female lead and romantic comedy aspect. Although it seems to have received a lot of support from men too. As for distribution. We have a nationwide theatrical release with Laemmle theaters and we're negotiating at the moment with Amazon and other platforms.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
That's a great question. I believe it can. I believe that if you tell a story well it can reach out to people and affect them and change their views on things. When a movie is done really well with great actors you can get your audience to believe the message. I believe film can educate people about things they know nothing about.
One of the best such movies of recent years is " Green Book" Growing up in Africa I knew nothing about the Deep South and how bad the segregation was. You watch a movie like that and it blows you away.
What is your next film project as an actor and writer?
Not sure yet. There are several I'm juggling. The industry is so unpredictable. It's really a case of seeing which one gets the most bites right away.