Interview with Filmmaker Anne Flournoy – The Louise Log

The Louise Log is a dark, funny, weird yet relatable web series about a woman, her life, her men, and her inner voice. The series has recently gained attention as a topic of interest for Roger Ebert on this twitter page. Producer and writer of the series, Anne Flournoy, is no stranger to getting attention and accolades for her works in video. Her first film, Louise Smells A Rat was invited to be in the New York Film Festival. Variety called her third short Nadja Yet “a nine-minute showstopper”. Anne has shared insights about her series in this FnS interview.

All of your video projects focus on the inner consciousness. Is that your “thing”?

The ‘unseen’ is one of my burning interests– that and the discrepancy between what appears to be and what is.  

It may not be true for people in their teens and 20′s today who seem very at ease being ‘transparent’, but when I was growing up we were trained in wearing a mask, sort of like an emotional Sunday Best.  That makes for a lot of conflict but a rich inner life.

Much of The Louise Log is unpredictable, and even irrelevant. Is this symbolic, or is it written as a stream of consciousness, as the narrative sounds?

We’re talking about the voiceover here, right?  The voiceover is sort of the secret weapon of The Louise Log.  It started out as a way to salvage a first episode which looked pretty and had great music but which needed something more.  Years ago a friend who’d taken a class in graduate school with Emir Kusturica learned about (and passed on to me) the marvel of ‘the third thing’.  If a scene isn’t working, say between a man and a woman, add an angry cat.  Etc.  I’d seen and been haunted by a wonderful Godard film Two or Three Things I Know About Her.  No matter how many times I watched it, I couldn’t seem to grasp it.  I’ve probably seen that film more than any other and it has an extended whispered voice-over.  

So getting around to answer your question, usually, the voice-over gets added after the picture is cut as a way to make sense of the ‘action’ and sometimes to fill in essential information that isn’t in the picture.   There’s a temptation for the VO to just react to the action but this seems to be less successful than if the voice-over has a ‘theme’ of its own– and often one which wasn’t even considered in the shooting script.   In Season 2, my co-writer Sandra Vannucchi was more careful about making sure the VO was written in but even so, sometimes it changes in the editing.  The VO does a balancing act of doing a lot of jobs.  If it sounds like a natural stream of consciousness, I’m happy.  

So which came first? Louise’s loss of attraction to her husband, or her neurosis about her relationship with him? What is the origin of her “frustrated ego”?

Louise’s neuroses are definitely the core of her problems.  She could be married to Prince Charming and eventually end up despising him.  That old saying, “If you’ve got one finger pointing AT someone, there’re three more pointing back at you” applies.

I think the origin of her frustrated ego is that Stepford-type mask.  Learning at an early age that your spontaneous responses are not acceptable gives rise to all kinds of second-guessing, self-doubt and self-hatred. 

When I saw what was happening to Phinneas, as a filmmaker, I immediately thought that you had to write it in because of unavailability. Sometimes we have to be flexible, huh?

Actually, it wasn’t Kenneth Goldberg’s lack of availability but that the story took a sort of a hairpin turn.  We shot Louise’s reaction to the terrible sound effects at the end of episode #17 almost a year after the rest of that episode.  

What are you most proud of, as a filmmaker?

Hmm.   We just put up a new website with pictures and mini-bio’s of the cast, crew and musicians and looking at all of them, my jaw dropped with something like pride.  That these amazing people are willing to work with me and on some level believe in me is quite humbling.  But it also makes me feel incredibly supported and, yes, proud.

I’m definitely proud that with the (self-imposed) upload deadlines, I’ve wrestled my perfectionism to the ground and finished what for me is a ton of work. 

 And then there’s the fact that after basically admitting complete defeat, after seventeen years of trying to (raise kids and) rewrite and find a producer for my second feature, I was basically giving the finger to ‘the business’ (but just for the moment, I thought).  I went off into amateur-land with my little Panasonic standard definition camera to try something, ANYthing to reconnect with being a visual artist.  And bingo.  It feels like I hit the jackpot.  To have found a way to work at my own pace, to be able to figure out a story as late as the last days of the editing,  to work for the price of the videotapes.  And maybe most radical of all, the internet allows me to have a direct relationship with the audience.   The possibility that the audience rather than a producer or a corporate entity could become the source of funding is completely exciting.  Not sure if I feel as much ‘proud’ of myself for this as thrilled that I stumbled into this new world.

See the complete series at  http://TheLouiseLog.com and learn more about Anne at http://anneflournoy.com/.

Comments

  1. I just about fell off my chair when I saw you were interviewing Anne here.

    The first time I received a link to her site, from Ann Imig, I spent 2 hours there.

    There should be a new word for the kind of talent you see from Anne Flournoy.

    I featured her on a Friday Funny highlight at my blog, and received comment after comment on how much women related to Louise Log.

    Truly, Anne is something unique, clever, and wonderful.

    I love seeing her featured here.

  2. I’m with Alexandra…I was very excited to see this interview, but even more excited to learn about The Louise Log! How did that escape me? I have since signed up and promo’d it on Facebook. Now I have go watch *all* the episodes. Thanks to FNS AND of course Anne for creating such funny and insightful art. And it’s not just for women either…

  3. Thank you Alexandra and Kate. Your comments are the icing on a very very nice day getting featured on FnS.

  4. A friend on Twitter recommended Anne and the Louise log to me. I watched one episode and immediately became a fan. I am fascinated with her use of inner dialogue.

