Interview with Jillian Armenante

We're a big fan of Jillian Armenante so are always delighted to hear when she is working on new projects.

You may well recognise Jillian, she appeared alongside Angelina Jolie in lesbian classic Girl, Interrupted...

Jillian Armenante in Girl, Interrupted

We last caught up with her following the release of Kittens in a Cage. Following the release of Jillian Armenante's latest series 'The List' we talked to Jillian about this and her newest project, Stuck.


The List

First of all we talked about latest release, 'The List' which is available now on tellofilms.com. (you can read our review here and watch the trailer here). Jillian explained how she had certain cast in mind as it was written and that for others such as Pamela Dunlap it was a case of because she was in town the script was written to fit in with her trip. The timing was perfect to bring together this stellar cast - lucky for us as viewers!

We talked about the budget as this is always a tough subject for lesbian content - known for a lack of funding it can be hard to get a decent budget to produce quality content. Jillian explained how she made the best of what was available, including filming some of the scenes in her own home - something that I understand at Planet Nation HQ as I leant Jake Graf my flat for his latest short Dusk!

The restaurant scene was built especially for the series, although you would never know it. It was great to hear that even seasoned directors such as Jillian have to deal with on-set technical issues. Jillian talked about the day when the monitors all died and she had to stand behind the camera crew and watch the screen like they did back in the 90s before the tech evolved. 

The List - Best LGBTQ Short in the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival 2017Jillian explained that even though the script seemed relatively easy to shoot (when on a limited budget, the technicality of scenes is essential for now blowing your budget), the van scenes proved a nightmare since they could only film in one direction to ensure that the sun remained in the same location.
 

The List has won 'Best LGBTQ Short Film in the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, we're sure the first award of many!

Stuck 

Jillian talked a bit about her latest project, Stuck which is currently being crowdfunded for production. It is written by and will be directed by lesbian women and is set to feature Heather Matarazo from The Princess Diaries.

We're looking forward to seeing this successfully hit its target and go into post-production. If you enjoy independent film, please consider donating to the crowdfunder. Every pound counts.

Tips for independent film makers

Before we hung up, we asked Jillian for a few hints and tips for budding independent film makers. Here are her top two tips:

  1. Learn as many skills as you can to ensure you are well-rounded. Understanding all areas of film helps inform the other. Jillian's quote is "Know how to not only be the centre of the octopus, but also to be each of the 8 legs.
  2. Avoid referring to your series as a webseries as it puts off funders. Use terminology like online comedy series - you're much more likely to get a review.