Award of Merit – A Sonnet A Day (USA)

Title: A Sonnet A Day
Runtime: 13 min
Country: USA
Director: Julie Feskoe
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: March, 2021

Synopsis: On Saturday October 3, 2020, Sir Patrick Stewart read Shakespeare’s final sonnet thus concluding his quarantine project of reading a sonnet a day. He undertook this project in an effort to provide a moment of relief during this unprecedented time caused by the pandemic. Moved by his readings and dedication, Cat Chat Productions created this Highlight video as an homage and a thank you to Sir Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell for providing us this gift during these trying times.

FILMMAKER Q&A – Julie Feskoe – Director

GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

JF: I had recently concluded a Highlight video of my web series “Drinks & Frames” and had a blast creating it. After I released the Highlight video, I was itching to do another media project. I had been following Sir Patrick Stewart on Instagram and watched his daily readings from time to time. The concept of a Highlight video was still fresh in my mind and thought that I could create one for Sir Patrick Stewart in an effort to capture his extraordinary dedication and beauty of the readings. 

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

JF: 2-weeks. I thought of the idea 2-weeks before Sir Patrick Stewart would read the last sonnet and I wanted to release the Highlight video within 2-3 days post his last reading. So I went to work.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

JF: Having to cut some wonderful moments from the readings. The original Highlight video was about 18-minutes long which was too long for a “Highlight” video and a “Short Film”.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

JF: Keeping to my deadline. My Mom was diagnosed with brain cancer and her surgery was the day before Sir Patrick Stewart read the last sonnet. I pretty much only had a rough outline of the Highlight video and I wanted to keep to my deadline. I brought my laptop and a book on George Washington to use as a mouse pad and worked on the video while parked outside the Hospital in New York City feeding the parking meter from 7:30am – 11pm. The surgery was a success and I was able to complete most of the editing during that time.  But it was stressful.

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

JF: If you have an idea, try your best to see it through fruition. It is scary to think about what other people may think (or even if your work would somehow find out about your “side” project) but keep in mind, once you complete it and you are happy with it, that feeling of accomplishment would thwart off any insecurities and in the end, there will be people who will also enjoy it as much as you.