Catching up with Ama Lea: Introduction to a filmmaker’s diary

15. August 2014

Ama Lea

I came across Ama about two years ago. She was doing these amazing photos of horror celebrities for a book pretty confidently entitled „The Bloody Best Project“. Famous faces disconnected from reality, dwelling in strange locations, full of razor-sharp details, irony and an unsettling atmosphere. So you know what? I was hooked immediately. These photos were more than just staged. They seemed to be excerpts from bigger stories, faux stills, giving a hint at what happened before and what was probably about to happen soon. The right term for this would be: Cinematic. These pictures were actually taken by a filmmaker at heart. The name of the photographer: Ama Lea.

Only a few weeks later my first impression was proven to be right. Ama started a crowdfunding campaign for a short film. „Red Red“ was a mean little neo-giallo with everything from lesbian sex to child abuse. This was clearly not your regular Kickstarter. No, this was a vision. A do-or-die thing. Something that had to be made. Quite obvious, the person behind it would never be happy with doing stuff just for the money. This was a project of a real artist. From that day on I never considered Ama to be anything else than that.

Recently I read a tweet by producer Joe Carnahan („The Grey“), saying: „Somewhere, the next Orson Welles toils in obscurity, trying to find funding as ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ unspools in its 5th incarnation.“ – To me, Ama Lea is such an Orson Welles case. She has stories to tell on what the hunt for money was accomplished by. So instead of going for the by now outdated ways of funding or turning to the crowd once again, she decided to try and prove that the no-budget movie is an option when you have a team with you that will work for the love.

It’s an experiment and an adventure at the same time and Ama intends to document every single step by means of a production diary. I instantly loved the idea and asked her if she wanted us to publish it. She wanted to. So here we go, presenting you the wild ride of a filmmaker without a single dollar, written with honesty, doubt, humor and heart. Let’s join her on this trip. None of us knows where it will lead us, but how about finding out? I believe in Ama and so should you. [LZ]

Links for further reading:

[Photo Credits: Ama Lea]

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