Maya Kazan’s “Lulu at the Ace Hotel” has just wrapped principal photography as one of the selected films for our collaboration with Killer Films and the Ace Hotel. We caught up with Maya on the set to talk about her thoughts on Lulu as well as her plans as one of Massify’s most promising filmmakers.

How has the experience been working together with Christine Vachon and the Killer Films Team?

I have so much respect for Christine and for her company. Her commitment to young filmmakers is really remarkable, and I feel very lucky to have been given such a fantastic opportunity. It’s been such an exciting process, getting to work with such a powerful and experienced team.

What were you doing prior to your concept being selected for production?

I’m actually enrolled in acting school right now at the William Esper Studio. I believe that a director should have a firm understanding of the craft of acting, and that there’s no better way to learn about something than to do it yourself. But since my lead actress was only seven years old, it worked out to schedule our shoot around school. I actually shot LULU on the weekend, when I didn’t have class.

Where does your inspiration come from as a filmmaker?

I’m often inspired by other artists and filmmakers, and just by life itself. I love to watch people. I find a lot of inspiration riding on the subways in New York. So I guess, if you see me watching you on the subway, watch out!

Was there anything surprising to you about the shoot, or about this process?

The most wonderful surprise was that we got such a fantastic and talented cast of actors! I was really worried because it’s such a small project, and we needed to feature so many characters in order to give a sense of the world of the hotel, but we got really lucky in how people responded to the script. It was such a nice surprise to have such talented actors for such a small film. and also for small roles! We all had such a blast working together.

How was your experience shooting at the Ace Hotel?

Almost every single person I talked to who worked at the Ace told me that they had a background in film. I thought that was so crazy. But it was wonderful to get to work with so many creative people who were excited about our project shooting at their hotel. They couldn’t have been nicer to us.

How are sites like Massify, and the internet as a whole changing the way you approach film?

There are a lot of exciting prospects on the horizon, what with the rise of the internet as an outlet for distribution. I think we’re seeing a sea change right now- the models are all shifting, and I see the internet as a sort of vast unexplored wilderness. There’s a lot of potential for the union of film and the internet; we’re at “the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” I think.

What are your plans for the future? Any upcoming projects you’d like the Massify community to know about?

This summer, I’m looking to make a series of short films that I’ve been writing. But in the immediate future, my production company Matchbook Pictures, which helped to produce LULU, is going into pre-production on our first original web series. I’ve also been developing a couple of feature projects, so if you’re interested in what we do next, please stay tuned for updates on the Matchbook website!

Photos Courtesy of Tessa Treanor

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