Written by Meagan Meehan for examiner.com
Making movies is a job that takes passion and dedication and these are skills that Beth A. Thuna has in abundance. In fact, Beth and her family have started their own film production company called “313 Films” where Beth serves as the artistic and creative director.
As a celebrated photojournalist who has had an extensive career in photography and design, Beth has been an art director for a local Southern California Magazine and has won multiple awards for photojournalism. Her company, 313 Films, has a vision to bridge the gap between bottom-line necessities and creative freedom. Founded by Doreen Bennett, Beth Thuna and Sonia Thuna,
313’s mission to produce commercially viable products that remain true to their artistic integrity. Their most recent project is a suspenseful action-thriller titled “The Horde.”
Recently, Beth spoke to the Examiner about her experiences working with 313 Films and her hopes for the future:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): What inspired you to become a producer?
Beth. A. Thuna (B.A.T): They say timing is everything, and in this case it was definitely true! Doreen Bennett, my sister and producing partner, and I had been thinking about creating a production company for a while, but nothing had transpired. Then during a casual conversation with Paul Logan, he told us about his script for “The Horde.” We discussed the idea and budget and then just jumped into the game. In 2014, 313 FILMS was born.
M.M.: Growing up, what movies and characters had the biggest impact on you? Why?
B.A.T.: I love sweeping romantic dramas such as “Out of Africa.” I know that’s a far departure from an action-horror film, but that movie really changed me. It was so beautifully filmed. Meryl Streep was transformative, and after seeing her performance I wanted to know more about Karen Blixen, the real life character she portrayed. The movie also inspired me to visit Africa. Who knows, maybe someday 313 Films will shoot a movie there.
M.M.: So far, what films have you made in and what has been your favorite?
B.A.T.: Well this is our first film, so of course “The Horde” is our favorite…so far!
M.M.: How did you get involved with "The Horde”?
B.A.T.: Doreen and I knew Paul personally. He had been looking to fund some of the scripts he had written. He told us about “The Horde” and we especially liked that he blended two great genres together - action and horror – but underneath it all, there was still a love story. So we felt that “The Horde” would be a great first project for us to bite our teeth into (no pun intended).
M.M.: If you could make any kind of film, what type/genre of movie would you produce and actors would star in and why?
B.A.T.: Wow, that is a tough one. I love action films, romance and comedies. Maybe a great blend of all three. I would also love to do films that have strong female roles. As far as actors or actresses, Paul Logan always brings great passion and many talents to a project, and the camera loves him. I’m also a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch - he is an amazing actor. As far as actresses, I love Angelina Jolie, Brie Larson, and Jennifer Lawrence. They all have the ability to play vulnerable characters, but then they can just as easily kick your ass.
M.M.: So far, what has been the most rewarding thing about being involved in the movie industry?
B.A.T.: I have enjoyed the process of watching how a film is made from start to finish. It started by bringing together an amazing team helmed by our director, Jared Cohn, who worked closely with Paul Logan in bringing his script and many fight sequences to life. I enjoyed watching our talented DP, Laura Beth Love, and her crew light our many night scenes so beautifully. We had a fantastic cast that brought their A-game every day on set as well as an amazing crew that worked so hard deep into the early hours to complete “The Horde.” The whole process was truly educational, and as first time producers, we were very hands-on and would help out whenever and wherever needed. Once we wrapped, I was very involved with our post-production team that brought the final pieces together with all their combined talents. Everyone worked extremely hard and genuinely cared about this movie. You can tell when you watch “The Horde” that a lot of talented people contributed to this movie and that it’s a fun ride!
M.M.: How did you come up with the name 313 Films?
B.A.T.: Great question! We always knew that our production company was going to be all female, so at first I was playing around with some exotic feminine names. When it came right down to it, though, I thought - well, there are three women who make up this company (my mother Sonia J. Thuna, sister Doreen Bennett and myself) and then my father’s favorite number is 13, so that's how it became 313 Films.
M.M.: What kinds of films does 313 Films seek? Are you currently accepting screenplays? If so, what is the submittal process like?
B.A.T.: We are open to all genres. We would love to see scripts that also feature strong female roles kicking butt. It honestly depends on how strong the script is and whether we're inspired by it and foresee being able to film it within our budget. The script is what matters. As far as submitting scripts, we are happy to receive them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we love it, you'll be hearing from us!
M.M.: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
B.A.T.: I would love our production company 313 FILMS to have many different genres of films in our catalogue. I have definitely fallen in love with making movies and bringing scripts to life.
M.M.: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention?
B.A.T.: We are actually discussing that now. There are a few scripts we are looking at, but it will definitely be some sort of action-suspense movie.
M.M.: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become a producer?
B.A.T.: Well I am no expert, but in my opinion, I would say surround yourself with good people who have a strong sense of humor because you will be spending a lot of time with them. Also, be humble and always be open to learning from everyone on your set. You are in charge, but if something needs to get done, go in there, get your hands dirty, and make it happen.