From Zero to Cannes: My First Movie Production

From Zero to Cannes: My First Movie Production

In 2017, I had the exhilarating opportunity to produce a short film entitled "Cookie Heart" in the vibrant heart of New York City. This venture was more than a learning expedition — it was a journey where I honed my negotiation and management skills amidst the captivating yet demanding realm of filmmaking.

As I embarked on this project, one of the first hurdles was securing a venue for a critical 48-hour shoot. Through meticulous negotiation, I successfully managed to reduce the venue costs by an impressive 50%, a victory that not only reflected my negotiating prowess but also significantly cushioned our budget.

The bustling set of "Cookie Heart" was like a microcosm of a big film studio, buzzing with around 40 dedicated individuals, ranging from actors to crew members and extras. Managing this bustling ensemble required a blend of meticulous planning, coordination, and a dash of improvisation, especially because this film was shot all in one take, meaning no breaks in filming! The journey from casting the right faces to orchestrating a harmonious set was a profound learning experience. And despite the grueling two-day shoot, which ran on the steam of little to no sleep, the spirit of teamwork propelled us to wrap up the shoot seamlessly.

When the camera ceased rolling, the reel of "Cookie Heart" spun beyond our set to grace the screens of prestigious film festivals. The sweet taste of victory came as our maiden film not only won hearts but also bagged 9 accolades, including a coveted spot at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner and recognition at the International Filmmaker Festival of New York. Each award was a testament to the collective toil, talent, and tenacity that breathed life into "Cookie Heart."

This adventure, laden with trials and triumphs, did more than just fulfill my dream of producing a film — it unveiled my aptitude for steering projects to fruition, even in the most demanding of settings and with no prior experience. It underscored that my forte indeed lies in orchestrating tasks and leading them to success, a valuable insight that continues to fuel my journey as a Product Manager.

You can check "Cookie Heart" out on IMDb (click HERE) or watch a trailer here:

© 2023 Gabriela Naumnik. All rights reserved.