Project Spotlight

Dawn (2013, short, drama)
Directed by Rose McGowan
Starring Tara Barr, Reiley McClendon and Hannah Marks

"I just finished my first piece for RSA Black Dog, which is Ridley Scott's commercial music video company. I directed a 20-minute short with amazing actors. It was a really amazing project to do, and I felt really comfortable doing it, more so than I ever have acting."



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Articles
Article written on January 30, 2014 by RoseRockse-mail

Rose McGowan made her directorial debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival with a disturbing and gripping short dubbed Dawn. Starring Tara Barr as a sheltered youth and Reiley McClendon as her seemingly dreamy beau-to-be, the film explores sex and violence in the early ’60s — a time that perilously preferred to wall off such subjects with white picket fences. Though this is the longtime actress’ first time behind the lens, her career has veered into this era before, often musically. She performed Peggy Lee’s “Fever” in an episode of Charmed, depicted singer Ann-Margaret in CBS’ Elvis series, and sung “You Belong to Me” for Planet Terror (part of 2007’s Grindhouse double-feature).

SPIN sat down with McGowan in Park City, Utah, and discovered not only that our hunch about her retro tastes was on point, but that she’s also prone to singing Sir Mix-a-Lot at family gatherings, and hiring entire brass bands while stoned. Listen in:

What inspired you to tell the story of Dawn?
I’m really fascinated by girl culture in that period. My mom, who just turned 60, was raised by that kind of a mother, where she wasn’t allowed to develop her own internal voice. Women in that era were particularly primed to please men. And to look and act perfect, which can — at any age, and for a male too — lead you down the wrong path.

Does music figure into the film?
Quite a lot. At one point, Dawn is reading a Tab Hunter interview — he’s more substantial than Justin Bieber, but he was massive — and trying to figure out how she should act on a date. He says, “I like girls that ask questions, but not too many questions,” and later you hear Hunter’s “Young Love” playing. So not modern music, per se…

But that era of music is a recurring theme in your career.
I guess I just got lost in a stitch in time. I mean, I don’t go around trying to dress like I’m from another era, but I think my brain belongs somewhere else. I grew up listening to Maria Callas and Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson. I’ve sung on soundtracks, but I’d love to sing something that’s really old school and do, like, a club remix — something super fierce.

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Articles
Article written on January 18, 2014 by RoseRockse-mail

When the time came for Rose McGowan to direct her first project…she lost the rights to the script. In a scramble, two friends—M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller—wrote a short for her, which was made into “Dawn,” about a sheltered teen looking to break out of her little bubble. Now after a lot of hard work, the film will be screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

“I told them the ending scene I wanted and the last line I wanted, and they ran with it and delivered a beautiful script,” McGowan says. And that they did. “Dawn” is a particularly haunting short film wherein a happy, perfect world turns dark, and leaves the audience wanting more.

McGowan starred on “Charmed” for many years, and in the Quentin Tarantino “Grindhouse” films, “Death Proof,” and “Planet Terror,” but with “Dawn,” she’s finally made her directorial debut. Her vision for herself as a director is modeled after the work of David O. Russell, David Fincher, and the great Billy Wilder.

The established star discusses her passion for film, and what she’s learned from directing.

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Articles
Article written on January 18, 2014 by RoseRockse-mail

Nineteen years after effectively launching her acting career at Sundance with Gregg Araki’s “The Doom Generation,” Rose McGowan is back in Park City to launch her directing one with her accomplished directorial debut, the short film “Dawn.”

Since becoming an icon to the hipster generation via Araki’s lurid thriller, McGowan has made a career out of playing deadpan, glamor pusses, most notably in the first “Scream,” TV’s “Charmed,” Robert Rodriguez’s bloody Grindhouse homage “Planet Terror” and the teen cult comedy “Jawbreaker.” She doesn’t’ star in “Dawn,” but her fingerprints are all over the material from its satiric edge to its dark heart. The period pic concerns a closeted teenage girl (played by “God Bless America” breakout Tara Lynne Barr) who decides to walk on the wild side when she encounters a hunky gas station attendant. What unfolds over the course of their courtship is shocking, and best left a surprise.

Indiewire caught up with McGowan before Sundance to discuss her debut, why she feels like a natural born filmmaker, and her future feature film.

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Articles
Article written on January 18, 2014 by RoseRockse-mail

From the opening shot of Dawn, you know something is not quite right. In an eerie flash-forward, the scene is set for the directorial debut of Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker, Planet Terror, Charmed). The story focuses on Tara Barr (God Bless America) who plays the title character. She is a shy and quiet teenager in mid last century America, donning saddle shoes and all. Clearly sheltered by strict parents, she is a rule following good girl. One smile to the local boy who works at the fill up station and she is smitten. Her innocence isn’t long lived when she invites the boy and his two friends over to listen to records while mom and dad are out of town. All she wants is some attention but, as everyone knows, peer pressure can be the end of who you truly are.

This 17 minute short is so incredibly lush in it’s color pallet and the soundtrack truly captures the era. Tara is lovely on screen. Regardless of the year, this character is someone we either knew or were at some point in our adolescence. You see every honest beat in Barr’s eyes. You want everything to turn out alright for her in the end. The film left me literally breathless, heart racing and disturbed. I am so impressed with McGowan’s dark choices. The woman clearly has a strong point of view and I cannot wait to see what’s next.

Directed by: Rose McGowan
Written by: M.A. Fortin, Joshua John Miller
Cast: Tara Barr, Reiley McClendon, Hannah Marks, Michael Moskewicz, Julia Sanford, John Grady
TRT: 17 minutes
Country: USA
Langauge: English
Genre: Thriller

Source: CinemIt


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Articles
Article written on January 18, 2014 by RoseRockse-mail

While Rose McGowan is known for taking on edgy roles in the films like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s “Grindhouse” and the hit TV series “Charmed,” she says she only recently found her true calling, behind the camera.

“Directing wasn’t particularly challenging, I find acting more challenging,” McGowan told FOX411 ahead of the Thursday night Sundance Film Festival screening of her directorial debut short film, “Dawn.” “I’m used to handling a lot. I run a tight ship. I find acting harder because I have no control in that. I kept waiting for the panic attack to happen while directing, but it just didn’t… I like acting, but if I never act again, I’ll be okay.”

Written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller, who McGowan first met when she skipped school as a 14-year-old to play a movie extra, “Dawn” is centered on a quiet teenager living in a Kennedy-era America who longs for something or someone to free her from her sheltered life. The girl soon meets a boy at the local gas station who gets more from her than he anticipated.

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