We recently had the pleasure of talking with filmmaker Lisa Danker, whose film, Beneath a Glass Floor Lobby, is showing at this year’s Indie Grits.
1. What is your connection to the South?
I live in the South in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, my film, Beneath a Glass Floor Lobby, is about two commercial real estate development sites, one sitting on a thousands-year-old former site of the Miami Tequesta Natives in Miami, Florida.
2. What was your muse for this film?
I lived in Miami at the time that hundreds of Tequesta artifacts, along with postholes from their village dated back to around 500 A.D., were unearthed at a multimillion dollar commercial real-estate development site. The developers and the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board were in dispute about what should happen to the site, with many citizens calling for the city to apply for consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Around the same time that this was happening, the Miami Herald building, which had defined the cityscape for all my life in Miami, had just been bought by a casino corporation. I shot Super 8 footage of both these locations, and while I was working on a different project, realized that the stories of these two places deserved their own film.
3. What was your first film?
My first film shown to the public, photo-synthesis, was an experimental, abstract, hand-painted 16mm film of black and white, and Kodachrome, footage of flowers and plants shot macroscopically and then re-printed and slowed down on an optical printer.
4. Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
My set was pretty small and controlled, so this may not be a typical answer. Many of the flowers I shot were roses that my mom had given me for my birthday that year. When they dried, I admired the details of their beauty and wanted to preserve them in that film.
5. If you’ve been to Indie Grits before, what’s your favorite memory?
I have so many good memories of Indie Grits! I met lost of new people, from Columbia and all over, and it was a fun and friendly experience. I remember getting grits in the filmmaker’s bag. My best memory was seeing my film projected on the screen at the new Nickelodeon Theater, and feeling that this was exactly what I had wanted the film to be. The professionalism and high quality of the projection put my film in the best possible light, and I appreciate how proud I felt viewing the film in such an ideal setting. I enjoyed the Q & A after the film too and was asked some of the best, most engaged questions about the film that I got anywhere.