Roxy Shih was one of the directors of DARK/WEB who is also a well-established producer as well as an all-around awesome individual! In 2014 she was nominated for the FANtastic Award at the FANtastic Film Festival for her work on Deadly Revisions and then won the award in 2017 for Garden Party Massacre. In 2018 she was the winner of the Downtown Film Festival in LA for best TV pilot for The Plural of Blood. Roxy then directed a few of the episodes of DARK/WEB and I was able to speak with her where she discusses which episodes were her favorite and why. If you haven’t checked out DARK/WEB on Amazon Prime Video you can do so by clicking the banner above! Also, be sure to check in this coming Wednesday, 09/11 when Roxy takes over DARK/WEB‘s Instagram, ready to answer any questions you all have for her!
1. Now that SDCC has come and gone, what was your impression of premiering DARK/WEB at SDCC?
It was incredibly surreal! After SDCC I was still processing how elated I felt for the next two weeks. I remembered after the 1st day I was walking around the convention with a headache that felt like a hangover; not that I was drinking, but that I was so incredibly overwhelmed from the experience… Never would I have imagined getting an opportunity to speak on a Comic Con panel, nonetheless a premiere screening! As a filmmaker the greatest gift is being able to watch your show with an audience and see how they react. To be able to hear feedback at the screenings, words of encouragement during our Q&As, and be in an environment of film and TV fanatic s… the energy overall was wild and it was a weekend that I’ll remember for the rest of my life (I will probably write it in my memoir too… but let’s be honest the only person that will buy my book is my mom. Hi mom love you <3)
But I think out of the whole experience, my favorite had to be the autograph signing; it allowed for us to meet a lot of the fans/audience face to the face. One particular group stood out to me at the signing (an Asian mom and daughter) – they came up to me and told me how proud they were that I was “representing,” and that her daughter also hopes to become a filmmaker one day. Honestly, hearing that was the cherry on top of the whole experience.
2. How was directing DARK/WEB different than other pieces you have directed?
Directing DW was the best experience any indie filmmaker can ask for; it was challenging but we had a strong support system and everyone had incredible energy. My experience has mostly been in shorts films and features, so working with the show runners on this format was new and enriching for me – due to making this on an indie scale, we were shooting between 13-18 pages a day. I remember when we did the first initial table read and the cast had to absorb this daunting task ahead of them. I remembered telling them that I expected them to be off-book everyday; that sometimes I may pick up a scene in the middle of a take while it’s rolling and expect them to nail it. I felt like a Tiger Mom but we really had to set the precedent early so that we could succeed. The tone on set was assertive but fun (the producers made sure to get us ice cream trucks and yummy treats to sustain those hard hours)! The mindset and energy of a team really trickles from the top down; so I was lucky to be working with producers that felt like family to me and were aligned with conquering the obstacles we had each day.
Although A story was shot like a feature, the B stories were produced individually one by one the year after. I’d say the format for production was unique and one of a kind; it really forced us to embrace our limitations and sometimes go with the flow. Working on DW has taught me to really think on the spot sometimes and get super creative; I’m a filmmaker dedicated to the indie spirit and really believe that brilliance comes out of parameters and set limitations. (Or maybe I’m just a Capricorn and just love torturing myself with challenges lol.)
3. Which episode was your favorite to direct, and why?
Episode Six was awesome – getting to do a flashback episode where we got to explore Molly’s backstory was a refresh during production. It felt like a different world; and getting to shoot at Emerson College LA (surprise! That’s a trivia fact) spiked a different mood and creative direction – everything felt bigger and more intimidating, away from the intimacy from our present day storyline.
I also have to plug EAT PREY LOVE in episode five, because that was my anthology episode (that I wrote with my friend Ian Paxton, giving him a shout out here!). But honestly I’m so thankful the producers allowed me to explore that story in a completely different voice (because consensual cannibalism is totally a thing that gets green lit lol). It’s rare that you get an opportunity to make something truly your own on a TV show. Getting to work on DW was such a nurturing, creative experience. I’m very thankful that I had this opportunity and the whole team has become my film family.
4. What current projects are you working on?
I’m currently attached to a couple of feature films and in development for those which I’m excited about and still producing music videos and short films on the side for emerging voices in marginalized communities. I also run a film festival in LA called the Taiwanese American Film Festival (www.TAFF.la) which is happening in November this year! I’ve been incredibly lucky in my journey (big thanks to DW for elevating my visibility) so I think it’s also incredibly important to give back as much as possible.
Are you following DARK/WEB on Instagram? If not, what are you waiting for?! Check them out @darkwebshow as they are doing cast and crew takeovers on Wednesday’s and fun fan trivia / giveaways on Friday’s! Be sure to check them out.
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Source: LRM Exclusive