Louise Galiza’s fascination with the visual arts came around at a very young age, and after starting her professional career working in the design industry, she soon moved on to studying Film and theatre. She then started working as an Assistant Director in the feature film industry in London, working with some of the most acclaimed directors such as Alejandro Almenabar (Agora), Lee Tamahori (The Devils Double), Dustin Hoffman (Quartet), Joe Wright (Anna Karenina), and many more.
After gaining invaluable lessons in the process of filmmaking and its industry, She went on to produce and direct a short film ‘Duende’ which has gone on to be officially selected for the Edinburgh short film festival 2013 and the Van d’Ors film festival 2013 here in London. In 2014 She directed the short film ‘Pardon the Intrusion’, which has gone on to win awards at Cleveland International Film Festival, New York No Limits film festival, Charleston International Festival & Beaufort International Film Festival, as well as being officially selected for Palm Springs International Film Festival, Aesthetica Film Festival, Short of the week and many more. It now qualifies for Oscar nomination.
Her latest short film 'Snug as a Bug' was completed in June 2017 and will be used as a calling card for the feature film 'Happy Birthday Mrs Shine'. She currently developing another two feature films, and a High-end TV drama series, as well as focusing on her latest series of microshorts for her #oneshortamonth campaign.
What do I do best?
I do well in thinking on my feet and asking the question ‘Why not?’, I generally don’t like doing something a certain way just because its always done like that - I prefer searching for other ways of doing something, challenging the norm. You are also constantly challenged by problems and dilemmas on set - I like to think I’m good at dealing with those problems and quickly finding a solution to it without letting it get to me or my team - its important to just immediately find the solution without dragging things out - it just takes up much needed time on something that can be easily solved. There is always a solution.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I like a challenge, and love working with different people - I really believe that two heads are better then one and sometimes the most amazing results come from collaborative relationships. Its important to have a clear idea of what you want as a director, but building on that through others input is inspiring and it helps other people feel like they are involved and invested in the film too. That’s as important as anything else on set - and its something that Is really important to me too.
What are my aspirations?
I would love to build a career around filmmaking - make films that excite me and get under my skin, and be able to work with inspiring creatives. I do secretly also have a dream of having my own art studio too - work on my paintings in between working as a filmmaker. I think they both tell stories in unique and compelling ways, something that I have become slightly obsessed with. Plus being a good mum and inspiring my children to follow their ambitions and dreams is something that would bring me the greatest joy!!
My Biggest Success?
My first 10 minute short ‘Pardon the Intrusion’ was a challenge, and I came away from that learning so much more about myself and about the industry. It was the most challenging creative and personal thing I have ever done, and don’t think anything can top that (except for raising two boys!). I always gauge the significance of something in my life by how it has changed me over the years - Before making ‘Pardon the intrusion’ I was terrified about even saying I wanted to make a film, but now I am proud of what I have done and what I continue to do - that in itself is a big step.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Gosh, I would say committing to this #oneshortfilmamonth. I am having to produce, direct and write some of the scripts too, and having to publish one short every month - its hard work. Its also quite terrifying - you are really putting yourself out there and open to criticism. There have been people who have thought it was a bad idea, some who didn’t think my ideas worked, and so on - there have definitely been those that have questioned my ideas and decisions - but its forced me to support any decision I make, creative or otherwise with sound judgement and understanding of story and character. Its also taught me so much about myself and my work, I know I’m going to come away from this as a different person.
Fail, Fail and Fail again - only then will you learn, grow and become 10 times the person you are today and know who you really are!
My Favorite People/Role Models?
hmmm, My husband - he can keep is cool in the most frustrating of situations, he is insanely good at detail and breaking things down to its simplest forms, he is ridiculously good at his job and he is funny! And my Dad - he is so intelligent and has worked so hard, gained so much respect, if people thought of me the way they do him… I will be happy.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
The place I grew up - Malta. My summer was spent swimming. We have a family summer flat right by the sea, every morning we would climb down the rocks and jump in - and literally spend the whole day in the water or on the boat. To this day its my happy place and its one memory that always makes me miss my home.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My camera, my laptop and my paints- I can deal with not having a phone but no camera , no laptop and no paints or canvas- it would be a tragedy!
My Current Passions?
Making films, reading scripts, watching old movies, and painting. Like I said if I can one day have my own art studio, work on films and work on my art in between each film - I would be incredibly happy! Also have to mention my kids here - always passionate about them.
How did you get into the industry?
