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Femme Filmmakers Festival: Lisa E Williams Talks the Collaboration Between Music and Filmmaking

“I wanted to make a short film /documentary about where our stories come from, the real ones, the ones that make us who we are…”

Singer / songwriter, Lisa E. Williams, was fortunate enough to land her short film in competition for the Femme Filmmakers Festival. A kind of cross-genre piece, could be a music video, could be a extended trailer, a think piece, and even a short film documentary.

Truth is, as Williams herself defines it, “Open, Honest, and Vulnerable” is an album trailer for her upcoming E.P. We got a sneak peak of the video, a thoughtful, well shot 4 minute film. The black and white, as well the composed voice-over narration, give the carefully constructed, dare I say – promo video, a sense of serenity. The music quietly bouncing in the background only mimics this.

I grabbed a couple of minutes with the musician (and filmmaker), to throw some questions her way. I started, of course, with music:

Robin: What are your music roots?

Lisa: Rooted in folk, pop songs with great stories and imagery.

Robin: Which musicians inspired you as a child and growing up?

Lisa: Love The Beatles. James Taylor got turned on to them when my dad was in the Vietnam war. He had the reel reel of Hendrix, The Beatles, and so many other artists.

Robin: What is your background in film?

Lisa: No formal training, its just that I love the process of filmmaking from start to finish.

Robin: Tell us your perception on the relationship between music and film, in regard to your artistic work.

Lisa: They both can exist without the other, but when put together in the right way, it takes storytelling to another level. How  music can drive a scene, with the dialogue, very powerful.

Robin: What kind of mood were you going for with Open, Honest, and Vulnerable?

Lisa: I’m always interested in what makes people create what they create. How connection happens with words and stories. Sometimes we are afraid to write or say what we feel, but I think when we are open, honest, and vulnerable, an honest connection can happen. We should all try it more.

Robin: How do you shoot a video like this? Locations? Time-scales? Dialogue?

Lisa: I knew what I wanted, not always, so this was easy. It’s about a journey, a movement, becoming someone to be open. Locations have never really an issue. And with the dialogue, I knew what I was going for.

Robin: Who or what has been a great help to you in making movies?

Lisa: My director of photography David Velick, my songwriting partner Gene Quade.

Robin: What other aspects of filmmaking are you looking to explore that you haven’t yet?

Lisa: I love documentaries, and animation.

Robin: What are your views on coverage of female filmmakers in the last few years?

Lisa: Women like Ava Duverany, Emily Best (Seed and Spark), are doing amazing things. We all need to help each other. Don’t wait for permission to do what you want. So much more can be done for women in film, it is still not enough.

Robin: What do you have planned for the rest of the year, and into the next?

Lisa: Create, create, connect, create. Thank you so much for this!


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