Whatever It Takes
In a world where violence wears a face, a liquor store employee must rely on the power of literature to survive. As the forces of brutality and intellect clash, this symbolic tale explores the relentless battle between violence and knowledge.
Written & Directed by Julissa Scopino
"Filmmaking is my lifelong journey." Julissa Scopino
Before I jump into my experience with this "Whatever It Takes," I want to share a little insight into a movie I produced before this one which was career-changing for me, from being an actress transitioning into producing and directing. I want to make it clear that my heart was to direct this first film, although, at the time, I didn't have the confidence and courage to take that leap into a world predominantly pursued by men. Even more, I was just a girl with a dream and had no idea how to make it happen. I went from step to step. I remember holding onto this quote by philosopher, Lao Tzu, for dear life: "A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." And so it happened, I carved out my first producing role. My team were my classmates (Noelle P. Wilson and Andrew Stewart Jones) from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where I studied to be an actress. Together, we made a film called "I Was There". This was the first film I ever produced independently. Life-long film collaborators and dear friends came on board to support - Berman Fenelus as director and Sophia Leang as co-producer. We were all beginners.
"Whatever It Takes" is my directorial debut.
This was one of my first films. As a filmmaker who was still in the process of honing my skills and learning the craft, this project provided a fertile ground for exploration and growth. It served as a stepping stone, shaping my understanding of cinematic language and paving the way for future endeavors. Although I was still in the learning phase, I approached this project with determination and a hunger to bring my vision to life.
"Whatever It Takes" encapsulates my deep fascination with the power dynamics between violence and knowledge and their profound impact on individuals and society.
This film is a testament to the power of storytelling and the resilience of the human spirit. It is a humble offering from a director still learning, but one filled with passion, dedication, and a genuine desire to connect emotionally and intellectually with audiences.
Thank you to my friends who believed in me and took a chance.