Spirit Awards Wed 1.28.2015

SPIRIT AWARD SPOTLIGHT: She’s Lost Control Director Anja Marquardt on Trusting Her Gut and Enjoying the Ride


In our excitement for the upcoming Film Independent Spirit Awards, we’ve reached out to all of the filmmakers nominated for Best First Feature and asked them all kinds of things about their experience as filmmakers and what it’s like to be up for the indie world’s greatest accolade. Here, writer-director Anja Marquardt, who is also nominated in the Best First Screenplay category for her drama She’s Lost Control, about a sexual surrogate who does just that, shares with us why she almost gave up and what moment surprised her on set.

What’s the most exciting thing about being nominated for a Film Independent Spirit Award?
Being nominated.

What are you most looking forward to about the ceremony?
Hanging out in a tent on the beach with hopefully as many people from the team as possible, especially Brooke Bloom. She was in a play during our North American premiere, so drinks are in order.

Have you started sweating an acceptance speech yet?
Not in my wildest dreams.

What’s your strategy for selecting an outfit for the ceremony?
It’s beginning to dawn on me that I should probably have some kind of strategy. I was hoping to just wing it.

Was there a moment when you considered throwing in the towel on making this film, and what stopped you?
I had to re-cast the lead twice and ultimately face the fact that without the right actress, the film really wasn’t worth making. And then came Brooke. I ended up pushing the shoot for six months so I could work with her. It was a difficult and risky decision.

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 4.19.17 PMDid you ever have one of those magical moments on set when all the stars aligned and things turned out even better than you’d ever imagined?
I love being surprised by my actors. One particularly memorable moment was the scene between Johnny and Ronah when she starts playing music for him. Brooke and Marc Menchaca just went for it, and the final scene that’s in the film was practically our blocking rehearsal.

What’s the most important thing you learned while making this film?
That trusting my gut and sticking to my guns can feel pretty schizophrenic in light of parallel realities unfolding.

What do they never tell first-time filmmakers, but should?
Enjoy the ride! Especially if you don’t know when you’ll be on set again.

Mary Sollosi / Film Independent Blogger