“WILD BITCH is a quirky thriller about a local reporter’s interview with a mousy housewife about her life-changing encounter with a coyote. This leads to an eerie trek in the woods that leaves them forever bonded with each other… and the beast. Thematically, Wild Bitch explores the connection between the destruction of nature and the oppression of women and the unique ways both will defend themselves when pushed to the brink.” — Filmmakers Rebekka Johnson & Kate Nash on WILD BITCH which screens at SxSW 2022!
Welcome to SxSW and congratulations! Is this your first SxSW experience?
This will be our first time going to the SXSW film festival. We are beyond excited.
How did you first hear about SxSW and wishing to send your project into the festival?
It’s iconic! SXSW id known for uplifting edgie indie films. We felt like SXSW was the perfect place to premiere our quirky thriller.
Tell me about the idea behind your project and getting it made!
One dark day in pandemic lockdown, Kate was listening to the soundtrack from THE SHINING while spiraling down a YouTube rabbit hole. She happened upon a local news story featuring a midwestern housewife who was startled awake by a wild coyote that had broken into her bedroom. It ended simply after the gal called animal control and they brought the poor, scared coyote back to the woods. But for Kate, the creepy and dramatic music in her earbuds gave the segment an eerie vibe. It led her to think, “What if that’s not the end of the story…”
They had been looking for a way to work together since their beloved Netflix Series, GLOW, was canceled due to Covid. This seemed like the perfect project for them to escape into. They created a dark backstory for the woman, Barb Cramper. She seems odd but harmless at first but it comes out that she is quite dangerous. The journalist, Melanie Fischer underestimates Barb but ends up uncovering darker truths about the coyote encounter. Both women bond over their experiences with shitty men and in the end team up for their own survival.
Who are some of your creative inspirations? Any particular filmmaking talent or movie that inspired you for this project?
We were inspired by movies like MISERY, SCARE ME and PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN. We used those as touch tones for creating our visual style.
How did you put this together from a technical viewpoint? What sort of cameras/lenses did you use and/or did you have any creative challenges in making it?
We put together a lean budget and raised funds through Seed and Spark. We brought in a phenomenal DP, Morgana Mckenzie, who brought a vintage camera for the news footage. One of the actors (and a brilliant filmmaker in his own right) Daved Wilkins, graciously offered to loan us CP 2 prime lenses. Lauren Bancroft, our producer arranged for us to borrow a C300 Mark II from Special Order. We shot at Rebekka’s house and in the woods nearby. The biggest challenge was figuring out what we wanted to do in terms of getting a coyote that was within our budget!
What would you suggest to film festivals as a way to show more short films or make them more accessible to audiences across the country?
I think shorter curated blocks would be a way to encourage more people to watch them. Three to four shorts is way less time commitment and maybe would create a binge effect!
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone to get their start as a creator or filmmaker in the industry, what would you suggest?
Give yourself time to experiment as you gain your skills! Don’t expect perfection right away and allow yourself time to make mistakes a bunch of times to learn from them.Also- just get started. Write that outline. Dream big. No limitations! You can edit the idea later to make it logistically sound.
And finally, what is your favourite short film of all time?
Frankie Shaw’s, TOO LEGIT is a standout. She expertly tackled a dark subject with humor.
This film and many others like it will be showing at South By Southwest taking place March 11-20. For more information point your browser to www.sxsw.com!