INTERVIEW - JULIA GALLE ON WRITING/DIRECTING P.R.O.M. (2016)
Updated: May 15
Julia Galle is a Toronto-based writer and filmmaker. Here is a link to her short film P.R.O.M (2016). Check it out and enjoy our interview!
Q: What was your motivation to make this short? Julia: I made this short for TIFF Next Wave's Battle of the Scores event. It's an awesome event where bands score films live. If you're in the Toronto area you should totally check it out, it happens every year! Q: There are some Frankenstein (1931) and Carrie (1974) vibes throughout. Were those films your main inspirations? Julia: Of course Frankenstein and Carrie, but I also love 80's teen movies. I really like the idea of marrying together movies like Pretty in Pink or Valley Girl with the tropes of horror films. I think that there's so much about growing up and discovering yourself that's beautiful, but it can also be messy and, well, horrific in some instances. P.R.O.M was probably the most collaborative film I've ever made, and everyone brought something to the table. So beyond the films I love, there were also artists I respected that shaped the outcome. Q: What do monsters mean to you? Julia: I always thought that monsters were creatures that were supposed to hurt you. Then I started watching horror movies and I realized I felt bad for them. They didn't ask to be created, and then, on top of that, they're rejected continuously. No wonder they're so upset all the time. I think monsters are just as confused about their existence as I am, and that's why we're friends. Beyond my love for them I also think monsters are a great vehicle to explore themes of otherness, duality, and liminal states. In P.R.O.M I wanted to use the monster as a way that our protagonist could embody the 'fantasy' of heterosexuality and not being alone. When that fantasy (literally) falls apart, she's realizes she didn't need it at all. There's also an amazing essay called Monster Culture (Seven Theses) by Jeffery Cohen. It's a sacred text for me. If you love monsters you should give it a read.
Q: You studied Screenwriting at York University and graduated back in 2018. How was your experience there?
Julia: I really liked the program and the teachers. Having a really strong community of writers around me was an enriching experience. You can't get away with half-assing anything, because you're in a room full of people who know you and your work. They'll tell you if you're not hitting the mark, and I think that's valuable when it comes to your education.
It was a bit sad for me to realize I wouldn't be able to do any production classes, which I really think is a waste. I mean, I get I'm supposed to focus on writing, but I consider myself a jack of all trades. It also rubs me the wrong way when people tell me I can't do something, it just makes me more determined. Q: Do you primarily consider yourself a screenwriter? Julia: P.R.O.M was the last short I directed, and I always wanted to do more. As the years have gone on I'm realizing that I have a writer's brain. I don't think I make movies with just the visual aspect in mind, it's always come back to the story for me. Q: Do you have advice for any young screenwriters who want to experiment with directing? Julia: Do it! It's a great way to see if the words you've written translate to the other departments. If you're not into directing, try production managing, or coordinating, or anything else. It's important to see how your script functions on set. Don't get side tracked though. Production seems enticing but it can quickly derail you from the time that should be spent on your own ideas. Q: What are you working on now? Julia: Right now I'm finishing up a feature screenplay called Swamp Kids. It's about teenage girls who fall in love and mutate in a company town. Beyond that I've also got a horror anthology web series called Whelps in my back pocket. There's a lot of ideas I'm juggling right now, but I'm not sure where any of them will go. I've also been learning to write for video games, it's been a totally different experience, but it's exciting to expand my craft in a new way. Q: Is there a place online where people can find some of your work or perhaps reach out for some advice?
Julia: For sure! My email is email@example.com . I'm always happy to show folks the stuff I'm writing. Hopefully I'll have a website soon!
P.R.O.M. was written and directed by Julia Galle back in 2016. It stars Cristina DaPonte, Elise Bailey, Benjamin Liddell and Tim Blair. View the full credits below...
Cinematographer: Khanh Tudo
Production Designer: Hinako Hosoya
Art Department: Alex Filtsos
AD: Maiesha Zarin
Gaffer: Katerina Zoumboulakis
Score: Arie Verheul-van de Ven
Script Super: Ophelia Spinosa
Makeup: Ellie Lewis