Kate Chaplin is the real deal. During an interview, the topics run the gamut of what Chaplin refers to as geek culture: movies, sci-fi, cult TV shows, comic books. . .oh yeah, and filmmaking! However, what makes Chaplin the genuine article is her passion for telling good stories. That passion is summed up in Chaplin’s latest feature film, “Ingenue,” a science fiction story that touches on themes of humanity and, what Chaplin calls the “strength of family.”
So, what was the impetus for Chaplin’s passion as a filmmaker?
“I got interested in film when I was 10 years old,” she said, with a combination of humor and humility. “I was watching a marathon of Charlie Chaplin films on TV. There’s a part in the movie, ‘The Gold Rush’ where Charlie Chaplin eats his shoe! I knew he hadn’t really eaten his shoe, but I thought, ‘How did they do that?’ I wanted to know how they made it look so real!”
Chaplin’s interest in film, preceded the rise of the internet and the age of instant information.
“I did the only thing I could do at the time,” she said. “I went to the library and checked out some books. I’m a big fan of books. I learned more about filmmaking from books than any other medium. That’s where I learned how Charlie Chaplin ate his shoe. It was made of licorice!”
Yet, there was also another television marathon that caught Chaplin’s attention: “The Twilight Zone.”
“I’ve always been a fan of sci-fi,” she said. “I love ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek.’ What amazed me about the ‘Twilight Zone’ as I watched one the marathons was just how story-driven each episode was. Those stories were the inspiration for ‘Ingenue.’ That’s what I wanted to achieve, a solid story that would be a throwback to the old ‘Twilight Zone’ episodes.”
When the conversation turns to the state of the filmmaking industry today, Chaplin believes that independent films should lead the way. However, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy a good popcorn flick.
“I think there needs to be that balance,” she said. “You have the movies when you just turn off your brain and enjoy it, then you have the movies when you say, ‘I want to think about what I just saw.’ A steady diet of just one of those is not healthy!”
Chaplin endeavors to contribute to that balance through Karmic Courage Productions, the company which she owns and co-manages with Amy Pauszek.
Does Chaplin have any advice for aspiring filmmakers?
“Yes,” she said, enthusiastically. “I tell them to make a movie! There are so many resources at their disposal. That’s what is so cool! You can make movies on an iPhone now! I tell them to use all the resources they have, involve all the people they know. The more movies you make the more you learn.”
As for Chaplin, her mission remains constant.
“When people leave my movies, I want them to say ‘That was a good story!’ That is always my main goal.”
For more information on Kate Chaplin, her films and her production company, visit www. karmiccourage.wordpress.com.
Kate Chaplin’s first feature film, “Ingenue,” will screen at this year’s Gen-Con at 8 p.m. on Aug. 17 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.