We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Downs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Definitely when you start your own business, or start to work for yourself on whatever it might be – in my case starting my own production company and trying to get my own ideas off the ground – the work / life balance blurs.
Previously for me, I had an 8am to min. 6pm office job working for another production company which was stable, creative, and allowed me to switch off at the end of the day. Now, I have an edit suite in my home, an office desk in my home, and most of my time is spent at home. So how do you switch off at the end of the day? Work is always there.
That’s what I’ve struggled with the most – having that moment where you “end” the day, or look forward to a weekend. Weekends now to me don’t really exist, but it’s a positive and a negative. It can get to you working from home, but I’m working on my own projects which is far more rewarding than working for a production company where I’m trying to make other people’s creative ideas a reality.
It’s a compromise I’m happy to make because it’s all for something I’m really excited about and that I believe in.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For me my own is all about nostalgia – currently I’m working on a series of feature documentaries that celebrate iconic films and tell the stories of those who helped make the film so iconic. The first in the series was LIFE AFTER FLASH looking at the life of Sam J Jones and the story of “Flash Gordon”. The second in the series was LIFE AFTER THE NAVIGATOR all about “Flight of the Navigator” and what happened to the star Joey Cramer. Currently in production is LIFE AFTER ATREYU all about Noah Hathaway and “The NeverEnding Story”, and also LIFE AFTER GOODFELLAS with Christopher Serrone – with more to come.
It was an incredibly tough learning experience and I didn’t realise how hard it would be before I started, but I’m proud I stuck with it and managed to think ahead to future films and shoot concurrently to maximise the budget. It’s tough being in the UK trying to tell stories about subjects in the USA. It’s tough on the budget and schedule, but just believing in what I was doing was half the battle. There was a moment half way through LIFE AFTER FLASH that I wanted to give up but I changed my way of thinking and started to feel gratitude to those giving their time, and for me being able to have this opportunity and it really was a turning point and changed the direction of the film for the better. Also I learnt to stick with my gut and follow what I knew was best despite being told I was wrong.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely I need to shout out to my other half and producer Ashley Pugh. He’s in the industry as well so he understands what it means to need to go above and beyond to get an idea off the ground, and he’s been incredibly supportive whilst I try and creative this nostalgia brand through these feature documentaries