I worked as a Print and web designer for many years, but was always interested in Film. At the time it was mostly Animated movies that inspired me - just because they gave you that feeling that anything is possible, I don’t think I was watching very exciting films at the time. But I suddenly got exposed to Tim Burton, Hitchcock, German expressionism and I became so excited about the possibilities. At 21 I finally took the plunge and quit my day job to go back and study film and Theatre. I was based in Malta at the time and there was only Film theory and a couple of practical modules at the time, but that was enough for me to get really inspired and get going. I then signed up to work as an Assistant Director - There were quite a few films being made in Malta then - and that was it, first day on set and I was hooked.
Any emerging industry trends?
The way Netflix and online platforms are taking over is really interesting. They seem to be more interested in taking risks then Studios are, and I don’t think we have seen the last of it - I think its only the beginning. There is something special about going to the cinema, and there are types of films I would always want to watch on a big screen - so maybe it’s gonna be about that - choosing which films to see in cinema and which ones to see online. That I think will change the scope of the movie industry in a big way - they will have to make the cinema experience even more special, so 3D and new technologies will really have to be pushed to its element. I think thats what’s going to change the most in the years to come.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
Same as above for this one - but its worth talking about Gender imbalance here. The Centre of Study for Women in Film and TV realised some damaging statistics in 2017 - while 50% of movie goers are female, only 8% of films were directed by women, and comprised only 24% of protagonists, and of those 68% were white (these numbers are taken from the top 100 grossing films in 2017). There are other statistics that I can include here which show massive gender balance discrepancies but I want to focus on these specifically. Although it shows action still needs to happen people are speaking up and taking note. There are more people choosing female directors, and female lead storylines. They are also looking at other stories and minorities - and starting to notice the opportunities, financially and politically, in pushing those voices through too. this focus has lead to more stores being told outside of the bubble that we are used to - focusing on people who have never really had a voice, and could actually bring in fresh ideas, fresh perspectives and in the end a much more three dimensional view of our world. We can focus on the political messages of these movements - but its worth noting its opportunities too, how this will change the industry, and actually its really exciting.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
I don’t think I can classify my work as a business - its a creative venture. For others there is a business side to it as its as much about the production company as it is about their own work - but my production company was created out of necessity and not ambition. My focus is my work, my films - and if I can produce work that effects and touches people in some way then I am happy. Vision for the future? to be hired as a full time director and make stories that I love!
What's next for the Business in the near future?
So in the next 18 months I would like to have worked on a couple of commercials / music videos, or even some TV work - Think this is the most challenging part, actually getting hired as a Director - breaking that barrier of being just an amateur film maker to become an actual director. Its a tough one but Im definitely ready for it - in the meantime I am gonna continue making films and working on my feature and TV scripts - which is still a lot of fun and very challenging.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
Its all about being able to start a dialogue with the right people, and standing out from the crowd - thats what this #oneshortfilmamonth has been about. Being proactive, experimenting, meeting and working with different people, finding and strengthening my voice as a filmmaker and being able to approach producers and production companies with something concrete and enjoyable. Its been quite crazy from the start - and I’ve already learnt a huge amount about myself and my work, but I know I am going to come out of this a different kind of filmmaker, and that is invaluable. So far I have released four films, some better and stronger then others, but you can’t go into this without knowing there is a chance you are going to fail at times. Its all about what you learn from it and how you can improve your skills. Hopefully someone out there will see this as a positive thing and understand what I am trying to do, and maybe I could get an opportunity from that - but who knows, whatever happens I know that by the end of the year I will have 12 micro shorts to my name, a much stronger showreel, a lot more film contacts AND a much better understanding on who I am as a filmmaker.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
The biggest challenge - making one short film a month and releasing it on social media - crazy idea but totally worth it!
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Ok for me a customer/client is the audience - I want them to come away from watching a film of mine feeling like its effected them emotionally. Whether its leaving the film in a better mood, pensive, or even sad - its about the story effecting them deeply. I think if anyone came to me after watching my film and say ‘oh it was nice’ I will give up and go and live the life of a hermit.
How do you motivate others?
Best way I think is to show them you are doing something yourself - being proactive, taking action. Its great sitting down and talking about things but all I want to do is to go out and make things happen, challenge myself and be inspired by what comes out of it.
Career advice to those in your industry?
You go into this industry thinking that you will make one short film, get it into festivals, win awards and then bam! you bag yourself an agent and its all uphill from there. Well, no. Its much harder and much more soul destroying then that. And there will be rejections - lots of them, and yes there will be a day when they will start to get to you. BUT don’t focus on that - focus on what you can do. Find your voice - as a director its the most important thing. Find that and you are half way there. Work on your ideas, stories, and techniques. Fail, Fail and fail again - and you will learn and grow and change. It’s surprising how things turn out - just don’t give up.