    As I watched more episodes the series became funnier; I think that was because I was learning more about the characters. Now I look forward to her deadline for the release of the next edition.

    Shallie Bey
    Smarter Small Business Blog

  5. Also a fan of Anne – and what a killer interview! The whole part about youth today and transparency vs the image we were raised to project – fascinating. Love the peek inside such a smart and talented brain.

  6. Anne Flournoy is a super filmmaker, original funny, insightful, a good story teller. The Louise series really captures the worries and hopes of a modern NYC woman. I’ve followed the show for several years and always enjoy it.

  7. Addie Dupuy says:

    LOVE. IT.

  8. this is delightful

  9. shanahan says:

    Big Fan of Louise Log. Go Anne!

  10. constance m. says:

    I love the Louise Log, it’s insightful & funny- a specific point-of-view that engages and entertains because you have empathy with Louise, yet when you’re laughing – it’s with her, and at yourself.

  11. How hilarious is she? I signed up for her mailing list, and it said she would mail me a “third eye” sticker, and I received it! I had totally forgotten about it, and it came with a handwritten note. She is awesome.

  12. Wonderful interview! I’ve been a fan of Anne’s for a very long time and it’s time that she receives the recognition she deserves. A witty, intelligent series I am fascinated by the Louise and her foibles. Keep ‘em coming.

  13. Stephen Dimmick says:

    Anne off centre sense of humour has ALWAYS made me laugh and think. That in itself is quite a feat with all the bland “rerun” humour found everywhere else. Definitely a leader and not a follower.

  14. I’m a big fan of Anne and the Louise Log! Thanks for the great interview.

  15. So so happy to see Anne Flournoy and the Louise Log here! I am a recent convert to Louise and simply adore her. Good job, FnS!

  16. the louise log is #winning !!!!

  17. I look forward to escaping into Louise’s reality. Always makes me chuckle. maryc

  18. mary condon says:

    look forward to this monthly

  19. Maggie Bloomfield says:

    I love it that it just keeps going and going and going – Ann’s bound to get the recognition she deserves.

  20. Louise Log, a must in my inner world. Keep talking.

  21. What I loved most about this interview is actually Anne’s stick-to-it-iveness of finding a way to have a thrilling creative life regardless of the obstacles.

    I agree completely about the humility of stepping back with awe at the people you surround yourself and work with. For me it is the greatest gift among many great gifts of blogging and my on-line life.

  22. Ohmigosh! Whaaaaa? Thank you each and every one for taking the time to write out your wonderful comments. Really. THANK you.

  23. Great interview. Thanks for posting. Love the series!

  24. The Louise Log is great because it shows a very natural and interesting point of view about life.Every episode has its own story and they make you curious to understand more.That’s why I am captivated by this set.:)

  25. I HAVE BEEN A FAN OF lOUISE SINCE IT ALL STARTED AND I LOVE IT! IT GETS BETTER WITH EACH EPISODE, THANKS FOR YOUR GREAT CREATIVITY !!!!VERY PROUD OF YOU ANNE.

  26. Thoughtful and incisive interview….keep going , Anne..love it!

  27. Love the Louise Logs and love what’s happening for you Anne. Long may it last.

  28. Anne is a gifted filmmaker, a friend, and a delight! Love this interview– great to read about her creative practice and influences.

  29. love it;especially since 20 when it’s gone into a dimension i can’t even wrap my head around

  30. al grillon says:

    hilarious.don’t miss the chair wrestling episode

  31. Restlessmedicine says:

    Flournoy’s “Louise” really makes us think about how hard it is to get to the bare bones beneath the many masks we wear to get through the day. With each episode Louise tells us more about who she is, and by extrapolation, who we all are, to one extent or another.

  32. ahmo flow says:

    Smart, sexy, and such a mess — what a woman Ms. Flournoy has cooked up in Louise! Who could resist her? Ms. Flournoy’s creative insight is so sharp it sometimes scares me. Brava!

  33. What an insightful interview! I’ve followed Anne Flournoy and the Louise Logs for years, and it’s wonderful to have a chance to become further acquainted with the mind behind the work. Her phrase “emotional Sunday Best” will be with me for quite sometime. Thanks, Anne! Thanks, FNS!

  34. How nice to see this interview! Thanks — it’s a revelation! I love Louise, but I equally love the growing cast of oddballs and emotional black holes with whom she surrounds herself. Few artistic creations are truly sadder, funnier, or weirder than reality. I’m happy to report that The Louise Log now surpasses reality on all three fronts.

  35. Andre and Cinnamon says:

    Huge fans of Anne and The Louise Log (and interview above!). More, More!!!!

  36. Pegeen Rubinstein says:

    Bravo Anne!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] you have not read our interview with Anne Flournoy, series creator, see it here. And our second interview is about how the subject of Anne’s webseries, Louise, is now [...]

  2. [...] you have not read our interview with Anne Flournoy, series creator, see it here. And our second interview is about how the subject of Anne’s webseries, Louise, is now [...]

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