The Heroine’s Journey of Abbie Lucas

What is the best thing that I love about my work? That being a director is just like playing pretend when you were a child – except now the toys are super expensive and your friends are some of the most talented, interesting and generous people you could imagine. I also love making an audience laugh, cry, think, feel, or lose themselves for a moment.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Finally believing that I am enough. Also, being in a position to do the work that is important to me and live comfortably from that.

What is my greatest fear? That the direction the world is currently going in politically will somehow hinder myself and others from achieving all the things we want to achieve.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Procrastination. An occasional lack of trust in my abilities.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Jenji Kohan, Tina Fey, Shonda Rhimes, Taika Waititi, Ryan Murphy, Amy Sherman Palladino, The Coen Brothers.

What is my greatest extravagance? Daydreaming time away.

On what occasion would I lie? When it is for the greater good.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? That a filmmaker’s passion is always exploited by others for profit. For instance, tuition fees for film school cost way more than most other University programs, or to apply for a job you have to pay to subscribe to a premium service for the privilege of even being able to see what is being advertised. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but do accountants have to do this?!

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I am always happiest when I am on set with a team of likeminded and vibrant individuals, working together to tell a great story… Especially if they make me laugh!

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would be more comfortable with communicating my feelings, particularly in moments of conflict.

What is my greatest achievement in work? My greatest achievement is that I come from the middle of nowhere, on the exact opposite side of the planet, and I have found myself in work situations where: I am sitting in the residence of 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister, I’m filming Richard Attenborough’s in his private home cinema, My book is on BBC’s The One Show and almost every broadsheet in the UK, and none of it was through nepotism. Anyway, I don’t say this to brag, I say it because – when you grew up where I did, all of these experiences are beyond surreal. So I must have done something right, right? And I want other young women to know that they can too.

Where would I most like to live? I’ve long dreamed of living in a hotel, just like Coco Chanel did. That hotel could be in London, New York or Rome.

What is my most treasured possession? My experiences.

What is my most marked characteristic? Some might say my patience, but I’d like to say it was my great sense of humour… Most probably it’s that I have a very confusing accent.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? There’s a different part of London to fit every mood but Soho has my heart because it’s a place where some really great movies are being post-produced right next to a sex shop or sometimes the sex shop is the fake store front for some really great food… And nobody blinks an eyelid about this.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? NOPI in Soho for food. A summertime bottle of Prosecco in Regent’s Park for drinking.

What books influenced my life and how? My Aunty Jude provided me with a steady stream of Roald Dahl books when I was a child and they definitely shaped my dark sense of humour. When I was young I used to read them to my Grandmother which was delightful because she would giggle like a school girl at some of his ruder descriptions of villainous characters. The last one I read to her was Matilda. Sadly she died before we had finished so I had to read the rest sitting next to her coffin in the funeral home.

Who are my favorite writers? Roberto Bolaño, David Peace, Bret Easton Ellis, Truman Capote, Jane Austin, Dorothy Parker.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? It’s an album called Things Fall Apart by The Roots

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Irene Adler

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Nora Ephron, Audrey Hepburn, Marina Abramovic, Amal Alammudin, The Coen Brothers, Jim Garrison, Mike Nichols, Ronan Farrow, Paul Arden, Richard Avedon, anyone mentioned in the sections above and my high school drama teacher Mrs Pauline Wetton.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? This may be an odd choice for a narrative fiction director but I totally recommend Errol Morris’s documentary Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. because it is one of the most fascinating character studies I have ever seen.
What role plays art in my life and work? The lead role.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Partner(s) in Crime: Billie Vee, Shamir Dawood, Dan Tambling, Erin Hunter and James Gavigan deserve special mention for trusting me with their projects on more than one occasion. However I am lucky to have so many friends and collaborators who have offered me opportunities, supported me and said “yes” to me. But as for my greatest fan or sponsor? That would be my parents.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018?  If you have a great low budget feature film script, particularly if it’s dark comedy, female focused or an interesting take on relationships… Holler at me!
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2018? The other day I had to put together for my agent a list of TV directors to shadow, so I would love to meet any of them. Also any and all studio executives that want to read the pilot I co-wrote!
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? All of them. There are two short films I am signed up to do that are both excellent but couldn’t be more different; Clementine by Louise McConnell which is being produced by Natasha Marburger and Reconsolidation by Michael Oldham, Blake Ellis, and Brandon Weis ( you can find out more about that here: https://www.gofundme.com/reconsolidationFilm )

I’m also directing a play at the end of the year (that’s been a long time in the works!) it’s called Shards by Catherine O’Shea (more here: https://www.gofundme.com/shardsplay )

I’ve also been doing some writing for film and TV so here’s hoping those projects get off the ground this year as well!

Where can you see me or my work in 2018? Some short films I’ve directed are currently doing the festival circuit: Testing Greta written by Billie Vee, can be seen at: the 10th Fastnet Festival in Ireland (May) the Cannes Short Film Corner and the British Urban Film Festival in London (June). Dead Tired written by Shamir Dawood will be at the Austrian Film Festival in Vienna (May) and Some Sketches in a Shed by Dan Tambling Comedy will be released periodically on YouTube

Testing Greta Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zbSJp29BDk

Some Sketches in a Shed: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUfz-2BxJjBsPbPnDeEny3w

You can also purchase the coffee table book I made with Paul Fleckney: Great British Pub Dogs 

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? That if you do something you’re passionate about it’s not a job it’s a lifestyle. Lifestyles don’t end at 66.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Louise McConnell, Catherine O’Shea, Genie Khmelnitski, Mamito Kukwikila, Illana Stein, Katie Haworth, Jenny Dee, Anne Adams, Erin Hunter, Sydnee Howard. Lydia Parker, Natasha Marburger.

How can you contact me?

Website: www.abbielucas.com

Twitter / Instagram: @abbielucas

Email: abbie.lucas@gmail.com

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