Gemelli Films is a production company from Long Island New York.
We have asked Candice Cain, Founder but also Author and Director of Gemelli productions, to present its activities.
Music Partner: Gemelli is an independent production company whose executives are all women by design. What are the advantages of working with women?
Candice Cain: Actually, I didn’t start out specifically to make Gemelli an all-female executive team. The people that I relied on just so happened to be women. Women are better multitaskers than men are. In my experience, working with women gets things done faster and more efficiently. My team is able to think outside of the box and switch gears a lot faster than men can. Don’t get me wrong—We have men on our team, too. All of the decision makers and influencers, though, are women. In my experience, women are just more flexible and not as staid in their ways as men are.
MP: You are in Long Island NY, use the Long Island landscape and local crew. It seems the family spirit sought after on the set is intentional.
CC: Yes, absolutely. I have 12 year old twins and am married to a wonderful man. I didn’t want to have to work in Los Angeles or even commute to NYC, so I created a space conducive to my filmmaking efforts in my hometown. It was really, really important to me to keep everything home. I would never ask people to do things that I wouldn’t do, and I would never put my work before my family. So, if someone needs to bring their child to set or has to leave because they have a family emergency, they know that they can just tell me and I’ll work it out with them to do what we need to do. We constantly have kids on set (though in areas away from where we are filming) doing their homework after school while their mom or dad work on the production.
MP: As an actress or author, you have been working on projects of all kinds however, under the Gemelli banner the productions are rather family oriented. What is driving this choice?
CC: It’s just supply and demand right now. There was a hole in the industry for wholesome programming, so I started filling it. I was asked for Christmas films, so I created them all last year. This year, I’ve been asked for romantic comedies and thrillers by buyers, so we are looking to produce a few of those.
MP: You are writing the script for all productions, where do you source your ideas and what do you most like writing about?
CC: My taste in writing really depends on my mood. It’s often what I’m asked to write, too. Last year, I was asked for Christmas films, so I wrote and produced five of them. I was a bit sick of the fluffy, happy story lines, so I wrote a thriller called “Peek-A-Boo” to kind of level out my thoughts and plots. A lot of my ideas come from things that happen to me in real life, or that I read about either in the news or on my Facebook newsfeed. It usually takes one idea that I see, and I go into what I call my “Game of What If.” The idea is to create the story before and after the main idea that I read by asking what if someone in the story did something differently, or trying to figure out how they got there in the first place. My script “Kids at Sea” was influenced by the jail break in Dannemora, NY in 2015. I have another script called “Midnight at Averleigh” based in Ireland because that is my bucket list trip. I source my ideas from a wide variety of places. I never know where I’m going to get them from or when an idea is going to hit me.
MP: Directing is one of your main occupations. Who inspire you?
CC: I adore Christopher Guest. I love that he uses the same cast over and over again. I really aspire to be like him in the respect of having an ensemble cast in my films. That’s why you will see the same actors over and over again in my productions.
MP: Broadcast vehicles have multiplied in recent years, streaming platforms need content and we were able to see Gemelli productions on Amazon or Roku, but with new content demand comes more competition. Beyond the story interest and production quality, what is your approach in convince platforms to select your films?
CC: Our Executive Producer Amy Minter and I travel to Mipcom and MipTV every year to create new connections and maintain old ones, while bringing our projects to buyers’ attention. I also took part in the Cannes Marche du Film online as well as the Hong Kong Film Mart online this year. I’m very persistent in contacting buyers. The worst that they can say is “no.”
MP: You highly value honesty and integrity. Why are those values essential in the industry?
CC: Honesty and integrity are also very rare in the entertainment industry, unfortunately. I can’t tell you how many times I have been taken advantage of by people misrepresenting themselves. Honesty and integrity are so important to me because I want people to know that they can trust me, no matter what position they have in the entertainment industry. I want buyers to know that I will deliver, and I want my cast and crew to know that I will take care of them. I also want my investors to know that I am doing absolutely everything that I can so that they get their investments back. I want my reputation to be one of someone that everyone wants to work with—regardless of capacity.
MP: You have recently launched the “South Shore Film Festival” taking place in the middle of the summer in Mastic, NY. Can you tell us more about it and the mission of the festival?
What is your ambition with the South Shore Film Fest?
CC: The South Shore Film Festival actually started in 2019 at Island Cinemas in Mastic, NY. I created the South Shore Film Festival because there weren’t any festivals less than an hour drive from my home, and there are a lot of filmmakers in the area. As for my ambition with the SSFF, I would love to keep it going on as a place where new filmmakers can meet and network. Last year’s live event was a lot of fun. This year, unfortunately, we had to keep everything online. I’m looking forward to 2021.
MP: The pandemic has made producing the old fashion way close to impossible for the past 6 months. Have you resumed some of your activities?
What did you work on during that period?
CC: The pandemic has sucked the life out of the entertainment industry. I had eight films on the slate for this year, and every single one was postponed. We’re working on trying to get two films done by the end of the year, but I don’t know how likely that is. Fortunately for Gemelli Films, we have four films in post-production and my editorial team is able to work from home. Now I’m in the process of selling them while the films are still being completed.
MP: Another mission of Gemelli is education. You have organized workshops, what are they about and who can attend?
CC: My workshops vary from performance to writing and even to directing. I had partnered with Franz Music Studios in Manorville, NY to hold in person. I’m really not into workshops online, so they have been on hold, too. Anyone that wants to learn can attend.
MP: You are entering your cast and crew to compete in the Daytime Emmys, what such recognition represents to you?
CC: Recognition in the form of a nomination for a Daytime Emmy Award would open a lot of doors for me, Gemelli Films and whomever is nominated or even wins. I really want my cast and crew to get as many opportunities as they can, because they have all been so incredibly helpful to me. Especially on my short form series “Little Cupid.” I want to make sure that they have every opportunity possible to get noticed for the great work that they do.
MP: Could you describe your process in selecting music for your productions and why you have chosen to work with Music Partner?
CC: When I select music for my productions, I want to make sure that it not only fits the mood, but also is an appropriate length. I don’t want things to loop. I like being able to fit music in to where I think that it belongs. When I first started filmmaking, I didn’t even use instrumentals. Instead, we used original songs from indie artists. I’ve since learned the value and importance of scoring a scene instead of having it silent, thanks to composer Christopher Kennedy. Since I can’t always use a composer on my projects, it’s really nice to be able to go through the Music Partner library and search based on genre and mood. All lengths and types are there, which is awesome.
MP: "Little Cupid" is one of your latest production, mixing a variety of emotions. It is available on Amazon, what is Gemelli Films working on?
CC: We have four films coming out for the holidays this year: “Joy & Hope,” “Deck the Heart,” “The Maltese Holiday” and “Magic in Mount Holly.” Right now, my partner team and I are working on distribution. I am also working on a thriller called “Peek-A-Boo” with Paulie Calafiore and Cara Maria Sorbello, which we will be filming on Long Island (NY) in October. Of course, I stay very busy with my twelve year old twins Charles and Catherine, as well as my husband, Craig.