Working with Mira Sorvino

Last Wednesday, I worked with Mira Sorvino to record voiceover for a "Witness" documentary about child prostitution and sex trafficking in the United States. 

 Mira and me outside the Cinema School. It was a windy day! Thanks to Jeremy for snapping this one! 

It was a very heavy morning.

"Witness" asked Mira to read the written testimonials of 4 women interviewed about their childhood experience in prostitution. Mira acted out very vivid stories of these children and how they were forced into prostitution by family members, people they trust, and then had to find their own way out.

It was mind-blowing, overwhelming... And I had to sit there and pay attention to sound levels!! 

Mira would stop, breathe and then look at me and Jeremy Kagan, a USC professor who works with Witness and was there to help direct Mira through the voiceover. I'm sure our faces reflected how we felt about the words she was saying!

What really impressed me, though, was how passionate she was about the topic. Whenever she finished a voiceover, she would continue telling us other stories and laws about sex trafficking in the US that she has discovered in her years working on the topic. Apparently if a man pays an underage woman for sex, she gets in serious trouble for prostitution, and he gets barely a prison sentence for sex with a minor.


But "Witness" is helping them. 

Because Mira Sorvino gave her time (and a certain college campus allowed a certain student to record for free...) --  this documentary will get a better audience, a stronger viewing.

This topic means a lot to Mira Sorvino, so it was easy for her to say yes to recording a voiceover for free -- something us filmmakers need to remember. If an actor, director, writer (etc.) is passionate enough about your topic, they may just agree to be a part of your project...for free! 

 Witness & ECPAT sent me a "thank you" gift - a fair trade luggage tag and hand cream from "The Body Shop" made for the benefit of ECPAT's work around the world. It was fun to get this in the mail!

It was just plain cool

I just love Mira and her work, so watching her act and getting to hang out with her for a few hours was wonderful! We all 3 worked together on an accent for one of the can we pretend that I too directed Mira? Can we just pretend??


3 Responses

  1. Ashley, you have a great blog. When you have the time, maybe you can have a read of mine –

  2. Hi Ashley , pls let me know where i can watch your documentary once you finished?am working on same subject in India for film.

    It is observed that Human Trafficking is the second most profitable illegal activity in the world. What happens when a woman’s worst nightmare comes true? What happens when she is made to see and experience a world which simply does not exists even in her wild imagination. A world that is full of obligatory inhabitants most of who have been duped by someone they have known or trusted!
    A realistic and gripping depiction off the deepest levels of prostitution – where women are trafficked, sold and caged – the companions, the journey, the experience and the struggle to get out of these institutions of human degradation as never told before!

  3. Billie

    Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Billie