Katie Holmes makes her directorial debut in 'All We Had'

Katie Holmes makes her directorial debut with the new feature film 'All We Had.' Holmes stars and directs in the film based on the book by Annie Weatherwax under the same name. She plays a mother named Rita who struggles to take care of her teenage daughter, played by Stefania Owens. Katie Holmes, Stefania Owen, Eve Lindley and Jane Rosenthal came to BUILD Series NYC to talk about the film. Here are some behind-the-scenes facts we learned from the new director and cast of the film 'All We Had.'

One year of preparation went into making the film (before shooting even began).
Holmes started preparations for the film a year before they began shooting. Holmes and her production team watched a lot of different movies that inspired them for the look of the film. Some of those movies were 'Alice doesn't live here anymore,' 'A women under the influence' and 'Panic at Needle Park.'

There were no egos on set.
"You kind of don't have an ego because you are all trying to achieve the same thing," Holmes said. The film was a collaborative effort between Holmes and the actors, and she said she found the experience of directing to be a humbling one.

There was some last minute casting.
Owens, who plays Holmes daughter in the film, auditioned for the role one week before she was even cast (which was just two weeks before the film was set to start shooting).

There were a lot of the off-script moments in the film.
Holmes shared that she wanted to get a natural reaction from the actors. "I went into this wanting to do takes where we were off book, because I find that the behavior between characters is so much more interesting than dialogue," she said.

Holmes has a greater appreciation for actors.
"You find so many moments that you don't necessarily see on the day {of shooting} ... as an actor, it has made me want to always ask for another take," she shared. After the editing process, she saw all different takes that the actors in the film created and all that she had to work with. The more takes and interpretations of each scene gave Holmes a lot more to work with.

Editing was the most challenging thing Holmes had to try and figure out.
When you are editing, you are in a room looking at a monitor all day and that is something I had to adjust to," Holmes shared. As an actor, she's always been the one performing the story. Now, as a director, she had to piece together the creation.

This won't be Holmes last time directing. (Hopefully.)
Holmes said she loves directing other actors and enjoys the creative empowerment from running a set a certain way.

You can see 'All We Need' on December 9 at select theaters and on iTunes.