An Interview with Milly Sanders about The Removals
For The Removals, we were so fortunate with our casting choices. Not only were they brilliant in their respective roles, but they came to work on our essentially no-budget production with open minds, a creative "can-do" mentality, and a willingness to go with the flow.
The terrifically talented Milly Sanders plays Kathryn, one of the protagonists of the movie. Milly is just flat-out awesome, not just in her performance, but in her adaptability. Without her, the process of making this movie would not have been as enjoyable as it was.
Following is an interview with Milly about the production. As you'll see, most of our curiosity orbits the central question (on our minds, at least), of what it was like as an actress living and working in LA coming to central Ohio to work on such a lo-fi production.
Q: How did you initially get involved with Two Dollar Radio and The Removals?
MS: Thank goodness for the extremely talented Grace Krilanovich! Grace and I went to Cal Arts together—she is such a gem. She published The Orange Eats Creeps with Two Dollar Radio. Originally Grace was slated to direct The Removals, but then life happened, and she was unable to continue as the film’s director. That’s when the glorious writer/director Nick Rombes took over. But it was Grace that told me about the project and asked if I wanted to audition for Kathryn. I read the script and said, “Um. . . of course!”
Q: What expectations did you have before filming and arriving in Columbus?
MS: This is a good question. And I’m trying to think back. I knew the film was going to be low budget, and when it comes to a low budget films, every experience is unique. This is primarily because, without a huge budget, people have to get creative. They have to use their resources—people, locations, props, community connections—in order to realize the vision of the film. So the way this shakes out varies greatly in independent projects. There’s so much to cover, people (cast and crew), locations, props. Locations are a huge deal in film projects. And often the script has to be rewritten or tweaked because the author’s initial vision can’t be realized on a small budget. I was impressed with how many fantastic locations Two Dollar Radio got in and around Columbus. And I think this was all done with networking within the community. And too, those crazy-cool props were awesome. When I was reading the script and saw mention of the huge cone, the strange gun, and that sci-fi-glove-contraption, I thought, how in the world will they do this? But they did it and it looked awesome!
And really, I suppose, I didn’t have a lot of expectations. My thought was, I have no clue how this will go, so I will go with the flow. I did have some hopes of course. Namely, that the people working on the project would be talented and nice. I was thinking, well, I’ll be in Columbus, knowing no one—I sure hope we all get along and everything goes smoothly. This was probably my main concern because it can be challenging on projects if you have big personalities that are at odds. Although, I did meet Nick in LA before I came out to Columbus and he seemed great right off the bat. I was hoping that wasn’t all just smoke and mirrors. It wasn’t. Nick is genuinely lovely. Everyone involved with the project is lovely. So kind, and funny, and just plain talented.
Q: How was filming in Columbus?
MS: Many things pop into my mind—first and foremost, such great people! Enough cannot be said about this b/c when you’ve got that in place you just can’t go wrong. Other added benefits—I wasn’t expecting the food to be so delicious. So many great meals! The restaurants/eateries we went to were great, and of course—Eric is a superb cook. Another thing that surprised me was how much driving we did from location to location. I didn’t anticipate that I would get to see so much of the Ohio countryside. It was just beautiful. And such a wonderful bonus!
Q: What are you working on now?
MS: I’ve always been a big fan of creating your own material. So while I am auditioning for commercials/film/tv, I’m also creating projects of my own. Namely, some low-budget horror projects. Man I just love horror. Particularly ghost stories, witches, and monstrous women. So I’m writing some shorts and a horror feature. And I’m gonna cast myself as the star. Ha!
Q: What was your departing impression of Ohio?
MS: I was very much struck by the feeling of community—both within the TDR family, as well as all all of the places and locations we visited. That I will remember. As well as the beautiful countryside. And of course I’ve got to say it again: the food. So. Darn. Good. What was the name of that place with the pancake balls? I dream of those. [Editor's note: Katalina's Cafe.]
Stream The Removals on Tuesday, May 17.
If you're in Columbus, celebrate the movie's release by partying with us at Spacebar. We'll screen the movie at 8, followed by a set by the band DTCV. It's gonna be so awesome.