Laurie is an actor, writer, and director based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her short film 'Hardy' not only marks her directorial and screenwriting debut, she also stars as the lead actress in the film. In addition, she's had her plays produced at the Brave New Play Rites Festival in Vancouver, BC.
Born in Nicolet, Qc, Laurie was always passionate about the creative arts. She attended theatre programs in Cégep and University, to then move to Vancouver to study Acting for Film and Television at the Vancouver Film School.
Entering the industry as an actor, Laurie's desire to tell meaningful stories drove her to write her own film projects. This led her to further her education and attend the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.
Laurie is passionate about giving a voice to stories she thinks are important and need to be told.Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
Hardy is a short film about resilience and identity. It follows a young woman as she navigates her new relationship and learns to be intimate again after a sexual assault.
What are your ambitions with your project?
This being my first ever short film, first time writing, directing and producing, my ambition for Hardy is a long, fun and enlightening festival run. I'm also looking forward to meeting fellow filmmakers that could become potential collaborators in the future.
Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
Filming Hardy was a massive learning curve for me. I played the lead character as well, which was a little insane, but I was fortunate enough to have an amazing, experienced crew behind me who I could rely on. Without them, I don't think I would've been able to both direct and act while feeling confident about the quality of the film. I guess I found that, as it goes without saying, making a film is a massive collaboration, and having trust in your head of departments is crucial.
For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
I'd like to think that this film is for everyone. That being said, it might be a little delicate for an overly young audience.
Why should distributors buy your film?
I think Hardy is an important story. I was compelled to write it because I felt like this side of sexual trauma, the "after", isn't talked about often. The story is also told in a delicate and authentic way.
How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
Authenticity of story has always been the number one thing for me. I think there's a focus on story and dialogue. It's a short drama that deals with a sensitive subject, and the film reflects that. It's soft and simple in colour, music and art.
Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
I was trained as an actor first; I went to drama school and film school (acting for film and TV). During the pandemic, as we all know, the industry shut down. This is when I wrote the very first draft of Hardy. I got feedback on it from peers and loved everything about it. I realized that being a filmmaker as a whole, and not just an actor, was how I was supposed to enter this industry. This way, I also get a say in what story I get to be a part of, which is incredibly exciting and fulfilling. I then started looking into writing schools, which led me to apply and get accepted into the UBC school of creative writing in Vancouver. From then on, everything started to fall into place.
Who is your role model?
I don't know that I have a role model, but I definitely have a few trailblazers. Michaela Coel is probably my number one with what she did with I May Destroy You. She's an absolute genius. I also love Quinta Brunson with Abbott Elementary and Ben Sinclair from High Maintenance. I guess I'm a big fan of creators who write, star in and produce their own work.
Which movies are your favorites? Why?
The hardest question in the world. I think that list fluctuates all the time. I won't lie, I'm obsessed with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I think they're masterpieces. I also re-watched Interstellar recently and it's definitely one of my favorite movies along with Everything Everywhere All at Once and Under the Silver Lake. I love Sound of Metal, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Tick Tick Boom, Jean-Marc Valley's C.R.A.Z.Y. and Pixar's Soul and Finding Nemo. These are just ones that come to mind right now.
Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
Everywhere. I find inspiration watching other films, listening to music, walking on the street or in the park, reading books. It can really come from anywhere.
Which topics interest you the most?
I love everything really, but I guess everything I write has an undertone that has to do with women-related issues and themes. I like down to earth everyday stories as much as I like weird, noir-sci-fi movies and series.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
Hardy is my first film, so making and completing it is my greatest achievement to date. I'm also proud of both directing and starring in it.
What do you consider most important about filming?
A good story is number one. Then good acting, then good image and good sound. Those are crucial. As I'm still learning about this whole producer gig, having a solid and organized production team goes a long way.
Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
I'm a big fan of the emotional power a good Dolly shot can have. Hardy starts with a long and slow Dolly In, and it looks great thanks to my DP. I also tend to like stylised, symmetrical shots, but I think there's so much to explore when it comes to shots so it's hard to say what the best one is.
How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
I do think there is wonderful filmmaking still happening today, in the indie scene as well as in the more A-list side of the industry. It's also true that, because of streaming platforms and all that, there is so much being made today, and it's not always top-quality stories.
I also think that there are a lot of new, young voices that deserve a platform for their films, and some of the industry vets would benefit from letting those new voices take the reins a little more often.
What can disappoint you in a movie?
A lazy ending or when the story doesn't hold up. It feels unresearched and rushed when that happens.
Who supports you in your film career?
My family is my biggest supporter. My parents even invested in Hardy, which says a lot. They want to see me succeed and I love them for it. My friends are also big supporters, the ones in the industry as well as the ones not in the film industry. I'm really grateful for that.
WATCH TRAILER FOR HARDY