A Teacher Fulfills Her Dream of Directing a Movie During The Pandemic

Teri Smith, our beloved Middle School English Teacher, wrote and directed her first movie during the pandemic. 

"I have been a lover of movies all my life. I worked in the film industry in the '90s on the east coast as a Script Supervisor. After moving to the Bay Area in 1998, I eventually stopped and began to concentrate on becoming a teacher. About five years ago, I got involved with a local film company that was a start-up. They were looking for a script supervisor and I thought, "Why not!" I had missed working on a movie. So I jump in.

A couple of years ago, I got an idea for a short film, The Scarlet Thread. It's a story about a beloved high school teacher who has a secret. A secret she feels will ruin her life. After much planning, the decision was made to actually film it. So, at the beginning of March, I set up a crowdfunding campaign — along with my producer — to raise the funds needed to film it. Unbeknownst to me, the prelaunch party was a week before the world shut down because of COVID-19. The way the crowdfunding worked, I had 45 days to raise at least 80% of the money I had requested.  If I raised less, it would not get funded. So I went ahead, in spite of the pandemic. It was unbelievable —but we raised 83% and it was official — a film was going to happen.  

 

Terri Smith Directs Her First Movie
Terri Smith Directs Her First Movie

 

We then began to wait on Governor Newsom to give us the okay to begin filming. After learning of the COVID protocols we needed to put in place, a plan began to take shape. We were able to film at the beginning of July. We are almost finished editing the movie and expect it to be ready to be viewed in about a month. My plan is to take it to film festivals after a premiere with supporters and friends.  

It's always been a dream of mine to make a movie. I once thought I was too old. Who would have ever imagined that in a pandemic one could fundraise for a movie and actually film it? Had I know what was going to happen, I probably wouldn't have done it. In the end, a reminder to all — you are never too old to fulfill your great dreams and desires." 

 

~Terri Smith
Middle School English Teacher

We are proud of you, Mrs. Smith!

 

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