Who am I?
Updated: May 13, 2020
My name is Molly Preston, and I'm the writer and director of Freedom, WI. I live in Portland, OR, where I have been working in film professionally for 6 years.
I've been around cameras and filmmaking for as long as I can remember. When I was little, my dad worked on a PBS series called Adam Smith's Money World - first as a researcher, then as a producer.
On occasion, my dad would bring a camera home with him. This allowed me to explore my early creativity. It also led to capturing some... formative moments in my childhood - young Molly doing not so well in sports; performing as a tree one week, and then moving up to play Peter the next week in a summer camp production of Peter and the Wolf; creating an MTV Cribs-style show; and playing a role in a (kind of strange) kids' production of Phantom of the Opera (see video below).
Working in the film and television industry goes back another generation in my family. My grandpa (my mom's dad) was a cameraperson and chief engineer at two east-coast CBS and NBC stations. He taught me how the red, green, and blue pixels on a TV set make the image that we see. I spent hours with my nose up against the TV after that, trying to watch the dance of the pixels. He's the one operating the broadcast camera in the photo below.
I've been writing stories and scripts since I could hold a crayon in my hand. My childhood pièce de résistance was a full episode of Friends, written in one of my many diaries (the kind that came with a lock and key). Looking back on it now, I'm surprised by my ability to take the characters’ manner of speech and interactions with each other to create a script, especially considering that the show involved themes that I most certainly did not understand at age 12. (And yes... I did write the script using sparkly gel pens. Thank you for noticing!)
After graduating college with a degree in history, and several jobs later (coffee shop, bar, dance store, law firm, international economic consulting agency...), I made my dream and hobby of filmmaking into a career. I started off as a production assistant on a pilot and on several independent productions, I interned on Portlandia, and dabbled in assistant camera work on small productions. I then quickly moved into working full time as an editor and producer, and directing my own projects when time allows.
Freedom, WI will be the first feature that I've written and will direct, but I feel like I've spent my entire life preparing for it - from my childhood productions to now professionally working on dozens of features, shorts, music videos, series, commercials, etc. I am ready. Bring it on!