It’s every film major’s dream to land a job in their area of expertise directly out of college, and alumna Kim Blacknall’s dream is coming true. Blacknall is no stranger to working on professional film sets. She interned on Hostiles, a film starring Christian Bale that was filmed in New Mexico over the summer, and worked in accounting, folding checks for paid cast and crew. Blacknall spent a lot of time working on sets without compensation, building connections and experience, all the way unknowingly leading herself to her dream job. Blacknall is working as a production and script supervisor assistant for up and coming Netflix mini-series Godless.
Godless is an American Western set in the 1880’s; it follows the journey of outlaw, Frank Griffin (portrayed by Jeff Daniels), as he searches for his partner-turned-enemy Roy Goode (portrayed by Jack O’Connell). Griffin’s travels lead him to a town made up entirely of women in La Belle, New Mexico. The show is scheduled to air on Netflix in late 2017.
Blacknall has been apart of the Godless family for a little over a month, filming 12+ hour days as long as the weather permits. “If there’s a lightning strike within six miles of the set, legally you have to shut everything down. Then you have 30 minutes to wait and see if there’s more. If it stops, you’re good,” she says. Not only does Blacknall deal with New Mexico monsoon season and shooting in rural areas, during weather controlled scenes she wears a buff, which is a multi-functional piece of headwear that protects your skin from the elements. Buffs are worn by the crew for sandstorm scenes, while the cast discreetly wear bandanas to cover their faces. Godless is being filmed in and around Santa Fe, including Abiquiu and Pecos.
Admitted as a Creative Writing and Literature student in 2012, Blacknall found her passion for film her second semester at SFUAD when former Film School faculty member Michael Yates convinced her to take his Introduction to Film class. She then developed a passion for film and an interest in areas of it she had not experienced. “Everyone thought that I would go into Screenwriting. Well why would I do that? I already know all I know about writing, I don’t know anything about film,” she says.
Blacknall graduated from Santa Fe University of Art and Design in May 2016 with a BFA in Film Production. While interning in accounting for Hostiles, Blacknall learned about the position. Blacknall was enthralled to find an entry level position that would give her the experience for script supervising she needs. As script supervisor assistant, Blacknall’s responsibilities include keeping track of continuity, taking notes on good and bad scenes and meticulously reading the script to ensure actor’s don’t make mistakes, and if they do, they’re noted.
Blacknall says she will remain in Santa Fe as long as there is work in film for her, but doesn’t want to limit herself to New Mexico. She says if her boss wants to take her to L.A, New York, anywhere— she’ll go.
Blacknall says, “Who knows, with my connections, where anything will lead to? I’m anywhere it takes me.”