Amira Lyn is an actress, filmmaker and belly dancer who produced the film Bad Illusions; here is a link to her Facebook page:
Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?
A: I’ve always loved movies and how they were made so when my good friend and fellow actor Bob Moyer asked me to be the back up for one of the actresses on the short film Another Drop Of Blood, I agreed despite never really having any aspirations to act. The actress didn’t show so I got to play the non-speaking role of a vampire that gets beheaded. I had the best time of my life despite it being extremely hot and at one point due to the fake blood made of caro syrup I was covered in flies that got stuck in it. I enjoyed seeing the process involved in making the film and after that day I was hooked.
I acted in a few projects and wrote some stuff. Then one day I had the story for what became my first directing stint on the feature film Wet Kiss. Turned out I loved directing more than acting. Since then I began my production company BellyUp Productions and between my projects and other peoples projects I’ve begun to get involved in all aspects from creating a press kit to editing. I love everything about it.
Q: What is Bad Illusions about?
A: Joan’s life is shattered when her drug-addicted brother tom dies in her arms. With the help of her loving husband Caleb and her best friend Lacey she struggles to pull the pieces of her life back together again. But the more she tries to make the pieces fit the more she begins to wonder….what is really reality and what is all a bad illusion
Q: What role do you play?
A: I wear a number of hats for this project.Luc Bernier is an actor and wonderful friend. We had been dying for the chance to work together. Luc contacted me and asked me to read a script and if I liked it would I be interested in directing and producing it as well. He had come up with the story and the script was by Joe Sherlock. I liked the script and thought it would be a fun project to do. Luc asked me to play the part of Joan. He wanted to do the role of Tom and asked that a couple roles be filled by certain actors if possible and then I could cast the rest. I am lucky that Luc trusts my abilities and is giving me free reign creatively .
Q: What kind of day job do you have?
A: a few days a week I work as a Barber Manager and through BellyUp Productions with my friend Lee Simms we offer hair and make-up services on site for weddings, film and modeling shoots, themed events, you name it we do it. I do the Hair and Lee does glamour, day-to-day or spfx make-up and effects.
Q: If you had a student who was hopeless at belly dancing would you tell them?
A: I don’t think any one is really hopeless. That being said…..I prefer to do private lessons so I can focus on their individual needs. Sometimes I’m helping a dancer hone their skills and preparing them for dancing professionally (ettique costuming etc). When I get some one wanting to learn belly dancing I ask them their goals for learning. Some just want to do it for fun and exercise. Others are looking to be the occasional amateur dancer and others want to dance professionally. Probably the most difficult thing for new dancers to overcome is learning to trust their bodies and not feel self conscious about them. They have to learn its okay to have hips and thighs. Belly dancing helps women to embrace their womanly curves if the let it. Sometimes they can’t over come that and so they are unable to progress.
Q: What do you like about the horror genre?
A: horror has many sides to it. Slow brooding atmospheric, slasher, supernatural, Kaiju, torture(not my cup of tea), Dark comedy/horror. sci-fi blends great with horror. There are so many ways you can go with it. More than I could name here. Its also more forgiving than other genres. Its fun to make, fun to act in. Sometimes its just fun to be scared.
Q: Who are some of your filmmaking influences?
A: Edgar Allen Poe has influenced me a lot. He has influenced my writing in so many ways. Dario Argento , Mario Bava, Roger Corman to name a few. I am inspired by the old European horror movies. There are so many talented film makers out there and they all have a style unique and they make me want to try harder and better myself.
Q: What famous film role could you have nailed?
A: I don’t know that my acting skills are good enough to have nailed any famous roles but if I could sing I would have loved doing Nicole Kidman’s role in Moulin Rouge. I adore that film.
Q: What do you like about the film industry?
A: I get bored easily and film-making is anything but. Its not the thing to get involved with if your just looking to make money because most of us don’t make much. We do it because we love it. I also like getting to know and work with so many talented people.
Q: What would you change about it?
A: The egos!. To be in the entertainment business you have to be a bit of a ham and you must also have a very thick skin because no matter what you do there will be some one trying to tear you and your work apart. I’ve seen so many actors and film makers tear one another down, trashing one another and back-biting, snubbing one another over perceived offenses. Worst of all instead of trying to privately solve their issues they carry out these fights or negative campaigns in a public forum and they try to drag other into the fight. I wish people would learn to be nicer to others and not allow their egos to get in the way. It would be nice to see more film makers and such put their egos to the side. If they did more time could be spent learning and helping one another and making movies.
One other thing I’d like to see change in the industry….this is mostly Hollywood but stop with the remakes already. The seldom are any good and there are a lot of talented people out there with original ideas and they are being passed over.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)