Thursday, May 18, 2017

In 'Losing Time' Red Has To Choose A Path... (Interview w/Director Lisa Stock)

A girl in red, chased by the Wolf of time: which path will she choose?

In Lisa Stock's latest magic realist film, 'Losing Time', which has just become available for the public to view, she asks the question: "If all time were to stop, would you start it again?"

Intrigued by the lovely images, and very different concept, we thought we'd ask Lisa Stock, of InByTheEye, who created, wrote and directed the film, a little about it. 

OUABlog: Congratulations on your new film, and thank you for visiting OUABlog today to talk a little about it. You chose to dress your protagonist in a red coat on purpose. How do you see your new magic realism film reflecting the tale of Red Riding Hood?
Actress Heather Witherill plays a girl with a choice in 'Losing Time'.

Lisa Stock (InByTheEye): I did indeed dress her in red for a reason! While Red is different for everyone, a red cloak or coat suggests potential; potential choices, potential dangers, potential futures. Time, the most ancient of systems is found in the forest. In my film, the grandmother's wisdom comes through at the portal when she makes her decision. Like Red my heroine doesn't let the trappings of fear keep her from persevering.

OUABlog: How did you arrive at this idea?

Lisa Stock (InByTheEye):  As the film is part of the Danny Elfman Challenge we were to choose a piece of his music off the album "Rabbit and Rogue". I chose "Lyric". Listening to the music over and over gave me a sense of both whimsy and urgency, and I immediately saw this character running. Running for something, but obstacles in her way creating tension. I saw her being interrupted, I saw her falling, I saw things getting in her way and came to the idea that perhaps they were frozen in front of her and then the idea of time stopping came to me. So it was a little bit of a backward process.

OUABlog: The film fits well into the 'magic realist' genre, bringing elements of wonder and the supernatural to seemingly ordinary situations. It also seems, if you pardon the pun, very timely, in terms of where society is at right now. We see parallels to concerns about the planet, about people with opposing views not knowing how to get on, as well as the importance of getting back to basics - through those woods that are different for everyone - to figure out just how you feel about something - for clarity. What issues were you thinking about most when having your 'Red' enter the woods?

Lisa Stock (InByTheEye): It does feel to me as if we're on the verge of a new era - there's so much potential, like the burgeoning science generation, but also that bubbling epidemic of despair on so many fronts. We really are at a crossroads. Which path do we take? Especially in light of so much sorrow, worry and anger today, I wanted my Red to reflect that we had a choice - with a very good and positive option.

OUABlog: 'Losing Time' is part of the Danny Elfman Challenge, in which you had the opportunity to use some of Elfman's music score from 'Rabbit & Rogue'. How did it feel being able to use his music? And what happens now?

Lisa Stock (InByTheEye): The Danny Elfman Challenge is part of the LA Film Festival, and 'Losing Time' has been officially accepted and uploaded for voter input and panel judging. Our film, has had a wonderful response the last day or so since it's gone live, and we're thrilled. At this point we have a really good chance of being selected for the finals!

The lady in the clock comes to life
to alert our heroine that time has stopped.
I love this piece of music, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't somewhat intimidating to be creating a unique film for an Elfman composition. I had Heather (the actress) listen to the music over and over again. We would listen to the particular part of the music that went with each scene before filming so she could have it in her head. If you watch closely, particularly on the bridge, her movements are almost dance-like and are going along with the music. I know that the music was supposed to be "the soundtrack" but to me it's very much a character in and of itself. It's almost like a narrator, leading her on from one moment to the next. To me, the music dictated this story and took me through the process of the idea. Part of the rules were that we were only permitted to edit the music in very minor ways, so I have only one cut. When I was listening to the piece early on I could hear and see that fall over and over and I wanted a hard 'stop' (with the music). The whole story stops because she suddenly is becoming frozen and maybe she's going to stop too. But then, in true Red style, she crawls on and keeps going. When she stands up at the portal, the music picks back up and keeps going. When she decides not to restart time, and lifts her hands on that final note of the music, I had her lengthen that movement to extend that final note into silence. Those images after seeing her lift her hands sort of carry the music on, even though you're no longer hearing it. 

Elfman is such a singular and inspiring artist, and it was such a pleasure and honor for me to be able to participate in this Challenge. It shows what a generous artist he is by extending a piece of his own artwork to others, complete strangers, to use in their own stories. That's not something you see very often.

As to 'what next', right now a panel of industry judges are selecting finalists - BUT the public gets a say too, and we'd love some help getting us into that final films selection, and it's very easy to do: all you have to do is vote for our film on THEIR website at the link below (it takes you directly to 'Losing Time', so no hunting required):

There's a 'like/heart' button right below the film and every click counts. Sharing helps too, of course, (the share wheel is next to the heart) and the following hashtags are really helpful for those sharing: #buzzchallenge #indi_8xcwv

OUABlog: We have one last question: why chocolate?

Lisa Stock (InByTheEye): *laughs* Because chocolate is pure happiness and no matter what there is always chocolate!

OUABlog: Thank you for talking with us today. We wish you every success with this lovely new take on our very versatile Red!

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