Lillie Stinson [primaveralillie]
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
I probably don't take care of it as well as I should. One thing is for certain, if it doesn't get new input regularly it fogs over.
Do you have a ritual like retiring to a lonely place from time to time to cleanse your mind?
Yes - I travel far and wide whenever possible to gain new perspective and broaden my knowledge of art and artistry. If that's not possible and I just have to get the F out of Dodge for a weekend, I'll head to Joshua Tree or Vegas or Mexico. Anything different than what I've been doing for a while works.
"To give birth to ideas." Is this only an expression, or are there really parallels between giving birth and creativity?
I think that this analogy also refers to the notion that once you have created something, you are also it's parent in a way. You're invested deeply in it's success, you're tied irrevocably to it's life, and you're proud of your accomplishment and subsequently the creation's accomplishments. And because the creation process can be so difficult, you actually do bond with it, the way one might bond with a thing that is alive - through shared experiences and later, memories.
The armchair psychologist: Is creativity an act of rebellion for you?
More like a way of life, from day one.
Ideas can come simultaneously to different people in different places with no connection to one another. How do you explain this phenomenon?
This is an interesting phenomenon. I participate in an arts festival where literally tens of thousands of the most creative and talented people you'll ever meet gather annually. The breadth of the artistry and ingenuity displayed there is indescribable, and yet sooner or later you see repetition. I once decided to scrap an entire project because I discovered that a co-op of artists was doing the same thing, only the scope was one hundred times as large. How do we keep stumbling across each others "unique" thoughts? Because eventually there is a finite amount of what physically exists in the world, and every idea, no matter how transcendent in the mind, must be constructed of these same materials.
What is your specialty? Production, direction, something else?
I've been bumping around the machinery part of the Industry for 14 years in areas that range from fly-by-night productions to the top tiers at the one of the most successful studios in the world. While I've done a little of everything, I've spent a lot of time in physical production, creative development, creative advertising, writing, producing, film music, historic records, live entertainment, and even IT. So I guess you could say I specialize in diversity.
Is there a link to a site where we can see references to your work?
How did you begin in this field? Who introduced you to it?
My career introduction was purely accidental, a good job available in a time of need. But my parents raised me on a steady diet of truly great film, from the serious to the silly and everything in between. So I would have to lay the blame at their feet.
Do you work for a client, for the audience, or for your own creative adventure?
I find a little bit of all of the above creates the best entertainment.
Are you the type who instantly knows when a take is good, or one who does another three takes to be safe?
My experience behind a physical camera is mostly limited to still photography. Before digital, in the days when you had to pay a lot of money for a decent camera plus film and lab work in order to create the perfect photograph, I was too poor to waste resources on "mostly right" and extra coverage. I learned to find the best subject, angle, lighting, etc. possible in just a few takes. I even crop with the viewfinder, which drives my mother, who's one of my photography mentors, nuts. I usually know when I've gotten the money shot and then I move on to the next photo.
Do you eat popcorn at the movies?
By the handful, extra butter. Otherwise, what's the point?
Which do you like more, large budget or small independent productions?
If you're a true lover of film, the answer will always be 'both.' There are advantages to both approaches far too numerous to elaborate on here. What it really comes down to is this: making a film is like making a souffle. Elaborate or simple, making it a success is much harder than screwing it up.
Is the future of cinema the Internet? Mobile phones?
I think the hand-held and internet format definitely has a strong place in the future of entertainment. But unlike most consumers, besides basic utility, I'm not all that involved in my electronic devices. Being a film lover, I think looking at content that is more than 3 minutes long on a 2x3 inch screen is ridiculous. At this early stage it's hard for me to tell if the novelty of this kind of entertainment will wear off and things will move in yet another direction, or if I'm the one who dragging my feet and sooner or later I'll drink the kool aid too. I do feel fairly certain, however, that no matter how great home theater technology becomes, you just can't beat a real theater with cutting edge sound and projection, sticky floors littered with popcorn and filled with real people.
What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to break into in the industry?
Find a mentor. Not a well-connected person who can get you a job (those are a dime a dozen in this town), but a genuine mentor who's interested and invested in your growth in this industry. The knowledge and experience of a veteran can really help you navigate this class 5 rapids waterway called Tinseltown. Whether it be humping cable or climbing the studio ladder, it means the difference between investing 5-10 years of your blood sweat and tears into a career only to find you are actually not that well suited for it and identifying an area early-on in which you can thrive, and almost more importantly, has a future in this industry.
Los Angeles, USA