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2016 Sundance Trading Card Series: #4. Lisa Kjerulff (The Fits)

Lisa Kjerulff (The Fits)Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2015 discoveries”.
Lisa Kjerulff: Dettifoss in Iceland. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria.

Lavallee: On this project you wore two hats, that of screenwriter and producer. Could you discuss how you guys collaboratively wrote the project.
Kjerulff: During the writing process Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis and I would discuss the characters, themes, arcs and the story, decide on what each beat should be, and then Anna would take the time to write out the scenes. We would read through those pages together and tear the script apart. Our story sessions were rather emotional and we each brought our own version of girlhood to the table. As a producer, it was great collaborating on the film from the script phase because by the time we got to production I knew what was important to Anna’s vision and we’d already agreed on what our priorities were from a storytelling point of view. This made it easier to be flexible during production and to creatively problem solve anything that came up.

Lavallee: In terms of the film’s production what was the most difficult aspect of the production, and what moment during production would you call your happy surprise moment?
Kjerulff: It was a real challenge managing the schedule of 50 kids, filming in an active community center, and relying heavily on natural light. So, there were many external factors that needed to sync up everyday for us to make our days. Our crew was dedicated, the community center was very supportive, and the kids brought energy and excitement each day. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end.

We planned one of our most crucial scenes near the end of the first week. It was one of only a handful of planned exterior sequences and it happened to be cold and raining. We decided to go for it anyways, and the entire crew rallied with this intense focus. In the second take, Royalty, Devon (steadicam operator) and Jason (First A.C.) all nailed this 2 1/2 minute shot. It was beautiful and it was one of those wonderful moments where everyone could feel on set that we were making something powerful.

Lisa Kjerulff (The Fits)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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