HEC Profiles: Film Producer Shanna MacDonald

By Amalia Thermopolis
Posted on 31 Oct 2010 at 1:00am

Hollywood East Connection recently had the chance to interview New England producer Shanna MacDonald.  MacDonald has produced two films to date, Beg, about a burnt out detective who is being forced into early retirement just as one of the worst serial killers begins a killing spree, and The Witching Hour, a psychological thriller made up of a series of vignettes and interweaving story lines.

Film producers Shanna MacDonald, Kevin MacDonald and actor Michael Madsen on set of "The Witching Hour"

MacDonald, who never went to film school, started producing when her husband, Kevin, wrote the script for Beg and she decided to help him make it.  Soon, Tony Moran, who was the original Michael Myers in the scary movie Halloween became involved and although it was conceived as a short in 2007, by 2009 Beg wrapped as a feature length film.  The film was mostly funded out of pocket by the MacDonalds who say of the experience, “it’s been crazy stressful, but it pays off in the end.”

While finding distribution for Beg, the MacDonalds have started production on their second feature, The Witching Hour. This time, Moran is producing and played a big part in casting.  Moran, who had taken a hiatus from Hollywood, loved the script and will be working along side actors, William Forsythe and Tony Todd.

Image from the film Beg

When asked about her experience producing her films within New England, MacDonald was full of nothing but compliments.  She raved about New England’s film community saying that “…they’re just fabulous.  Everyone around here has been great to work with.”  She even cited a fruitful collaboration with Sean Doyle’s Baker Street Productions.

As for advice for aspiring producers and those who want to take the chance to make their own film, MacDonald says to “keep working at it” and “really try to get everyone together” because “it’s worth it in the end,” adding, “If you don’t go for your dreams, then you’ll never know.”  To keep up with the progress of Beg, check out the film’s website.

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