An Interview with Angel Katherine Taormina about the Challenges of Film-making, Narrative Forms and

Please tell us about yourself. When did you start making films? Where did you learn to make films?

My name is Angel Katherine Taormina. I was born in New York, New York. My dad had a video camera when I was a little kid and I remember incessantly saying “Daddy, put me on TV” because he would always make home videos of the family and then play them on our big TV screen. I liked seeing myself. Then, at about four years old, one day, I just said to him, “Daddy, give me the camera.” The camera and I have been friends since day one. It was second nature to me. Actually, first nature. An extension of myself. As familiar to me as breathing. Naturally, I started writing little scripts and staging the details of what I wanted to see myself do on my parents’ TV screen. I was writing, directing, filming, editing, and acting. And I was barely five. I helmed my first official project when I was 13. It was an educational video. I made every kind of project I could. I had mostly on-the-job training, as well as private study and a summer intensive program with NYFA. I’ve always been a self-motivator and a throw-me-into-the-deep-end-and-I’ll-thrive kind of learner. Not exactly traditional, but well-versed in experiences. I had some crazy obstacles to overcome on-the-spot. I thrived. I loved it. I worked in stage, documentary, short film, a TV pilot- anything I could get my hands on. But I was always writing stories and expanding my ideas and I wanted bigger and bigger things as I started to carve a path for myself based upon my own likes and own stories and the things that I would want to do and to see on film and participate in. For quite some time, I tried to gear everything I did to try to impress someone or other. That worked out horribly. There was not one complete result and not one bit of creativity, or even joy, in it. Then, with the aid of my parents- and several others- I re-learned how to love myself and I started gearing my work back to my ideas that had originally inspired me back in the beginning. I had known what I’d wanted, but I’d hidden it for fear of being “different”. Then, I realized that there is never a good reason to hide your true self. I came to respect myself and the gifts that I had. And I chose to do exactly what I’d always wanted to do in the first place. So often, in my youth, I’d hear people say “that’s never been done before”. When I wised up, I realized that that was precisely the point- of course it’s never been done before. There has never been an Angel Katherine Taormina before. I started looking at my creativity as an opportunity to bring something new and unique into every project I worked on- me. There are some projects in which I did literally everything. Others were wonderful collaborative experiences. But everything, from that enlightenment on, all came from my heart, and I knew I would never shortchange myself again by ever letting it come from a place of falsehood again. Only truth. Never lie- your audience will know. And I was free. With that freedom, I dove into “The Saints of the Rue Scribe”. And I felt like I was flying. I was going the right way, and I would continue that way. Ever forward. Ever more. I felt at home- that I was exactly where I belonged. My heart and my work became one.

Where did the idea for The Saints of the Rue Scribe come from? How long did you work on it and how long did it take to decide on the final draft of the screenplay?

“The Saints of the Rue Scribe” is based on my 2012 novel of the same title. It was a story that I loved as a novel and that played well as a novel, but that I knew would take on a whole new, fantastic life on the screen. I fell in love with Joseph and Marie Charpentier and wanted to put them and their story- and all the characters- on film. A story often suggests its medium. In this case, the novel actually suggested the film for me. I wrote the screenplay in 2013 and added character-specific sequences in 2018 after we finally nailed down the cast. We filmed between late 2018 and early 2020. We did some editing and tweaking during all of this. The final shot, one of the storm shots, was completed on February 14th 2020. I spent quite a lot of time getting drenched by rainstorms for this film. After all was said and done, we got to screen the finished film at a private event in early October and we knew that our seven-year journey had borne forth a beautiful “baby” that was now ready to be shared with the world. We were such proud “parents”.