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Q&A: TL Westgate talks 'Missiya', a spy film packed with humor, action, and a few plot twists



Directed by Dale Metz


Mitch Woods is a wet works agent with a long history in the spy game. After his latest mission, someone tries to kill him. Now it’s a race against time to find out who the unknown assassin is.


Q&A with TL Westgate

TL Westgate, Writer of Missiya and "Mitch Woods" actor
TL Westgate, Writer of Missiya and actor for "Mitch Woods"

Q1: Tell us a little about Missiya, Winner of Best Short Film (1-10 minutes) in the festival.

Dale Metz and I made this film for the Orlando Independent Filmmakers "Arise" challenge. We chose to make a spy film and were lucky enough to meet Anastasiia Bratchenko, a native Russian actress attending UCF for an acting degree. The title is a Russian word for "the mission."

Q2: Where did the idea for this film come from?

When Dale and I first sat down with Anastasiia, we asked her what she like to shoot - comedy or drama. She said drama, so we went in that direction. I don't want to give away too much about the plot, but we used her to good advantage for the story.

Q3: What were some key challenges when making this film? How did you overcome them?

The major challenge was scheduling. We had several actors from ALL over central Florida, so coordinating shoot days was tricky. But it all worked out!

Q4: Tell us a funny anecdote or a memorable moment from making this film.

Some interesting tidbits from this film include that fact that we were able to take advantage of a trip I took during shooting to capture footage in Washington, DC. Also, Dale and I shot some footage in Paris a few years back, hoping to one day use it in a film. Well, this was that film! It worked into the story line perfectly.

Q5: How did you get into the film industry?

I got into the film industry through osmosis, lol. I was a stage actor as a child in local theater, but it always terrified me to go out on stage in front of 500 people. When I was gifted a VHS camcorder in high school, I never looked back. Acting in from of a camera is much easier!

Q6: What films or filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

Some influential filmmakers for me are Spielberg, Cameron, Kosinski.

Q7: Do you have a favorite film project that you have done? Why?

My favorite film with Dale is Bodyhackers. We made that for the 48 Hour Film Project in Tampa a few years back. It was a simple premise that really worked well due to our outstanding actors - Ashlyn Jade Lopez and Derek Ziegler. It did well on the festival circuit.

Q8: What advice would you share with a new filmmaker about filmmaking or the industry?

My advice is the usual - just do it. You have to get those bad films under your belt before you can start improving. Also, go to festivals. See what's out there. See what works and what doesn't.

Q9: Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects?

I'm shooting another 48 Hour Film Project this weekend, but you never know what genre you'll get. So I'd like to tell you all about my next film - but I have no idea what it'll be yet!

Q10: Where can people find out more about your work?

My site is and Dale's is

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