Small Talk with Jeanette Sears (Director of Photography)

This October leading up to Halloween, we at 4MileCircus are revisiting the production of Small Talk. We will be adding new special features to the deluxe edition and running a series of reflections here on the blog from writer/director Nicole Witte Solomon and others who made this oddly enduring horror flick.

Today we have a Q&A with Small Talk cinematographer Jeanette Sears. Jeanette is an accomplished cinematographer, photographer, and director. Her short film, “Happenstance” (co-written by Small Talk writer/director Nicole Witte Solomon) recently premiered at IndieWorks. Find her online at

1. Who are you, and how would you describe your role in Small Talk?

My name is Jeanette Sears, and I was the Director of Photography for Small Talk.
2. Do you have a main memory of making Small Talk? Either a specific moment or an overall impression.
Shooting Small Talk was one of the first “real set” experiences I ever had, having learned so much in grad school and it was a chance to put that into practice. The crew was amazing, and the experience overall was so much fun. One of the most memorable parts had to have been nearing the end of our longest day of shooting when we were figuring out how to contort the prosthetic head of Ian Bibby and laughing in exhaustion while we tried to get it as messed up as possible.
Shooting the car scene one dark and COLD night in Westchester-posing-as-Long-Island (Fun Fact! The "Westchester" scene was filmed in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn).
Jeanette shooting the car scene in Westchester-posing-as-Long-Island (Fun Fact! The “Westchester” scene was filmed in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn).
3. What’s your favorite phone sex and/or horror movie?
I don’t know that I have a favorite phone sex movie, but I love Cabin in the Woods. I remember Nicole and I went to see it for some inspiration for Small Talk, and it’s just all around a fun, unique horror film that I could watch again and again. Of course there are the classics like Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I’m a bit of a scaredy cat with horror…
4. What are you up to right now?
Currently I am working on a few upcoming short films as Director of Photography that I am very excited about. I am also helping to edit a documentary series called “I am the T” as well as in the beginning stages of directing my second short film early next year.

Be sure to check out previous Small Talk reflections from Jean Grae (Reporter Gale Winters) and Ed Sacc0 (Smoking fetishist Tim)!

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