Lease Bertram is the director of Louis’ latest short film The Great Lakusta with our friend Eugene Lipinski in the title role.LF – So, friends of Lease, I got to know Lease through my friend Eugene Lipinski, who Lease had asked to be the star of his film. And when Eugene asked me to consider playing a role in it I, of course, jumped at the chance for a couple of reasons. One, to always work with friends, and him being that friend. And I also feel it should be our obligation as part of our evolution to give back to others in the sense of just being, remembering what, where you came from and what inspired you.
So, I always find when I work with young filmmakers who are just kind of starting out, that passion and that commitment always reminds me of the thing that got me into it. And that’s always a great reminder. But also, more than that, it’s a way to support people who are being creative in a very difficult business, and who have that dream. So, when I met him I was beyond impressed, to be honest, with his professionalism, I loved his script, I loved the way he operated as a director.
He actually played music, it was kind of a side of the film, so while you were doing the scenes, he had the music that he heard in his mind, I had that happen before with a different director. And it was fun to play.
I have a little cameo in this particular short, but it was one of, to be completely honest, one of my favorite days of 2017. So, there’s always a gift in doing these little things. You end up going, oh, wow, what a magical day that was for me.
So, I’m just grateful, and I wish him the best of luck with his short and moving forward with his career.
FF – Okay, so, you directed the short film The Great Lakusta. Could you tell us about the development of the movie and what prompted you to make it?
LB – The Great Lakusta… Originally I began writing about a kind of a character that I’ve seen throughout the many worksites I’ve worked on throughout the years. There’s some of myself in it as well. Lakusta is an abstract individual struggling to survive in a linear world. He inhabits his own space and it’s a beautiful space but it’s not always the easiest for him to survive in a world that’s not the same. So his coping mechanisms are not necessarily the best.
I began writing this film, and in the first draft the character was just sort of silent in a movie that wasn’t silent.
FF – Oh, okay.
FF – So, without spoiling anything specific about the story, you’ve already mentioned a little bit, but why is this a story that needs to be told? What is supposed to be your audience’s take away?
LB – I would hope that the audience would take away that when things are going bad, if you can just stick to the right path and just hold out for one day, sometimes you’ll get a little bit of luck that comes your way, and you never know what’s going to come your way, so just hang on.
FF – You mentioned how you ended up casting Eugene and Louis in the film. You had known Eugene before, and Louis just sort of happened to walk in?
LB – You know what? It’s fantastic. I think out of the movie, the most excitement, the biggest adrenalin rush was, for me as a director, when Louis and Eugene were together. There were a lot of elements that just came together, like, number one, it was the end of the movie, everybody was tired. We were really on the edge about getting that location, we basically stole the location, being a low budget production. It was this incredible view. We didn’t know if we were going to get it. But everything worked out. The weather was beautiful, the site, the view of the city was amazing.
LB – And that was what made that so special.
FF – Wonderful. When do you think the movie will start being available publicly? Are you going to hit the festival circuit with it?
LB – It’s a short film, so you know as far as, obviously, theatrical, major theater, it’s not really a viable market option.
FF – Right, right.
LB – So it’ll hit the festival circuit. We’re still putting the finishing touches on the edits. My goal is going to be early Spring, I think we’ll have a product ready to start entering festivals.
FF – Okay, wonderful. So, how can we help support this movie and your work as a filmmaker?
LB – We will have a website up and running. We’re putting finishing touches on those, just making sure that they’re right. And we’ll certainly let Ferreira Fest know when they’re available.
FF – Wonderful.
LB – In order to keep up with everything, and any help that people that [are] fans of Louis, any help that they can [give], spread the word as far as website names and upcoming showings, anything [like] that, that’s what would really help.
FF – Gotcha. Well, we’ll certainly help you spread the word! Thank you so much for your time, Lease. This was wonderful, and a really great insight into the work process and what a movie could mean to somebody. Thank you so much.
LB – Thank you so much for having me.
FF – All right, you have a great rest of your day.
LB – You as well.