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Janice Woo reveals the daunting task of creating the feature film Angels Never Cry
Those who are not involved in the film and television industry often wonder, "What exactly does a producer do?" In truth, the essence of this role on a production is to be the individual who makes sure no excuse is allowed to derail the project.

While actors and directors get all of the public attention, a producer takes the responsibility for every potential misstep and hiccup that could become catastrophic. It's the least amount of praise for the greatest amount of work. Some productions are more demanding than others, as producer Janice Lok Woo experienced on the feature film Angels Never Cry. Woo will concede that the work was arduous but the final results were worth every uncomfortable moment of the process which included the last minute departure of essential production team members, subzero temperatures, international travel, and more. All of these factors could not dissuade Woo.

It was her drive which permeated the production, leading the film to awards across the planet from the Cult Critic Movie Awards, Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Berlin Flash Film Festival, Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, and others. The producer notes that while film school can teach you a lot, nothing prepares you like the actual making of a film in the private sector. Angels Never Cry was Janice's trial by fire which tempered her abilities and resolve as a film producer.

Often a sign of a greatness is perseverance. Janice had decided on shooting Angels Never Cry in Iceland. This country offers truly grand and cinematic locations which contributed to the appearance of such films as Rouge One and The Force Awakens (of the Star Wars series), Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, HBO megahit Game of Thrones, and numerous others. There's an otherworldly and yet visceral reality to this land, something which Janice wanted to present in Angels Never Cry. The film was set to be shot in Reykjavik with an Icelandic leading actress and Icelandic co-producer (who was preparing everything in advance for the location). When the co-producer fell short and was removed from the production team, Woo found herself with a cast and crew who had flights booked…and virtually nothing else.

Scrambling to reserve equipment, accommodations, and locations for the shoot, Janice met her Rubicon in Iceland and pushed through. She concedes, "My family and friends tried to persuade me to give up shooting in Iceland but I knew this was a defining moment for me and the film. I landed in the country two weeks before shooting was to begin and found that the application for shooting hadn't been filed by my former associate, meaning that the tax rebates which would make the project feasible were not going to be available to us. I went into overdrive rather than focusing on possible defeat. I enlisted some help from local companies like Hero Productions and truenorth who were sympathetic to what had happened; we were soon back in business." 

If the complication ended there, all would have been well. Of course, the more difficult the experience…the better the story. To make ends meet, hotels were switched to Airbnb. The cold was so bitter that it allowed for storage in the natural environment (saving on storage and catering) but also caused some of the crew members to pack up and return home to avoid the freezing environment. Undefeated, Janice comments, "It was harsh, without question. If you love making movies, then you persevere through it. Nearly all of my cast and crew stuck around. They may not have been happy about the cold but we were like minded in our passion and vision." Woo points out that Eva Oskarsdottir (also lead actress) and Eva Porsteinsdottir (key makeup) made major contributions as co-producers because of their belief in the film. 

Janice Woo's resolution to shoot this film in Iceland is validated by the emotional thread which runs through the film. Angels Never Cry is about dealing with difficulty in life and never feeling completely at ease. The story centers on a female painter who is losing her sight. Theresa (the main character) is in a marriage with an unsupportive husband. When she finds herself in an affair with another artist, she feels understood and appreciated for the first time in years. Though she is ready to leave her marriage to be with her new found love, details about his past become evident and Theresa begins to question whether her lover is truly who she thinks he is. 

Angels Never Cry has received a deluge of accolades from the film community such as the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Berlin Flash Film Festival, Bucharest ShortCut CineFest, and others. Woo's films are often known for their benevolent lack of plain spoken clarity about the morals of the characters. It's an aspect which she finds intriguing and which she attributes the success of Angels Never Cry to as she notes, "This is a film you can relate to. There is a protagonist and antagonist obviously, but no one is completely innocent or completely evil. They're who they are because of a reason. The audience must find something they can relate to. The story is as much about making mistakes as making the choice to forgive. That's much more interesting and personal than revenge."

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