Last winter, a friend's daughter's friend got in touch with me. She had seen The Long Rescue's Indiegogo campaign and was interested in interning! Lucy was available during her summer break from, drumroll please: NYU film school.
Wow. Yes! It was too good to be true... but Lucy Brillhart did in fact come back for the summer, looking all New York chic. Not only has she been helping out with the film, but she has also filled me in on important topics. Like the fact that kids today don't use Facebook, email, or the phone, they communicate through Snapchat and Instagram. Talk about a visually attuned generation...
So to get to know her a little better, we asked her some probing questions. I love that she chose strong women as her inspiration, and that her favorite sandwich has gravy. I have to admit, the film that inspired her at the tender age of 14 is definitely not what I expected.
So... Heeeere's Lucy!
What's your favorite sandwich?
My favorite sandwich is probably the open face roast beef sandwich with gravy. There used to be a wonderful restaurant in downtown Livermore that had a cafeteria style set up where I could order this sandwich. I would love going there with family or friends.
If you could invite any three people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be and why?
The three people I would invite to dinner would be Frida Kahlo, as she is my artistic inspiration, Eleanor Roosevelt, as she was a great political source of influence during a time in which women's rights were changing, and my Great Aunt Elisabeth, as I was named after her.
Where are you from?
I was born in a suburb outside of Chicago, but moved to the Bay Area when I was around five years old. Now, I mostly reside in New York City as I am attending college at New York University.
How did you get interested in film?
As long as I can remember I have been inventing stories. When I was twelve years old I starting writing a book; however, frustrated with the limitations of that particular medium I switched to writing the story in script style. And since, all of my stories have been told in script form.
What are some of your favorite films or TV shows, and what inspires you?
The TV show Pushing Daisies sparked my interest in dark comedy, and Netflix's Orange is the New Black furthered my inspiration of Emmy award-winning drama. However, my biggest inspiration was Kill Bill:Vol. 1. When I was 14 years old my dad gave me a copy of the dvd to watch on my laptop once everyone else in the house was asleep. At the stroke of midnightI feel in love with Tarantino's twisted style of humor, and I knew that film was the artistic medium that I was searching for.
Why are you interested in working on The Long Rescue?
I feel a lot of compassion for the situation that the girls at My Refuge House are in, and by helping with this documentary I am in some small way be making a positive difference in their lives.
What have you been working on so far?
So far I have been editing the Thank You Videos for the donors, as well as setting as social media outlets for the documentary.
What other projects are you working on?
I am currently in the process of writing a script for a short film, as well as advising casting for a web series that will be shot in New York CIty later this year.
What is your dream film project?
My dream film project is any length feature film where I am the producer.
What do you do to relax?
I love to read books, sit on my front porch with friends, play cards with my family, or curl up and take a nap with my cat.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
I would like to happily employed, or attending grad school to obtain my masters.
I've been kind of MIA lately, burning the midnight oil to prep for my indiegogo campaign which I've soft-launched today. Doing crowd funding is such a great concept, but in practice it puts together all of my phobias --taking the stage, asking my friends and family for money, being open about my needs and dreams. It's all very insomnia making.
But I am so humbled and blown away by people's generosity. My friend Yuki, who was the first to donate. My friend Diana, who is starting up a business and doesn't have extra piles of cash exactly lying around, third to donate. And of course my friends Liz and Dan, who not only introduced me to my husband Doug, but have seen me in some of my lower points in life -- donated. I feel very undeserving, and also like I have a lot to live up to. It's true what they say, that the crowd funding creates a community, because I feel like I owe it to every person who donates to make every penny count.
When looking for perks, I remembered Equal Exchange, a great organization that works with local farmers around the world to make organic, fair trade chocolate, coffee, tea, nuts, etc. It's really high quality product, and so I gave them a call thinking I might get a bit of a discount. They did me one better, and are donating chocolate for the campaign!
I mean, it actually tastes even better than it looks, if you can believe it.
This is all part of what it means to be a documentary filmmaker these days. I thought it was about filming and editing, but so much of the stuff that happens around the outside of that --the fundraising, the relationships, the approaching of scary, famous people, the searching for a photo of yourself that you don't hate to post around the internet --that's just as important.
I am thinking about doing a podcast about the journey of a first time filmmaker. I don't know, would that be interesting to you?