#6: Meet SUSAN ENGEL

14 10 2009

Film: PIXIE

SUSAN ENGEL, writer, director, producer

Pixie, a 10 year old girl, and her childhood friend are coping with the loss of their best friend, who died suddenly.

Screening: Saturday Oct. 24th at 4:45pm, “Emerging Stars: Filmmakers On The Edge” program

Pixie Poster

On location filming in Nebraska, at a railroad track (Cecilianna Arriola on left, Madalyn Bowlby on right)

On location filming in Nebraska

1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you have lived, highlighting any major cultural identities that define, influence or challenge you in your life.

My name is Susan Engel, I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. I am the founder of LightSwitch Films. The name was created for my father as his CB handle, while working at United Parcel Service as a Truck Driver. He passed on in 1996… I rekindle his legacy “LightSwitch” with honors! I started performing early in life… at the age of four I began training and performing in classical ballet, musicals, theatre plays and modeling. I have always enjoyed entertaining and writing, yet, I did not put the two subject matters together until my move to Hollywood… which equals pure bliss!!!

2. How did you come to be a filmmaker, and where/how did you learn the “craft” of filmmaking?

I moved to Los Angeles in 2000, to explore the entertainment industry. I began working on various TV shows, student and feature films learning the ropes of filmmaking. I quickly discovered I enjoy Screenwriting and later realized Directing. I have 5 feature film scripts complete and 5 in the late stages of development. My screenplay genres vary from: dramas, love stories, suspense, comedies, spiritual material and documentaries that raise awareness to the public.

In 2003- 2004, I worked as a stand-in, setting up scenes with Director, Brad Silberling and Cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki on “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” I feel I learned a great deal from watching Brad and Chivo create a major motion picture…it was a complete joy and I will always cherish that experience!

In 2008, I founded LightSwitch Films, which has produced 7 short films and we are currently filming a Documentary that shares the tools children need to cope in bully situations. I have also written, directed and produced documentaries.  I absolutely love the entertainment industry and the ability to bring topics that we as the public wish to bring into the light!!!

3. What prompted the idea for your film and how did it evolve?

I wrote, directed and produced a dramatic short film titled “Pixie” which was inspired by my own loss of a childhood friend… my childhood best- friend died suddenly and with the grieving process I began to ponder the afterlife journey.

The story unfolds with three childhood friends encountering a dangerous situation and coping with a sudden loss. The lead character Pixie, is a 10 year old girl, starring (Cecilianna Arriola) and her childhood friend, played by (Miranda Leuschen) both girls struggle with the loss of their friend Harriet (played by Madalyn Bowlby).

4. What is your single favorite line from your film?

“They say my best- friend went to heaven, and yet… I watched them lower her into the ground.”

5. What movies would you say have transformed or changed the way you see the world?

The projects I feel most impacted my life would be: “What the bleep do we know?” and “Meet Joe Black.”

The Filmmakers asked the schools to make an announcement over the school intercom that “Pixie” had been selected to screen at the Arpa International Film Festival in Hollywood. Photos of the girls' reactions in their classrooms caught on camera! (From Left to Right: Madalyn Bowlby, Cecilianna Arriola, Miranda Leuschen)

The Filmmakers asked the schools to make an announcement over the school intercom that “Pixie” had been selected to screen at the Arpa International Film Festival in Hollywood. Photos of the girls' reactions in their classrooms caught on camera! (From Left to Right: Madalyn Bowlby, Cecilianna Arriola, Miranda Leuschen)

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One response

14 10 2009
Mary

It was great working with you girls and it’s wonderful to see all your hard work is being screened in Hollywood. Congratuations and I’m proud of you.
Mary Johnston

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