We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Welch and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Leah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Filmmaking is risk. Everyone in this industry is a gambler. That’s a fact. You can bet money on it. The thing about risk is it’s a cousin of hope. We’re all HOPING the film will be successful. We spin our pitches in a room convincing other people (with money, connections, power) of our passion for this project and THIS Is the project that will make it. This one will make a difference. It will be canon. It will win awards. It will help fund the next one and the next one will be even bigger. Tilda Swinton will be in the next one. Each sentence is a lie until it’s proven true. That’s the POV of filmmaking in terms of risk. It’s why financing a film is so difficult. Nothing is a sure thing. As an early filmmaker I”m sitting on the razor’s edge of almost making it and almost failing. I have two films at two different studios that are at the tail end of post (one I wrote and directed, one I just wrote). I have another one with a full cast and crew and no financing yet. I have another one in preproduction with initial funding and cast. Maybe they’ll make it. If they do, then maybe Variety thinks I”m interesting enough to write an article about (I mean, I did help exonerate a man from prison, so kind of interesting). Maybe that article gets my films noticed by more people who will sit in a room with me and the process starts over again (I’m a gabber so I don’t mind this a bit). Maybe it all fails and I start thinking really and truly hard about whether or not I can stand to be in the industry anymore. That’s the risk. Not just with money, if the film does well, but my emotional involvement in each step of this. If this question is, “Is this industry worth the whirlwind?” My answer is a stentorian, “YES”. But then again, my dad did raise a gambler.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Every step of being a creative person is a challenge. I was just talking about this with a friend of mine. We’re choosing to dedicate our time to our craft and that time often comes at the expense of our meals, social life, living situation. Rent in Los Angeles is no joke and a lot of us creatives sacrifice space so we can actually afford to live out here (RE: roommates, roommates, roommates). Not to mention the cost of Final Draft, network meetings, parking fees in WeHo. I haven’t flown home to see my family in almost three years (sure the pandemic is responsible for two of those broke years, but I still can’t afford the plane ticket home). Nothing sets me apart from any other creative on here. We’re all struggling to find our way, tell our story, and hoping that our stories are worth a damn.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ll give you the bullet points: Musso & Frank’s, Little Dom’s, Griffith, the L.A. Zoo when it rains, the hiking trails behind the Jet Propulsion Lab and the rest I’m keeping a secret.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shout out to Young Storytellers, an organization I volunteer with sometimes. Without our mentors, it takes us twice as long to get where we’re going. Thank you to all of the mentors out there.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leahwelch1313/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/leahwelch19

Image Credits
Leah Welch

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