Taking a negative experience and turning it into something positive is a message that we strongly believe in, and TOP RAMEN is a film that spreads just that message. Rebecca Hertz, writer, director, and producer of the film (which is based on her true story), answered our Q&A. Rebecca is an Emmy nominee and has been co-executive producer on a number of popular shows, including Undercover Boss. Until this film, she has never been able to tell her own story. TOP RAMEN is her chance to do exactly that.
1. Can you sum up your film in two sentences?
TOP RAMEN is a deeply personal film based on a true story about what happens when a political activist is arrested at a demonstration against police brutality, leaving her two young daughters to fend for themselves for a night. TOP RAMEN asks us to consider whether childhood trauma, apart from being purely destructive, might be a positive and creative force in our lives.
Often we view the trauma we experience as children as unequivocally bad, and we spin a narrative around the event that leads straight to anger, resentment, and sadness. What if we could instead see those events as the origins of some of our greatest qualities? That has been the journey that led me to look at my own history with new eyes and to share my discoveries with the world.
3. What has been one of the biggest challenges in making this film?
The biggest initial challenge in making this film was to give myself permission to tell the story.
4. What has been your happiest/most rewarding moment in this journey?
I have worked professionally in television for 15 years – I was nominated for a primetime Emmy for my work as a Co-Executive Producer on CBS’s Undercover Boss – but I have never applied my skills to my own story. The most rewarding moment in this journey so far was the first time I sat down with my creative team and had the chance to communicate my vision to my peers – something I have done for years, but never about my own story. What an incredible feeling to have my colleagues donate their time and energy to a project I am so passionate about!
I hope that people will see this film and reconsider events from their own lives. I hope that the film inspires people to look back at childhood trauma and consider the positive things they may have learned from those seemingly negative events.
6. Where do you take it from here? What’s next?
Now that my fundraising campaign is nearly complete, I am making the film. I will finish it in early 2017 and apply to festivals. This film is the beginning of a new creative chapter in my life and will lead to more films.
If you want to contribute to the production of this film, you can donate to it on Indiegogo. As of October 6, the film has raised almost $14,000 and has only a week left to reach its goal of $15,000.
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