Box Talks: Local Filmmaker Dawn Jones Redstone

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Funnelbox talks with local filmmaker Dawn Jones Redstone about her latest projects and what it’s been like to work with Funnelbox this year.

Watch a snippet of our conversation, read the full interview below, and find out how you can learn more about Dawn’s work and recent film.

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FULL INTERVIEW

 

Christian: Dawn, welcome to Box Talks. So excited to have you. Introduce yourself to our audience.

Dawn: Yes. My name is Dawn Jones Redstone, and I’m a filmmaker and I also have my own video production business, Hearts+Sparks Productions, but I’m also a creative director at Funnelbox working part-time right now.

Christian: Could you tell us a little bit about your connection with Funnelbox and how that came to be?

Dawn: Yeah. Okay, let’s see. So, earlier this year, Joel Pomeroy, who’s the executive creative director at Funnelbox reached out to me about the possibility of coming on board here. And I was kind of at a place where I’ve been, you know, thinking a lot about, like, what could be next for me. And the offer was really interesting and decided to take up Joel on the idea. And I’ve now been working with Funnelbox part-time since August of this year.

Christian: And how’s that experience been? Like, what kind of stuff have you been working on?

Dawn: Yeah. It’s been really cool to work at Funnelbox actually. I just remember coming into work on the first day at Funnelbox and there was just, like, this cool group of folks, like, gathered around the table. And it just made me realize how much I might have missed, like, having coworkers. So, that’s been probably one of the best things about it. Also, just this particular group of people. Like, just, you know, folks that are kind and are actively creating a workplace that feels like a place you wanna go to.

But perhaps most importantly is, I just see an alignment with Funnelbox’s work and my own work because I think of it as, like, the marriage of two things. One, just this desire to participate in and actively contribute to the community as well as video production. And, like, anytime I get to do those two things together, like, that’s my favorite.

And so whether that’s some of the ways that Funnelbox is in the community by uplifting and being inclusive, or making space available to folks, or there’s a number of things like offsetting carbon footprint, I love that. We’re a B Corp, and it’s just been a great place to work. But also I’m just thrilled to have jumped into some really cool projects already, like directing the New Season spot. We’ve just been working on this short documentary about the vaping crisis in Douglas County. I’m really excited about what I’m actually getting to work on as well.

 

“that’s one of the things that I think I also have in common with Funnelbox in the sense that I think that how you make something is always as important as what you’re actually making.”

 

Christian: Speaking of stuff you’re working on, tell us about what other projects you have going on. Speak to your broader filmmaking community in Portland.

Dawn: Okay. So, I’ve been a filmmaker for a while now. I’m mostly self-taught, you know, taken some random classes here or there online or, you know, community college stuff, but I’ve mostly learned by making films. I started making shorts, 2015 was my first short that kind of, you know, was on the festival circuit and started winning awards. And I went on to continue making things.

And then in 2021, I was fortunate to have shot my first feature film. And that film called “Mother of Color” just came out for distribution in the past couple of months. And we have a special edition Blu-ray that’s coming out that I’m excited about as well. And I’m also working on two other feature scripts, one with a writing partner, Annie Tonsiengsom, and one myself. So, I’m still a filmmaker, still working on projects. One of the feature films has a proof of concept that’s gonna be on the festival circuit as well as a short, so I’m just always trying to find a way to make things.

Christian: Awesome. Can you briefly talk about any of those? Are those ready to be talked about? 

Dawn: Yeah. Let’s see. Okay. Well, I should say what “Mother of Color” is about. So, “Mother of Color” is a story about a single mother of two who begins receiving these mysterious messages from her ancestors just as she sets out to try to get to this, you know, job interview of a lifetime with a local commissioner. And Former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is in the film, you know, has a special appearance, and Luz Elena Mendoza, but the star is Ana del Rocio. And she carries the film amazingly and has gotten, like, rave reviews for her performance and has been a delight to work with. But that is just a project that will always be in my heart as it makes its way out into the world now. And it’s so fun to see, like, people all around the country watching it and talking about it online.

The other two projects that I’m working on, both feature film scripts, one of them is about a woman who agrees to have an experimental device attached to her to allow her to begin to experience emotions again. And it’s like a sci-fi comedy. The other one is still under wraps but also a comedy. So, I’ve gone from kind of thriller, drama genre to the comedy world, maybe a reflection of my own state of mind right now.

Christian: Well, congratulations on making your first feature film. We know what a feat that is. And doing it in Portland and keeping it local is just amazing. Share with us what is next. How can people, kind of, learn more or reach out?

Dawn: “Mother of Color” can be found on most major streamers, including Prime Video and Tubi as well. Another one of the things I’m talking a lot about right now is the special edition Blu-ray for “Mother of Color.” We have about 130 minutes of all the fun stuff you get to do in a special edition like DVD commentary and behind-the-scenes like mini-doc about how we made this project.

Our team, Tara Johnson-Medinger and Ashley Song, the producers, and I all work together to be really thoughtful in how we made the story. And so that’s one of the things that I think I also have in common with Funnelbox in the sense that I think that how you make something is always as important as what you’re actually making. And so we talked a lot about that and put that together in the DVD. So, if you wanna learn more about that, you can find us on motherofcolorfilm.com. You can find me on Instagram most often @dawnjonesredstone. But I’m a Google Search away, so I’m easy to find.

Christian: Awesome. Well, it’s amazing to have you on the team. And thank you for your contributions. Congratulations on your work, and we can’t wait to see all the new things that you come up with.

Dawn: Thank you. Thanks for having me.