Award-winning director-writer Leah Meyerhoff is an absolute force. Her feature film debut I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS world premiered at SXSW, and I’m so thrilled to share her episode with you: For fellow filmmakers, this is a must. In this episode, Leah dives into the technicalities of making her film, the inspiration behind the story, how she financed her film, and a ton more inspiring and actionable advice and tips. For first-time feature filmmakers, you’ll want to pay special attention to Leah’s interview, she shares a lot of valuable resources for you guys to take action with for your own first-time projects! You’ll also learn how to finance your indie film!
Learn More About Award-winning Filmmaker Leah Meyerhoff
Leah Meyerhoff is an award winning filmmaker whose debut narrative feature I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS was released theatrically in 2015 after premiering at SXSW, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival and additional awards from Woodstock Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, First Time Fest, Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, NYU and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Meyerhoff’s previous work has screened in over 200 film festivals and aired on IFC, PBS, LOGO and MTV. She is a fellow of the IFP Emerging Narrative Labs, IFP Narrative Finishing Labs, Tribeca All Access Labs, and the Emerging Visions program at the New York Film Festival. Meyerhoff is also the founder of Film Fatales, a female filmmaker collective based in New York with over a dozen local chapters around the world. She holds a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in Directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- How creating a short film can help your feature film tremendously while your feature is in development (Hint: Financing, calling card for your directing career, and more)
- How Leah prepared and directed the underage lead actress for a graphic sex scene in a respectful and sensitive manner
- The very best thing a director can do to receive the performances they want from an actor
- Why Leah chose stop motion puppet animation to portray the most intimate fantasy parts of her film and how she animated it
- Exactly how Leah financed her feature film
- How to finance your indie film
- How Leah found her first feature film investor through the film festival circuit for her short film
- Using Kickstarter as a specific technique to maximize the exposure of your project
- How intentionally casting very specific people hugely impacted the authenticity of Leah’s feature film
- Why writing grants are really helpful even if you don’t receive the grant
- How limited resources can be incredibly beneficial in expanding your creative boundaries
- How Leah found her crew for her award-winning feature I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS that world premiered at SXSW
Leah’s Recommended Books & Podcast:
Shooting to Kill: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies that Matter by Christine Vachon
Tribeca Film Institute
Slamdance Film Festival
Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival
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