Its 2:37 am
Welcome to another “8 Questions with…….”
I’m have been waiting for this chance to sit and talk with film director Lisa Ovies once again. It has been over two years since we last chatted and it has taken that long for her new film “Puppet Killer” to finally hit the festival arena where it has racked up several wins. Lisa is currently working on a distributing deal that see Simon meet his adoring fans at long last.
Lisa is one of my favorite people,she is one of the kindest and most generous persons I have met and her desire to help young actors through her teaching studio Rogue Studios to be respected and admired,several of her young students have started landing parts in various movies and TV shows,she is such a positive force in so many people’s lives.
Her sense of adventure and fun also stand out as she tackled one of the difficult challenges any performer can face,much less a film director and that was doing a stand-up comedy set. For someone who has never tried going onstage before,it still wasn’t surprising to hear that she did a bang up job. She is a lady of many talents.
The cheetah (who says Lisa is his spirit animal) and I are excited to be able to watch and review “Puppet Killer” and am so relieved for Lisa and her team that the journey is just about over,I can see why directors treat their film projects so passionately….but for now,while we a chance……let’s go ask one of my favorite directors,the amazing Lisa Ovies,another 8 Questions……..
Its pretty awesome to chat with you again,Lisa. Last time we chatted you were taking your new film “Puppet Killer” to post. What is the current status of Simon today?
Thank you! It is always great to chat with you.
We are done and released into the world and we could not be happier! We started our festival run mid September where we took home Runner Up Best Feature at Mid West Monster Fest and it has been a surreal ride ever since. By the end of this month (October) we will have played on 5 continents and we have already won 16 awards and are nominated for another 10. My mind is truly blown as you know how hard I worked to finish this film properly and honestly some people pushed me to finish quicker and with less quality. All this recognition helps me remember the fight and patience was more than worth it and my post team DESTROYED. I am so in love with the finished product and have loved sharing it with audiences and horror fans alike. I would not have this film without my amazing team and they have my heart for life.
Can you walk us through what a “pre-production” and a “post-production” is?
Pre production is a lot of paperwork and laying the ground work. Location and tech scouting,our practical FX builds and designs, finalizing the script, casting, working out the budget, building sets and props, sorting wardrobe.. all the pieces that go into creating what we end up filming. Our pre production also including puppet training and camera tests with the puppet to try to make our on screen kills as practical as possible.
Post is more paperwork (AHH!) and then our editing, our VFX, color correction, our sound design and music (Sound designer Robert Phaneuf and composer Stephen Gallagher did an AMAZING job) clearances, title builds ect. In our case, because we had unexpected costs that ate up our post budget, so we took the time to raise enough money to finish properly. We used a fantastic finishing House ‘Finale Post’ and although it was painful to take so long to get it out, it was more than worth the wait.
How is Rogue Studios doing? Have any of your acting school students landed any major roles or awards yet? What do you like about teaching the most?
Rogues Studios is doing fantastic and I love coming home and working with my students. I love watching them grow and their hard work paying off! They are leads in movies now or reoccurring on tv shows that would have only been a dream to them a few years ago. A few to mention are Childs Play, Riverdale, Nancy Drew. But really, they are almost constantly booking so it is hard to keep our website updated and I could not be more proud.
What I like most about teaching is the personal connection. I love each and every one of my students and have close relationships with my parents. Many of my students call me their second mom (Momma Shark) and being a part of their growth, their passion, and being a human they trust and can come to when they need an ear, that means more than I could ever put into words.
I saw that you recently did some stand-up comedy? You are a naturally funny person,did stand-up come easy for you? Did you enjoy your experience before a live audience?
Well, thank you for calling me funny! I think I am more sarcastic than funny and I can say it did not come easy for me. I have been a professional improv performer and instructor for 8 years and I would say the disciplines were very different for me. I have always wanted to try stand up but was terrified of it. I don’t think people give stand ups enough credit, the skill to entertain strangers with non stop dialogue all alone on stage, a true gift.
One of my students Ragini actually signed me up for class because she knew I would never go on my own. My goal was to get through class and do the one stand up show at the end of the program. I was terrified, and I don’t often get scared, so I knew it was something I should lean into for my won growth but damn, truly nervous. At the student show, I was approached to do a show at Yuk Yuk’s, Canada’s most prominent comedy club and I guess it has been following me ever since. Just last week I was offered another paid gig to do a set. I keep saying it is my last show but evidently I have no idea what I am talking about lol
In your opinion,why do comedians adjust to doing drama so much better then dramatic actors doing comedy?
That is a hard answer for me as every actor is different and I think some have done both successfully but my instinct would be that comedic timing is intuitive, it is hard to teach. Some people just have the gift and that is a skill that can then be transitioned into drama, a form of acting that is most times, more available with the proper training.
One of your students is at an audition and another actor,who is also trying for the same role,asks for your student for help……what are you telling your student and why?
That is actually a great question and a scenario I have not brought up specifically with them so I think I will. I do however, teach them to hold each other up and to celebrate each others wins. They often go up against each other and truly celebrate when any of them book. I think in this circumstance they would lean into the opportunity to help the other actor and leave proud of themselves for doing so.
(Lisa telling Pennywise she already has a spirit animal)
Outside of acting,teaching and directing….what makes you happy?
First and foremost that will always be my dogs, my family and my friends. They are all amazing in their own way and bring me so much love and joy. I have had a hard few years and I was humbled by the support I received from them all.
Beyond the human connection, I love hot yoga, snowboarding and travel. I have been lucky to do a fair amount of all of those the last few years and plan to continue.
8You recently went on a crazy international trip with “Puppet Killer”. How did this come about and where did you go during your trip?
Yes! And it has only just begun!. Last Christmas I went away with friends to Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong and that was the start of this amazing journey. One of the gf’s I went with is now a member of the Puppet Killer team and in Hong Kong we secured our final investment to finish the film. Those investors flew me out to Seoul Korea the end of September for our Asian premier, I was home two days and then left to LA for the Anaheim film festival where we took home two trophies, one for best ensemble cast and a special award for the amazing Jett Kylne for best young actor. The following week the team packed up and went to HEX in Calgary, a fantastic three day horror convention and film festival. We won best horror film, best soundtrack and when we returned home, found out we had won fan favorite which means the world to us all. As I write this I am preparing to head to Nightmares Film Festival in Ohio while my team mans our Vancouver premiere. Believe it or not we play 9 film festival next weekend!
After that I have LA, Toronto and NY on the schedule. Not sure yet what 2020 has in store for the Puppet Killer team but I can’t wait to find out!
What is next for you filmwise? Do you have anything in the works you can share with us?
I am still working with the team and my agent to get ‘Beverly Hills Lizard People’ off the ground. We are nearly funded but have the last chunk to go. This is a dream project with an amazing script, it’s a creature feature with practical effects slated to be designed by ADI if we can finalize our funding. I have also been approached to direct three other features that I hope we get to work on once we slow down the festival run with PK.
What have been the five biggest life events for you in the past two years?