We had the good fortune of connecting with Millie Rose Heywood and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Millie Rose, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As a filmmaker, risk is an intrinsic characteristic of the job. When I started out, I had no idea whether my projects would be successful or find an audience, I had to believe in myself, back my decisions and have faith in the stories I was telling.

I was fortunate that others believed in me too, including investors, producers, cinematographers, cast and crew. I credit much of my success to the incredible collaborations I’ve had with them on my films.

I’m still risking everything every day, which can be terrifying at times, but I believe so much in the power of film, and my place within it as a storyteller. I wouldn’t have moved halfway across the world, dragging myself and my husband away from our families if I didn’t know that filmmaking is what I want to do with my life. And that Los Angeles is the place to do it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a filmmaker who focuses on women’s stories, especially socially-conscious and/or provocative narratives that push the envelope. Nothing is ever easy, especially as an outspoken woman, but luckily, growing up, I refused to buy into the narrative that I was “bossy” and “overconfident.” I know who I am, I have a voice, and I’m going to use it.

I’m incredibly proud of my current slate of projects in development, including an Australian Christmas dramedy, “Unwrapped”, based on true events, about a family learning to connect and overcome their differences despite dealing with immense grief, and “By the Fall”, a provocative, twisted coming-of-age story centered around two young women. Initially written as a feature, we’ve been asked to adapt it to a tv series. Both were written with creative collaborator Amanda Dow. We are also developing a new anthology series which I can’t say too much about just yet but I’m very excited to see it come together and can’t wait to share it with world.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

My LA go-to’s for visiting friends –

A hike at Malibu Creek State Park (literally evokes imagery of the Great Valley in the “Land Before Time”) or Dume Point (for dolphin watching!) followed by fresh seafood at Broad Street Oyster.

Cocktails at Accomplice – the best in the city! Also, my husband Jerom Morris is the bar director so I might be biased, but he is a legit cocktail wizard. I’m not wrong, just ask around. [IG – @drinksbyjerom]

A walk around Hollywood Reservoir – a haven amongst the urban chaos. I walk here almost daily and love the serenity and nature, morning and evening deer sightings are a regular occurrence, and hummingbirds are always buzzing about to say hello.

An Imax film at the Chinese Theater, there is no better place to watch an epic film. I recently saw “Top Gun: Maverick” there and it was an unbelievable experience.

A swim or surf at Hermosa Beach, my favorite beach spot! A very chill coastal vibe with crystal clear water and lots of dolphin sightings.

And if we go away for a weekend trip, Palm Springs or Santa Barbara are a must-do! Both are uniquely Californian and absolutely delightful.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some amazingly talented humans on my journey, and I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to two of them –

The first is my creative collaborator Amanda Dow, a fellow Australian I met in LA in 2018 through my clever husband – who just knew we’d hit it off and pushed us both to have coffee despite our busy schedules. We did indeed hit it off and immediately started working together, and we’ve since written two feature films and a tv series, all of which are in development for production. That first year she took me to Cannes Film Festival, guiding and pushing me to pitch our first film at the market, which was an incredible, formative experience on my directing journey. I’m forever grateful for her grace and sass, and the unfiltered and honest way in which we collaborate.

The second is Director of Photography Velinda Wardell, we worked together on my featurette “Girl Falling” and to say the experience was magic would be an understatement. There was a lot of chaos on set, as is usually the case with indie productions, but collaborating with her on such an important story – my mother’s – was game-changing. She has an exceptional eye and is a true artist behind the lens. We could communicate almost telepathically and both had the same instincts for the story, and I’m so proud of what we created. I can’t wait to work with her again and again and again.

Website: www.millieonairproductions.com

Instagram: @millieroseheywood @millieonairproductions

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/millie-rose-heywood/

Twitter: millieroseh

Facebook: Millie Rose Heywood

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/retrogradeseries

Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/millieonair

Image Credits
Photos 1, 2 – Photographer Lauren Pierce Photo 3 – Photographer Jackson Heywood Photos 4,5,6 – Philip Erbacher Photo 7 and main photo – Emily Sandifer Photo 8 – Madison McKamey

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