Thursday, July 12, 2012

Introducing Liz Manashil: Director of Bread and Butter.

Well it finally happened folks, The Videovangaurd got our first interview this week and I gotta admit I'm a little nervous, but extremely flattered.  The person I am interviewing today is a very talented filmmaker, Liz Manashil.

I first met Liz when she was on the show Just Seen It, only to discover that besides being a film critic, she is also a director.  "Bread and Butter" marks her first directorial debut, but based on the videos I have seen, there is no doubt in my mind that she'll produce a good movie.  The only problem that she and her crew have been facing right now is funding.

I sat down with Miss Manashil  and tried to conduct a serious in depth interview, but I was still a little nervous, as you can see below.

TheVern:   Hello Liz, how are you?

Liz:    I'm feeling wonderful! Thanks for asking Mr. TheVern! How are things over there for you?

TheVern:     Good. UMM UMM.( Damn this is hard). Oh Tell us a bit about your upcoming movie, "Bread and Butter".

Liz:     "Bread and Butter" is a micro budget feature to be shot late summer/early fall of 2012. The film was written, by me, as a response to the romantic comedies I saw as a teenager. I watched a lot of romantic comedies and I think they were quite detrimental to me in their unrealistic treatment of relationships. So I wrote a screenplay about one woman who was romantically inexperienced, being thrown into the gauntlet of pursuit, but she is the object of two very odd, socially awkward men who can't quite get it together. In the end I want to make a movie for my 16 year old self in a way to tell her that romance is a little crazy and never how you predict it, and your expectations should never be based off of a romantic comedy where everything goes right.
V:     Oh Cool.  Umm....uhhhh...... What do you think of the Supreme court's ruling that Obama Care is constitutional..(NO. No no) Sorry about that I vowed no political conversations during this interview.  (Need A question, Need a question)   Have you directed anything else besides this?

L:   Oh man I wish I was interesting enough to talk about politics. In terms of my directing experience, I went to USC Film School to get my MFA in Film and TV Production. I directed several shorts there on film and on video, and learned the basic aspects of all crew positions. My thesis documentary, Round and Round, was just bought by The Documentary Channel. After graduation, I directed two music videos and a promotional video for L.A. Models in addition to producing a music video in Atlanta, and several sizzle shoots for my boss, who is a TV Director.

V:   Cool.  Umm Umm.  Why would you want to get into this very difficult work, and what films or filmmakers inspire you to want to tell great stories?

L:    I'm really neurotic and I get scared often and don't do a lot of scary things Other than making movies. I think this is where I exercise all my risk taking instincts. Other people sky dive or drink heavily, I have impulses to direct and I've been having these dangerous impulses ever since I was 16. My favorite filmmaker is Whit Stillman. I find he has a way of telling stories very smartly and elegantly with clever dialogue that isn't too self conscious and efficient and beautiful camera that doesn't scream out "look at me!" Other filmmakers I love include Todd Solondz, Todd Haynes, Woody Allen, James L. Brooks. Kirby Dick, Alain Renais, Nicole Holofcener.... Scorsese... the list goes on and on. Movies that inspire me are actually movies with women who are flawed and interesting and are not prom queens with glasses-- (if you know what i mean)- Broadcast News, Walking and Talking, Last Holiday (yes the Queen Latifah one!), Cherish...

V:    That Kickstarter video is very funny.  That song is quite catchy.  Who helped write it?

L:     Thank you! I asked my friend and colleague Robert Hill to help me write the song- he's an amazing lyricist and composer, and my partner Sean Wright helped write the script and actually co-directed the Kickstarter video along with me!

V:    If I had a million dollars. (Oh I hope she doesn't leave once she knows I'm broke)  What reasons can you give me that would make me want to invest in your movie?

L:     I believe in women in film and This film is a story about a woman, told from the perspective of a woman, with women in all key crew positions. If you had a million dollars (you're holding out on me, aren't you!?), I would say that investing in Bread and Butter is a great opportunity to support women in film, and to help tell a story that doesn't get to be told. Our entire film is based in a fantastic reality- Amelia lives in a world of books and constantly dips into flamboyant fantasies, but the interactions she has with her romantic options are all incredibly awkward. There's no other-worldly romantic dialogue and romantic gestures. This is a film that I aimed to make as true to life's awkwardness as possible.

V:    You were part of the Just Seen It movie Reviews, so are you a filmmaker, a critic or both?

L:    I am a filmmaker who is lucky enough to talk about movies from time to time. I fell into the critic thing by chance- I directed for, and one day a female reviewer couldn't make it so they asked me to step in as I had seen the film we were going to review. I was lucky and they liked me and I direct for the show in addition to being cast for it. I love reviewing, but being a director is my endgame.

TheVern:   And Last Questions.  What do you want to accomplish with your film making career?  Do you want to make huge blockbuster flicks or small art films.  Or do what Steven Soderberg does and do both?

Liz:    I would hate to make blockbusters. I do not know how to provide something that would be appealing to the masses, nor would I want to try. I want to make festival and limited distribution films. It sounds ridiculous, but that's where I want to be. I know my audience is an audience that likes to go to small movie houses and independent theaters and I Love the idea of that life. The one movie every few years life, if I get to be that lucky.

TheVern:   Thank You Liz for you time.

Liz:    Thank you Vern, I am a big fan of yours!!!!!!!!!!

Please help this filmmaker out and donate whatever you can to her project.  Just follow the first link on the side of this interview.  Thank you.


  1. Replies
    1. AWWWW stop it, you're making me blush. Well all right keep going.

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