Stacy Lightner is the writer/director and producer of the film Spoken who has appeared on the web-series Stupid Hype; here is a link to her IMDB page:
Q: What is Spoken about?
A: Spoken is a film about a group of individuals who are struggling to find balance in their rocky relationships. The lead character Mya struggles with whether or not to walk away from a relationship with an unfaithful partner while her best friend tries to mend her marriage after suffering a tremendous loss.
Q: What life experiences did you draw from when creating it?
A: Spoken is definitely based on a number of experiences I’ve dealt with in life. All of my projects have pieces of me in them. The feelings these group of characters have and the situations they face, I too have dealt with. I’ve been in a relationship where my partner was not committed and I had to decide whether or not to stay in a relationship because I’d invested so much time in it and because I was committed to making it work or to walk away and start anew. I’ve also suffered the same loss that the married couple in this film is dealing with. (I don’t want to give too much of the film away) When I create I draw from all of my life experiences, the good as well as the situations and experiences that may be hard to deal with or talk about.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in producing it?
A: I honestly cannot say I faced many challenges making this film. Spoken is a passion project, I financed it out of pocket and I’m extremely proud of it. If I had to name a challenge while producing this film it has to be the challenge of balancing a 9-5 and devoting enough time to the project. Spoken was shot on the weekends and once on set it was an amazing experience. I was blessed to work with an extremely talented group of actors who love what they do as well as an extremely talented crew that taught me a lot. The challenge occurred after the film had wrapped. That challenge was wanting and needing to be in the studio on the weekdays working on post production. At the time I was working about 60-65 hours a week and working with my editor on post production only on the weekends. I believe this was a small challenge and I was blessed not to be faced with many challenges.
Q: How did you obtain funding for it?
A: Spoken was financed out of pocket. As I mentioned I was working about 60-65 hours a week while shooting the film and although it was my desire to be in a position to devote all day every day to the making of the film I’m grateful for my day job because without it I would not have had the finances to produce this project.
Q: What is Stupid Hype about?
A: Stupid Hype is a web series created by Hart of Dixie’s actor Wilson Bethel. Wilson Bethel stars in this comedy which is set in the 90’s. He plays the character Hype (which later becomes Stupid Hype) It’s about an ex break dancer who decides to become a rapper. The series follows his life as he battles the hottest rapper currently on the scene while trying to win the heart of the woman he loves.
Q: What role do you play?
A: In the series there’s a battle night where Hype must prove himself as a rapper. I was present during the battle first as someone who laughed and booed Hype but later cheered for him as he rose to the occasion and proved himself as a rapper.
Q: What is the oddest thing you have seen someone do to promote themselves?
A: I have to say the oddest thing I’ve seen someone do to promote themselves would be going on a reality show that presents them in an unflattering way. Doing a reality show may not seem odd and it certainly doesn’t have to be however I find it odd when up and coming artists whose work is unknown go on certain types of shows to promote themselves as serious artists but act in a manner that might hurt their chances of actually finding work.
Q: What sort of day job do you have and how does it affect your filmmaking?
A: I am the building operations specialist for a bank. I usually work from 7am – 4pm, however I sometimes work much longer hours. My day job affects my filmmaking because most of my time is committed to my day job, but it also helps me finance my filmmaking.
Q: Who are some of your filmmaking influences?
A: I am definitely a lover of films. A few of my influences are Spike Lee, Tyler Perry and Robert Rodriguez.
Q: What would I change about the film industry?
A: I would open more doors for more artists who have a harder time breaking in. I would focus more on assisting and developing up and coming talent. I’d level the playing fields.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)