Fresh off her HollyShorts IG live yesterday, PROOF OF LOSS writer/Producer Laura Zak connects with Bitpix News for our ongoing 5 Questions With series. The film is now streaming on Bitpix.
Tell us more about your film. How did it come to be?
LZ: Proof of Loss was produced by the sister-and-brother team of Laura Zak and Graham Waleryszak, to be the first project with our new production company Drinkwater Studios. The idea to tell the story of the toll of the California wildfires on one family came from witnessing our close family friends lose their homes in 2017’s Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa. Since our climate crisis is making devastating fires a when, not if, reality for many communities, we wanted to explore the human toll of this shifting reality.
What was your budget?
LZ: About $80K.
What was the biggest takeaway from making the film?
LZ: We worked closely with the local communities to ensure that this story was told with authenticity and respect to those who experienced this trauma firsthand. The biggest takeaway would be the resilience, and community mindset, of the people who have gone through fire-related loss.
What was the biggest challenge in making this film?
LZ: We shot on location (with permission from the families) on sites of homes that had burned in fires in Santa Rosa and Paradise, so we needed to take extra safety precautions to make sure our cast and crew were protected, and these sites had been properly cleared of environmental hazards.
What is next for you?
LZ: Our director Katherine Fisher has another short film called Posies, which she shot in New Orleans in the festival circuit right now. I am working on finishing the first feature that we will produce through Drinkwater Studios.