If there was one thing I learned while interning on Out of The Woods, it is the power of oneness. For a time period of 3 months, 30+ people from all over the world came together to unite for one vision: to shoot an indie feature film on Australian soil with a limited budget and resources.

    I was one of those 30 people who, quite spontaneously, thought to herself, “Why not experience a film set?” and joined the crew. I had no idea what I was getting myself into… Had I known what awaited me 11,647 km away from home, I might not have come.

    Thank God I did, because what I wouldn’t have expected was the camaraderie and community united for a common goal. It made everything worthwhile. I had only recently been introduced to the film world, but only from an actor’s perspective, so I thought I wouldn’t be of much help.

    That was a very wrong assumption.

    I was promoted right away from nothing to location manager, casting assistant, and 3rd Assistant Director. Promotion sounds better than having been thrown into the deep end of the ocean.

    While it definitely felt like the latter, It didn’t help wondering whether or not I could fill the shoes, the work had to be done… somehow.

    Luckily, everyone was in the same boat. We were all figuring it out, trying our best and coming up with solutions. Our team developed into a quirky family who were not without fault but determined to give their best.

    After building a cabin, getting the go-ahead from potential locations to film there … for *cough cough* free (please?), getting a film permit to close off an entire road, setting up and powering a professional film set in the middle of the woods, feeding a hungry crew, turning a car upside down, taking the cabin down and carrying its pieces up a mountain, arranging 20 extras last minute for a shoot from 11pm-3am we felt quite … unstoppable!

    The result was amazing, but the journey required me and my heart to learn a few more lessons…

    In order for me to be a part of the team, I had to be a team player, serve willingly, ask for help, admit mistakes and find ways to fix them. I had to be alert to make life easier for the crew and make sure I had a good attitude, because whatever it was, it would affect everyone around me.

    Somehow, by many miracles, we were able to wrap on production even though so many odds were against us. I realized I was capable of much more than I thought, because the team around me created a platform for me to thrive. They didn’t judge me, didn’t pity me, but believed in my potential.

    As the saying goes: Teamwork makes the dream work, and my experience on the set of the Out of the Woods gave me a taste of what’s possible when people unite, as a family, with a clear purpose and goal.

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    • Annette is part of the acting team with The Initiative Production Company. She is a German South-African, loves the smell of freshly baked bread and constantly has a list in her head of countries to visit and more languages to learn.


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