Filmmaker Feature: Kerry Stauffer

by Jul 15, 2021Cinema Life Featured Filmmakers0 comments

NameKerry Stauffer

DisciplineActor, Writer, Producer

Film: “Fraternalings

FestivalGeorgia Shorts and others!


City you’re based in: Los Angeles, CA

Short Bio (100 words or fewer)

Kerry Stauffer graduated from Butler University with a BA in Theatre in 2013. Two years later, she made the move to Los Angeles, where she currently resides. Kerry has dipped her toes in the stand-up, improv, and horror communities and is grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead.

IG: @staufkl00 and @fraternalings_film

How did you get started in the film industry and what are your upcoming and active projects?

I began acting when I was around seven while I was at a rehearsal for a stage show my sister was in. I played a kid left in a pizza parlor, only to have my stage dad come running back in, carrying me out, with me waving to the audience while they cracked up laughing. I made the jump to film after college, mostly background work and eventually created my first passion project, Fraternalings, with a friend. I am currently in a webseries, created by another friend, which is in post and will be moving onto season two soon. Actively, I’m finishing up my second stand-up set as well. 

What type of stories interest you and why?

I really enjoy stories that make you think or that are a little more out of the box so to speak.

What is your genre of choice? 

I love most genres, however, I have really enjoyed and have found myself more in the horror/ dark comedy route. 

How are you creating a path for yourself in this industry?

Looking back, I see my path has unfolded mostly by following my gut and saying yes to things that used to scare me, like stand-up and improv.

What inspires you as a storyteller? 

As a storyteller, I find that being honest, even through absurdity, has really inspired me to use my voice and share my visions. I’d have to thank my background at a liberal arts college for that. 


How do you prep for a film from writing to being on set? 

The first thing is to find someone else (or a group) that also enjoys creating and to just dive in! Writing at least twice a week on that project, having an outside small group to look everything over, gathering the team. On set, as the creator of the project, learning to wear multiple hats and knowing that anything can happen has relieved a lot of stress when making a film. Also, being able to communicate and learn, even in the thick of it, I learned a lot just by doing.

What is the first thing you do when you get a script? 

The first thing I do when I get a script is read it all the way through once. Then I do my actor work. What is the subtext? What do I want from the other character(s)?  If there is anything that requires research, (words I may not know, time period, place) I google. Lastly, I rehearse with another person as much as I can, to really feel the words and understand what my character needs to do.  

What are a few lessons you’ve learned from your recent film(s)?

Oh the joys of lessons! The biggest lesson for me has been to really pay attention to the budget and make sure I’m communicating with my partner all pieces of business. 

I’ve also learned, it’s much easier to just have fun and not worry so much.  Very rarely do we need to get it done in one take, unless you’re having a panic attack in a bathtub. 

What practical tips do you have for indie filmmakers (budgeting, marketing, directing)?

When it comes to budgeting, plan to go over. Not by much, but if you’re working with someone else and you’re both paying without any donors, it’s best to accept you most likely will go over budget.

For marketing, get it out there through socials. I personally prefer and am most apt with Instagram, however, any website, especially film freeway, is extremely useful and valuable in the long run. That good old theatre background has worked well for me as well, since a lot of marketing does come from talking to others at events and festivals. 

For directing, if you’ve written the project and are directing, you are most likely wearing the most hats. Work with ALL your actors, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need and know that your project will come out exactly how it’s supposed to.





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