We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Greenquist Sammi Lappin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie Greenquist, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I think the biggest barrier indie writers/producers come up against when creating a project is pre-production. We have both seen so many projects end before they’ve even begun filming, because the rewriting, location scouting, spreadsheet making aspects of making a film are not always the most glamorous or the most fun. It’s also the easiest time to throw in the towel – it’s just the core team involved at that point, so you’re really only letting down yourselves if you decide the undertaking is too much, which is totally fair. But one major habit I think has propelled us forward, through those moments, is that we bring our whole selves to work, and communicate with each other on how we’re feeling around the work on a daily basis. Our working relationship lives in tandem with our personal lives, our day jobs, our families, and our other projects. We may schedule a one hour writing meeting while Steph’s kids are getting ready for school, or a brainstorm session late in the evening because we’re both way too wiped from other work to craft any dialogue. When things get overwhelming, we’ll opt for this more fluid scheduling instead of trying to find the ‘perfect’ creative conditions. Now that’s not to say we don’t work consistently – that’s a key part of weaving a project throughout the many aspects of our lives for sure. And when we find ways to meet the work whenever we’re at that day, emotionally, capacity, scheduling wise, etc. we not only strengthen our partnership, but are also able to power through when the grind feels like too much. It may take a little longer, but this is the part of our approach that makes sure we complete the project every time, no matter what.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We love to tell visual stories about the messiest parts of us. Our protagonists aren’t perfect, they can be rude, loving, selfish, angry, forceful, sad, all at the same time. Our villains can be kind, generous, spiteful, lost, sorry. We work in all genres and styles that connect us to the story we’re telling in that moment. We create flawed, complicated characters that feel real to us, and we live to bring each conflicting element of them to life. We make films because we love every inch of process, even when it’s as messy as our characters.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This question is hard after a year of quarantine! Sammi’s favorite restaurant is Tipsy Cow in Sherman Oaks, and we both love a day out in Balboa, North Hollywood, or really any park, and we’re always big fans of camping spots by the beach.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our family and friends are a core part of our filmmaking team, and they continue to show up for us in the most incredible ways, namely showing up to do the hard stuff. This team arrives to dress the set at 5am for a 7am shoot, steps in as the boom op, AD and costume designer when everyone else is already handling 6 jobs., and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our crew is ride or die for sure, and here are a few of the brilliant businesses they rock while supporting ours: @rcklssabndnfilms, @minimizeorganizemaximize, @lowbudgetradioshow