Someone once said “do what you love and the rest will follow”. Certainly good fortune has followed the love Lisa Rose Snow has shown for the arts and short film making.
Lisa Rose Snow is a young film maker originally from Nova Scotia who now resides in Toronto. Since childhood, she has involved herself in a variety of artistic pursuits, including acting. Her onscreen credits include appearances on the CBC comedy program, ‘This Hour Has 22 Minutes’, and the 2002 mini-series, ‘Trudeau’. Her experience in acting then led her to learn more about film making.
As a result, Snow won the Best Canadian Short Award at the Silver Wave Film Festival with her short film ‘Two Penny Road Kill’. As well, she picked up the Audience Best of the Fest Award at the San Jose International Short Film Festival and the National Screen Institute Drama Prize for her short, ‘When Fish Fly’. In 2013, Snow established Organic Water Productions Inc. with her friend and producer, Lora Campbell. The production company focuses on female-driven stories with realistic and complex characters.
Short Film Fan recently caught up with Snow to learn more about her background, her career path and her insights into the Canadian short film industry.
Short Film Fan: At what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to become a film maker?
Lisa Rose Snow: I’ve been involved in the arts since I was a child, taking piano, dance, and acting lessons since an early age. My first time on a film set was when I was in high school on the CBC mini-series, ‘Trudeau’. I continued to act and about five years ago, began learning and experimenting and mentoring under some wonderful people behind the camera. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
SFF: What specific challenges do you face as a film maker when producing a short film?
LRS: There are many challenges short film makers encounter when producing a short, and a lot of them are similar to the challenges of producing a feature! Even though the projects are shorter, there is still much paperwork, prep and factors that arise out of your control. And funding – there’s always the challenge of funding.
SFF: Last year, you were one of the competing film makers on CBC’s ‘Short Film Face Off‘ with your film, ‘Two Penny Road Kill’. What was it like being on the program and what did you take away from that experience?
LRS: It was a real honour to be a part of ‘Short Film Face Off’. It’s an incredible program and it really highlights the talented shorter form work coming out of Canada. It was a great chance to meet film makers whom I admire, and have a chance to share my story with a larger audience. I am always intrigued by audience reaction and love having an opportunity to have dialogues with people who may not have seen the film otherwise.
SFF: Your film short film, ‘When Fish Fly’, premiered at The One Film Festival in Ottawa on May 23rd. In your opinion as a film maker, how important is it that film festivals such as this feature short films as part of their programming?
LRS: ‘When Fish Fly’ had its Ottawa Premiere at The One, and we were so happy to have a chance to play at this new festival. I think it’s extremely important to program shorts. It’s always so interesting to condense a story down to its essence, and with a short you really get to focus on what it is you’re trying to say. Also, there are so many great short film makers in the world; a shorts program is a perfect way to see a variety of artists’ work.
SFF: Can you tell us more about, ‘When Fish Fly’? Where can we watch it if we can’t attend The One?
LRS: ‘When Fish Fly’ is a dialogue-less exploration of grief told through the eyes of a 9-year-old girl. It’s about courage and letting go. It’s currently making the festival rounds and we have some exciting news to share, but I’m not allowed to say anything yet!! Check us out on Twitter for all the updates as we are allowed to share them: @WhenFishFlyFilm
SFF: Do you have any new short film projects on the horizon?
LRS: I always have a number of projects on the horizon; that’s the way it seems to work; various projects in various forms of development/completion. I tend to focus on women-driven character pieces, and have an action adventure short in pre-production that takes place in the 1920s and a family comedy about an 8-year-old girl’s first crush.
SFF: In your opinion, why do you think people like to watch short films?
LRS: People these days can have shorter attention spans, and because everyone’s time is so precious, a short gives them an opportunity to have a mini-escape, feel some feelings, but still be able to get all their own stuff done.
SFF: What are your hopes and predictions for the short film industry in Canada?
LRS: My hopes are that it continues to flourish and continues to be funded. There are a few really great programs that offer some financing and opportunities for broadcast, so my hopes are these programs continue to be active and supportive of sharing Canadian content.
SFF: Do you have any advice for any up-and-coming short film makers in Canada?
LRS: Just do it! Nike really said it best. Don’t just talk about making shorts; actually make them. And don’t be afraid to ask questions; people will help you! I owe a lot to the people who let me pick their brains and ask a million questions, and patiently shared their knowledge and skills. Also, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Do you have a story you need to share? Then share it! Don’t do it for glory. Don’t do it for money. Just do it for the love of it.
We wish Lisa Rose Snow a very successful film making career and we hope to see more of her short films in the future! Follow her on Twitter: @lisarosesnow
Check your local independent cinema or festival listing for a showing of ‘When Fish Fly’. You can also follow the film on Twitter: @WhenFishFlyFilm