The Daily Quarterly: Who was your favorite filmmaker growing up?
PL: It’s hard to say who my favorite filmmaker growing up was. I had favorite actors when I was a kid, but I think the filmmaker that really influenced me when I was in college was Steve McQueen…the director not the actor.
TDQ: What was your favorite movie growing up?
PL: My favorite movie growing up was “Life is Beautiful” (La Vita è Bella) by Roberto Benign. I saw that film at a really young age, and it truly impacted me forever. It was a lesson on storytelling I didn’t quite understand until I got older. The use of comedy was such a brilliant device in those horrific circumstances in order to protect the innocence of a child.
TDQ: What made you decide to become a filmmaker?
PL: Cooper Ulrich, my fiancé, was the one that told me I could and should do this. But I’ve always had a fascination with storytelling and human psychology. I think filmmaking ended up being just a natural outlet for this fascination.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
PL: I have so many influences. My family and the world we live in are my influences for stories, but the storytellers I’m influenced and inspired by are: Steve McQueen, Guillermo Del Toro, Denis Villeneuve, Antonio Campos.
TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
PL: Say little. Do much.
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
PL: Oh geez, this list is too long. Before production of “Mail Order Monster”, a PR guy told me that ‘the female filmmaker thing is dead and I shouldn’t use that as part of advertising my film.’TDQ: Tell us about your latest movie, “Mail Order Monster”
PL: The log line for the film is “A girl seeks help and guidance from a robot monster to cope with the bullies at school and her father’s new girlfriend.” It’s a family, sci-fi, adventure drama that is loosely based on my own life. My stepmother came into my life when I was about 13 and my siblings and I grew up with a single dad for a long time. It’s a true indie and I really hope audiences enjoy the “indie-ness” of it as well as the messages in the story.
TDQ: What project are you working on next?
PL: I’ve been doing a lot of writing. Currently been hired to write another feature as well as working on some fun projects of my own both in the branded, commercial space and narrative.
TDQ: Has the entertainment industry become more welcoming to female filmmakers since you started your career, or do you think it is it still just as difficult?
PL: A little bit of both. People are way more willing to get a female filmmaker involved in a project or in the room, but this industry is never easy. We cannot rely on our gender to get us a job. Content standards are higher and with the democratization of the content, the competition pool becomes bigger.
TDQ: Where do you see yourself and Jax Productions in five years?
PL: Hopefully still creating, but on a bigger scale.