I am a woman of and in film! What does this mean to me? I live, breathe, and think film in all that I do. It means that potentially working 12 to 16 hour for days, back-to-back, actually excites me and gets me up in the morning. It means that every second of the day, amidst my many tasks at hand, I’m concocting stories to bring to life through the silver screen (and developing the team to execute it).
Reason One: because I’m a visual learner. And I know I’m not the only one! (Laughs)
Reason Two: because I can exercise more than one skill at a time. (I’ll give you a specific example shortly.) Furthermore, the community of talents that are collectively of the same mind in bringing a single concept to fruition is extraordinary—an intricate, complex, and beautiful 3-D puzzle made up of abundant pieces and moving parts coming together to achieve and complete an original and exclusive image! There is nothing like it, for all walks of life and divisions of craft are required to successfully reflect life itself!
My reasons continue: we are the sum of our experiences and, I love escaping outside of myself and into the shoes of a character in front of the camera, or being the Director/Director of Photography behind the camera. Seeing life with new eyes re-invigorates my passion for film.
As a fan of film, I have a respect and love for the structure that every genre has to offer! My latest adventure was on set of the horror feature film, Fearsville 2!
Remember when I mentioned executing more than one skill at a time? Well, I got to walk my talk for Director, Joseph Aguon Drake. I served as his 2nd Assistant Director, 2nd Camera Operator and Boom Operator (for select scenes), and also, as Supporting Actress where I portrayed the high school teacher, Angela Cole. I was, and still am presently, honored to have Joseph’s trust to execute his vision as a member of the crew and the cast—a trust that I hold near and dear to my heart!
The cherry on TOP of the cherry on top (that’s some sweetness!), was the freedom to also aid in choreographing one of the final stunts in the film. I’m an action chic! I was trained in stage combat and performed in a handful of “Fight Nights” during my theater and film education in New York City. So I instantly relish, jump, leap, kick, and capture any opportunity to do stunts!
Truth? The beauty of it all (and therefore, revealing the magic behind independent filmmaking and the bond of the “film-family”) is that I originally signed on to be just an actress for the film. However, being eager to be on set in the earlier stages of filming—prior to my official shoot date and call-time and, inspired by what Joseph and his Producing partner and Director of Photography, David G. Baker, were accomplishing with such a low budget—I approached Joseph with these words, “I am at your service!” And, he didn’t hesitate to welcome and include me deeper into the creative and production process. With us, ego doesn’t exist. When we address each other, I call him brother and he calls me sister. Film life (career) is about relationships. Knowing that Joseph would literally risk his life just to get the perfect shot (note: the exclusive film-family has talked him out of a few dangerous but cool ideas and, instead, troubleshooted and enacted other inventive alternatives to these same said ideas. Haha!), I would do anything for this man! I’ve yet to meet a single soul who doesn’t love him.
We’ve relished in long days, longer nights, multiple locations (including off-grid locations with no cell-phone service [“Have fun getting to set!]), unforeseen surprises that transformed into blessings, and, the most supportive cast & crew you could ask for! In producing Fearsville 2, I am inspired by the fearlessness of White Door Productions! With positive ambition, Joseph and David will have successfully written, produced, shot, edited, and premiered their horror feature film in a matter of months. I am just blessed to be along for this exciting ride, and to be valued as a filmmaker for my experience, skill, and insatiable willingness to learn (which is more so than just being a “woman-in-film”).
I’m honored and can’t wait for the red-carpet premiere of Fearsville 2 on Friday, October 28, 2016, at WK Cinemas in Hopkinsville, KY.
I love the supportive indie film network I have found which continues to grow, create, and prosper and, I am so blessed for every person and every personal journey shared along the way. I forget nothing and no one. There are so many paths and not one specific road to follow. Every soul has a story and, life does not allow itself to be dull because it lives and never stops (not even for time).
For me, film is a calling which I happily answer when it rings.
Lastly, as an active member of Tennessee Women in Film and Media (TWIFM), I’m looking forward to creating, sharing, and being involved in many more projects with high expectations to enlighten and enliven hearts. Film is a universal language. I don’t take this gifted platform for connection and building community for granted! I love film! Let’s shoot! ACTION!
Fear has a town of its own! It is a night of terror as the local teens struggle to stay alive in the sleepy town of Fearsville.
About this Contributor
Apolonia Davalos (AEA/ WIFT-Nashville and TWIFM Member) is a film and Off-Broadway theater director and actress. She is named after APPOLLONIA, an ancient, biblical town, in Macedonia, Greece, south of Lake Bolbe, known today as Nea Apollonia. Hence, she was born with a passion for God and love of history! Her upcoming short, modern-western film, Children of War, debuted through the film festival circuit in 2016. She is the Co-Writer and Co-Star of the online radio broadcast “The Baby Shug’s Show!” As an actor, her feature film credits include: “The Good Book” (on DVD), “Providence” (recently released in select AMC Theatres), “The Perfect Wedding” (on DVD), etc. In theater, she received great acclaim for the originated role of LYNN CORDERO in the Off-Broadway production of Looking for Billy Haines in Times Square (NYC). Other theater credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Nashville Shakespeare Festival); Metamorphoses (The Boston Actors Theater): The Crucible (Salem Theatre Company); and Sisters of the Church (Afrikan Women’s Repertory Theatre). She is further recognized as a producer, director, writer, as well as an inspiring advocate for classical Greek theater through her production company APOLONIAD Productions. Known for her hearty laugh, talent for accents, love for martial arts, and singing classic 1930’s tunes! “Apolonia Davalos is a passionate, young director dedicated to exploring the plays of Euripides. As a member of a generation used to reading no more than 140 characters at a time, her devotion to a classical poet is worthy of tremendous admiration.” – Show Business Weekly.
*This article, Woman In Film: Why I Am An Actress & Filmmaker, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).