Interview with 'Crafts + Stuff' Actress and Co Director - Marissa Steinheimer
How did you first break into the industry?
My first production was for a film festival in Rochester, NY. It was a short documentary about energy efficiency and the environment. I was in grad school studying Environmental Science at the time and I met Josh (co director of Crafts and Stuff) working at a Starbucks. He was already making films and had access to equipment. I reached out to him about the environmental film festival, he agreed to help, and we have been making films together ever since.
Who/What inspires you as an actor?
Different performances ongoingly inspire me, but Adam Driver in Marriage Story has really stuck out for me. His performance was so real and heartbreaking. Other actors I know in Austin also inspire me. Their commitment to the craft, even if just for a small scene study in a class of 10 people, is so weird and beautiful to me.
Who/What inspires you as a director?
Local filmmakers putting their heart and a good chunk of their wallet into a film is inspiring. It's costly to make films, but the film persists and when it's finished, it's a miracle. Damien Chazelle and David F Sandberg are also very inspiring. David F Sandberg puts out very uplifting videos on YouTube about filmmaking.
What are the challenges involved in both directing and acting on the same project?
The biggest challenge for me on set as an actor and director is not being able to see what's going on. We have a very small crew, so we often take turns standing in frame so we each get a chance to know what we are filming. It's that or continually playing back footage. It's a bit time consuming to say the least.
What was your best set moment on ‘Crafts and Stuff’?
Our best moment was trying to choreograph the lights gradually going out. We wanted them to go out behind me and then across the room at separate times. This being right in the midst of Covid, it was just him and me filming so we had to problem solve a way for him to be on camera and 3 different lights. It took a lot of extension cords and coordination with his feet, but we made it happen. The process was fun to problem solve and mildly hilarious with how many takes it took to get right.
What sort of person is going to love this short?
Anyone browsing YouTube for a short, fun thriller/horror. Evidently, not my Mom.
What advice would you give aspiring actors?
Checkout the Carol Hickey Acting Studio. They have classes online and in person, but the approach they teach is a game changer.
Where can we find more of your work?
On our YouTube channel or instagram: