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An Interview with Sundance Institute's Liz Manashil, at the Atlanta Film Festival!

This weekend, Atlanta Film and TV attended the film screening of The Speed of Life at the Atlanta Film Festival, starring Ann Dowd, Allison Tolman, Ray Santiago, Vella Lovell, and Sean Wright, written and directed by Liz Manashil, of Sundance Institute in the Creative Distribution Initiative.

First, let me just begin by saying that this film not only had a storyline that definitely grabbed my attention but also had great acting AND cinematography!

This film opens with a couple, June and Edward and June quickly learning about the death of David Bowie. A conversation between the couple begins, (which included an un-answered joke) and the sudden disappearance of Edward. The film quickly fast forwards 24 years later, to June quickly approaching 60th birthday. (So I don’t spoil the film, I’ll stop right there!)

After the screening, Liz and I met up and had a chance to chat a bit.

Atlanta Film and TV: How long have you been a filmmaker?

Liz Manashil: I started film school at USC, at 22 and only did short films. I did my first feature film seven-years-ago, so in total, I have been a filmmaker for twelve years.

Atlanta Film and TV: Did your work at Sundance influence this project?

Liz Manashil: I consulted with a few filmmakers in marketing and distribution, which helped with marketing and distribution for our film. Artistically, it didn’t impact me, but the strategy however did.

Atlanta Film and TV: What was the inspiration for The Speed of Life?

Liz Manashil: David Bowie’s death and wanting to make a film with senior characters. Along with June’s journey of a dramatic event in the past.

Atlanta Film and TV: How do you create a story while at the same time not break any copyright infringement laws?

Liz Manashil: I always work with an entertainment lawyer. Whenever I write a screenplay, she will first read over it and will tell me what can and cannot be in the script. In The Speed of Life, we didn’t use any of David Bowie’s music or any pictures but only made references to him.

Atlanta Film and TV: Tell us about your experience with crowdfunding.

Liz Manashil: I crowdfunded two of my feature films. It is exhausting yet the most rewarding thing because total strangers who believe in your project, will back your project by giving you money.

Atlanta Film and TV: What is your advice for those wanting to use crowdfunding to get their projects off the ground? And, what are your favorite crowdfunding sources?

Liz Manashil: Just do it! Recognize that it will be thirty days of hell, BUT it will be over after thirty days! I think all three, (Indiegogo, Kickstarter and Seed and Spark) are great and I’m open to each of them.

For more information about Liz Manashil and her film Speed of Life, be sure to check out her website!

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