Fredgy Noël has skillfully created a beautifully moving work of art from a personal tragedy. Milking It will bring you to remember the honest yet complicated facets of human connection in everyday life as well as in love.
We got to sit down with the writer, producer, editor and main actress of this short film as well as share a WildSpice online exclusive clip of Milking It. Step into the world of Josephine and then get to know the creative mind behind the production, Fredgy Noël.
Watch Our Exclusive Clip of Milking It
Interview with Fredgy Noël
Fredgy, as a writer, producer and director you’ve worked with A-list artists from Janelle Monae to Lorde to Kelly Rowland. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a creative? How do you think your past experiences has lead you up to where you are now, working on a project that is completely your own?
Fredgy Noël: I've always seen the beauty and good in people and I think that's where my creativity stems from. I started writing poetry and short stories at a young age, and went on to study English and Dance in college. A lot of my pieces are fairly rhythmic and I credit that with my years as a folkloric modern dancer. My first opportunity in media came as an intern at MTV on-air promotions. From there I moved on to do work for TvLand, the UN, and eventually VH1. Having worked in the industry for almost 10 years, I felt it was important for me to create a project that I could call my own.
Last year I took a month long sabbatical to Europe. Seeing all the ancient architecture, art and culture in their physical form made me realize I had nothing of my own to leave behind. This impacted me very much.
Can you talk a little bit about Milking It and the inspiration behind the film?
Fredgy Noël: Milking It started as I sat crying in a therapy session. My mother-in-law had recently passed away, and I couldn't deal with the loss. I remember saying to my therapist,"Don't you wish you could just date guys for their moms?" I was being irrational, but I realized in that moment that this ridiculous idea I blurted out had actually made me laugh for the first time in weeks. Two days later, I sat at my neighborhood cafe and wrote the first half of Milking It. The following day, I finished the screenplay.
Not only did you direct and produce Milking It, but you're also the main character. What pulled you to break away from just being behind the camera to also being the person in front of it?
Fredgy Noël: I had so much riding on the film and I wasn't sure that I could cast the right actress for such a complicated character; especially since the story was so personal. In order to star in the short, I needed to trust my cast and crew. I needed everyone to fully understand every nuance in each scene. Whether they were lighting, shooting, or styling, it was important for me to make sure everyone was on the same page.
Two days before shooting, I let go of myself and re-read the script as Josephine. On the days we shot, I used different songs from Lana Del Rey's Born To Die record as an emotional guide for each scene. Since I played multiple roles on set, music was my way of getting into the character. I allowed myself to go to the painful places that the character came from. This was the hardest part of the process.
The film has a focus on the simple fact that as humans, we all long for connection with others. How do you hope that your viewers will relate to Josephine? What do you want them to take away from this story?
Fredgy Noël: There are so many layers involved in connecting people and I'm seeing that with this film. The response that I've gotten from girls who miss their ex's moms, guys who miss their ex's moms, moms who are just happy to be recognized and appreciated as people and not only caretakers... it's amazing.
Something that I love is that the production team is made up of all women with backgrounds in the creative arts. Was this a conscious decision and how do you feel that it has impacted the film as a whole?
Fredgy Noël: At first all I wanted to do was reach out to people who I thought were capable and could bring something special to the project. As I met with each person, I realized they were all women. It was all so cool.
I don't think this film would have been made without the support and encouragement from my team of women. I am forever grateful to them for believing in me and my story.
What have you learned from this experience so far? How has it helped you grow as an individual, both on screen and off?
Fredgy Noël: I've learned so much! I've learned to trust my instincts, fight for what I believe in and that leadership is about working hard. My team believed in me because they saw my 3am emails, read my rewrites and saw the passion I had for even the most tedious parts of the process.
Can you share some advice with any of our readers who might feel passionately about pursuing their dreams in the creative world?
Here are my top 3!
- Believe in what you're doing. If you don't believe in the idea no one else will.
- Find the right people to work with and take on as many roles as you can. Team work is not only about delegating, it's about doing.
- Take a class or two. No matter how much you may think you know about something, there's always space to learn something new.
Lastly, we’d love to know. What does wild mean to you?
Fredgy Noël: Wild is free. No pressure, no expectations, just freedom.
Interview and text by Sienna Brown
Sienna Brown is Communications & Marketing Director of WildSpice Magazine. She is constantly on a journey to inspire and be inspired while engaging in different methods of creation. Follow her on twitter and instagram.
More About Fredgy Noël
New York City based artist, Fredgy Noël is an award-winning television writer, director and producer. Her expertise in mainstream/indie music, pop culture, fashion and film has propelled her to work with A-list talent and direct multi-platform campaigns at VH1, MTV and TV Land. Fredgy’s brainchild ‘Milking It’ was written in memory of her late mother-in-law Eve. See more of Fredgy's work here.