Karen Allen reflects on her first turn as a director with her short film A ROCK, A TREE. A CLOUD. She adapted the film from a short story by Carson McCullers and set the film in the Berkshires, where she calls home. But, finding the right location is but one of the challenges faced by a filmmaker. Casting the roles and then directing the actors is often the key to a film’s success—or failure. Karen Allen’s own experiences as an actor, and her previous directing experience in the theater, were her guideposts as she cast her first film.
“Of all things involved in directing a film, working with the actors is, to me, the thing I feel the most at home with,” she told IMAGINE writer Hartley Pleshaw. “Casting the roles, finding the right actor for the right role is a huge part of what the director does. If you cast the wrong actor in a role, you can stand on your head and sing ‘Dixie,’ and you’re not necessarily going to get a wonderful performance.
“There is a kind of mysterious synchronicity between an actor and a role. And if you as a director have a kind of instinct as to who can step into that character’s shoes, most of your work is done. You can stand back. You can give (the actors) a certain amount of guidance and support, but in the hands of the right actor, you not only get what you want, you get what you couldn’t have thought of yourself.”Read the full story in this issue by Hartley Pleshaw. Our cover photo was captured by Michele Eve Photography. Our cover design is by IMAGINE Design Editor Monique Walton.