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Interview With Jordan-Paige Sudduth Winner of Cinefern Film Award and Competition

Operation Grade Changer a Film Written, Directed and Produced by Jordan-Paige Sudduth won Best Women Filmmaker's Film award at Cinefern Film Award and Competition's December 2020.

Operation Grade Changer Poster

The Film is about Wannabe spy Alex and his sarcastic sister Hayden work together to help high school star

athlete Rowan change his failing grade before security busts their secret operation.

Jordan-Paige Sudduth is an autistic 20 year old writer, actor, filmmaker, and daily vlogger. Born on April 13, 2001 in Georgia, she began acting in stage productions in the 4th grade, then became interested in acting for film and television around 11 years old. She resides in Georgia, where she has lived for most of her life. Jordan began writing her first film in her freshman year of high school, and continued through July 2019, right before she left for college to study screenwriting. Jordan-Paige now focuses primarily on screenwriting, but continues to do various freelance film production work. Outside of acting and filmmaking, Jordan is also an avid reader and loves going to the movies when there's not a global pandemic to stop her. She graduated from Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film, Television, and Games program in August of 2020, and sold her first screenplay in April 2021.

Interview With Jordan-Paige Sudduth

Q: What is the basic Idea Behind the film?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: Well, our assignment for class was to write a screenplay that was under 5 pages, so I knew whatever story I chose to tell had to be quick. To be honest, I don’t really know where my story ideas come from! This one just popped into my head, and I was fortunate enough to have my classmates vote on it to be one of the ones our class produced!

Q: How do you handle the Pre-Production, and Post Production?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: My group was the smallest crew with only three of us, but we were completely fine with that! We kept our overall crew very small, as we only brought on one more person as our Cinematographer, and that helped a lot with both pre and post production, because we did it all ourselves. We established beforehand who was going to have what role on set, so when we got to set, we all knew exactly what our jobs were. We all edited the film together, which was a lot of fun, and very helpful, since we all shared our thoughts on the final product right there in the same room.

Q: What do you do to stay calm during Production of the film?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: Well, making sure we were well prepared through our pre-production process was very helpful, because when we got on set, we didn’t run into any unforeseen circumstances. Our amazing cast also helped us immensely, because they were so well prepared and fun to work with!

Q: What sort of stories excites you?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: I really love stories that have a great mix of drama and comedy,

and stories that have heart and important messages. I’m also a huge lover of science fiction and fantasy stories! A big theme I focus on in my scripts is found family, or the idea that family isn’t always defined by blood, so stories like that I’m an absolute sucker for.

Q: Do you think all the good stories have already been made into a movie?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: Not at all! In fact, I believe the opposite. Every storyteller has different life experiences that influence how they tell stories, and those experiences can never be authentically replaced, so only that storyteller can tell the story in that way.

Q: While casting for your film you prefer to cast a well known face or any new face which fit the character?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: Absolutely any face that fits the character. It doesn’t matter to me if the person has been on Netflix, or if they just started acting the day before. If the person is right for the role, I’ll cast them!

Q: What is the most enjoyable thing about Production of the film?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: Hands down, our amazing cast and my fellow crew members. We had such a great dynamic on set, and just played off of each other’s energy very well. I feel so thankful to have had such amazing people involved in the making of the project!

Q: What is the best possible way to promote your film when you are on a tight budget?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: In my opinion, social media can go a long way, and it doesn’t cost anything. Networking is huge as well, even if that’s networking through social media. Now, I don’t recommend reaching out to other creatives and only saying “hey I made this, can you watch it?” What I mean is getting to know them (even if it’s through social media), supporting them in what they do, and then maybe asking them for their opinion on your work. And if you do have a bit of a budget, film festivals are a great way to get your film out there and potentially gain some accolades. And not all film festivals are $50+ either! There’s a lot of smaller festivals out there that have very low submission costs - I highly recommend those!

Q: When your next film is coming and what is it about?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: So since screenwriting is my passion, I am more focusing on screenwriting and selling my scripts rather than filmmaking. With that being said however, I have just completed a short narrative montage film for my apprenticeship that I hope to be

able to share soon, and I sold my first screenplay in April of 2021, and that is currently slated to go into production at a later date!

Q: What advice do you want to give to the new and upcoming filmmakers?

Jordan-Paige Sudduth: Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do. You’re never too early or too old to start doing anything, do if you want to make films, or do something else in the entertainment industry, there is no “right time” to do so! And make what you want to make, not what other people want to see.


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