Brett Treacy (MSB ’15), an aspiring filmmaker, recently debuted his first short film, “Petals.” The film follows the story of a young woman who is wrought with guilt and who pursues redemption, taking with her a symbolic bouquet of yellow roses. The film examines death and loss, but it also explores the idea that people judge quickly without knowing the context of someone’s situation. After graduating from Georgetown, Brett hopes to produce and direct films in Hollywood.
How did you get interested in filmmaking?
From a movies perspective, I would have to say my parents. I had a massive collection of tons of VHSs by the time I was 5. I became interested in filmmaking when I realized that I could be the one creating what I was watching. I would say right around the time of middle school and high school, I started deciding that filmmaking was something I could potentially do myself, and I’ve loved it ever since.
What are you majoring in?
I’m not in the film minor because you’re not allowed to be in the film minor if you’re in the business school at Georgetown, so I’m a marketing major with an English minor, and I take pretty much every film class that I can.
What is your film about?
The film on a very literal level is about dealing with loss. I came up with it when I was personally dealing with the concept of death and how people handle it. I think on a deeper level, it’s about how people are very quick to judge other people. My goal was to have the viewer of the film be thrown off a little bit at the end.
What inspired you to make this film?
Two different things — one, personally what I was dealing with and what I wanted to convey across in the film, and then I was actually on my way home at Christmas break this year, and I saw a girl on the metro with a bunch of roses. She looked kind of sad and almost a little standoffish, and I was kind of taken aback. I waved, and I was trying to be friendly, but she wasn’t having it. I thought it was odd — she had flowers, and I was wondering why she was standoffish. And then she got off at the Arlington cemetery stop, and it dawned on me that there was a lot more going on. That’s where I started to work through writing a script for the film.
How long did it take you to make the film?
Writing the script itself, I did in a day. … There was about a week of preproduction … and then about a week and a half shooting, and another week of editing — so about three and a half weeks in total.
What was the hardest part of making the film?
I would say that the hardest part was scheduling. When you work as a filmmaker as a profession, it is your job. When you’re trying to do it while you have a full class schedule and other full time jobs, it’s a lot of work. Editing at 3 o’clock in the morning and trying to find time to shoot when the sun was up was particularly difficult.
What was the most gratifying aspect of creating the film?
One of the most satisfying aspects was how quickly it all came together — so seeing the idea I had in my head come to screen within about a month was really cool. Outside of that, for me, is seeing people’s reactions to the film, in particular to Megan Schmidt (COL ’15), who was the main actor in the film. She’s also very interested in Hollywood and acting in particular … so watching people recognize her was rewarding.
Do you have any plans for filmmaking in the future?
Absolutely. I’m making two more short films this semester as part of class, and then after that, I hope to keep doing so. Eventually, I would like to direct and produce films in Hollywood after I graduate. So hopefully a long future ahead of me!
What do you think is the most important aspect of filmmaking?
I think that just having something to say and finding a way to say it is important. I’m really passionate about communication just in general and connecting with people on an emotional level, and the nice thing about film is that it gives you a means to do that where you have people’s attention. So I think, typically, fewer people will listen to you if you get on a soapbox and preach, but they would be more likely to click and play or find a video.
Do you have any favorite directors?
I think in particular I like directors that experiment with weird or different film. I really like David Lynch in particular, and I love Christopher Nolan.
Do you have a favorite movie genre?
I like movies that stick with you — that’s not a particular genre, but anything that I’m thinking about the next day when I wake up is going to be a movie that I really like.