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Filmmaker Spotlight: Lindsey Normington (Open Projector Night Winner)

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This article includes mature content:
This interview contains adult language and references to adult content.

Lindsey Normington talks about process and inspiration behind her film that won the audience vote at Open Projector Night.
Lindsey Normington

Lindsey Normington

Film still from How to (Without a Doubt) Get Rich & Famous in L.A.

Film still from How to (Without a Doubt) Get Rich & Famous in L.A.

Film still from How to (Without a Doubt) Get Rich & Famous in L.A.

Film still from How to (Without a Doubt) Get Rich & Famous in L.A.

We'd like to congratulate our last Open Projector Night winner, Lindsey Normington and her film 'How to Without a Doubt Get Rich and Famous in L.A.' We were excited to have a conversation with Lindsey to learn more about her, process, and filmmaking background. 

Poor yourself a coffee, relax, and enjoy this interview with filmmaker; Lindsey Normington. 

  1. For those who don’t know you, Lindsey, please tell us about yourself – give us a little bio.

    LN: Hi! I'm Lindsey Normington and I'm a 26 year old actress, writer and stripper from Grand Rapids, MI living in Los Angeles, CA. I moved out to LA shortly after I graduated from Grand Valley State University in the spring of 2018.
  1. Can you tell us about your cinematic background? How did you get involved in the world of filmmaking?

    LN: I would say that my involvement in filmmaking mostly stems from my love for acting and storytelling. I saw a high school production of Little Shop of Horrors when I was about 7 years old that completely took my breath away. My mom rented the dvd from Blockbuster and we made a bootleg copy. I used to watch it literally every day after school. That movie offered me an escape in a time of my life where it was desperately needed, and I wanted so badly to jump inside the screen and stay there. From that point I began doing plays and musicals all through grade school until I got to college and started helping people out with student films and local projects (shoutout to you and to Mitch Anderson.) My older brother Taylor studied film at MSU too and was always writing/filming something.

  1. Who and what inspires you to create? What drives you to make art?

    LN: Even something as campy as Little Shop of Horrors was so lovingly crafted and executed that it could transcend this reality. Something about a great movie or book or painting sort of invents a new dimension that people can then visit and revisit. It doesn't just serve as an escape, but also as a partner that sort of talks back to you, and you can hear it differently each time. It can serve as a tool for gauging and then addressing your own life. I have been profoundly impacted in this way particularly through film, and have always strongly hoped that I could offer others that same experience from the inside. 

  1. Considering Open Projector Night relates to the state of Michigan and you’re originally from here – can you tell us what MI means to you? Has it inspired you in any way?

    LN: Michigan is heavy! Full of so much pain and so much love my brain wants to answer in all sorts of platitudes and song lyrics lol. I love Michigan and the people there that gave me everything I have. So yes, it's inspired me because everything I can and will ever do will be done in my own Michigander spirit!

  1. This film was created a few years ago now and unfortunately somewhat shadowed due to the pandemic. Considering some time has passed, how do you feel about it now; are you still happy with it? If not, what would you do differently?

    LN: I'm so happy this movie got made against the odds of our team being composed of very young and mostly inexperienced kids with essentially no budget. Shoutout to Kelly Curran and Creston Brown who worked their asses off. We originally wanted it to be a series with the two main characters getting into all kinds of trouble in their unending search for clout. Sort of Broad City for LA basics. If I were to do something differently with what I know now, I'd push harder to keep it going. I think the biggest obstacles we faced as a group of intricately involved young creative types were our individual sensitivities and differences. It's hard to work with friends in general but especially when you don't have a shitty boss controlling you that you can all make fun of together. We were in charge of ourselves and each other and that was very freeing and very limiting all at once. 

  1. Tell us about the evolution of this film – where did the idea blossom and why did you want to tell this particular story? 

    LN: While the events of the film didn't happen exactly as depicted, the following details were real: too many substances, major hangover, weird weed themed photo shoot conducted by the sketchiest man alive, getting too high, psychic disturbances, passing out and shitting myself, and learning nothing from my mistakes. I wish I could tell you we invented this story out of our creative genius, but it basically just happened for real. Only it was a lot less funny at the time. I had only been in LA for a few months at that point, and I was sure I'd already reached rock bottom. Once we got home from the photoshoot I cried my eyes out in the bathtub thinking about how all I wanted was to call my mom back home and tell her what happened but I couldn't because she'd be furious at me. Kelly assured me that it would be a funny story one day and she saw to it that that became a reality, bless her. If you had told me then I'd one day be reflecting on it in this way I don't think that I would have believed you. 

  1. You not only star in the film, but you also co-directed, wrote, and produced this picture. Tell us a little about that. In hindsight, is this something you’d do all over again or would you prefer to pass off some of those responsibilities?

    LN: I think it would have been so much better to have more help, but we were all pretty precious about this project to the point where we even had trouble communicating/coming to agreements even with each other. It's hard to say whether or not we'd have been better off with more voices in the mix. I would also probably prefer to never be a producer again, but I love casting! 

  1. This may be a cliché’ question to ask – but what are some of your favorite films and how have they impacted your life?

    LN: Little Shop of Horrors, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Uptown Girls, Boogie Nights, Thelma and Lousie, Paris is Burning... There are a million movies I love but these are a few that speak to something very stark inside of me! I love when I have that sensation of identifying with something so strongly even if I can't exactly place why at first. The biggest impact they've had on me is that they've given me immense hope for the future. They give us permission to explore the difficult themes within our own lives and to let others bear witness. They show us we are not alone.  

  1. If you can provide any advice to filmmakers/artists; what would that be?

    LN: Thinking is not creative. To create something is an active verb, so even if you don't have the tools at your disposal to make the thing you really want to make - draw a picture about it, jot something down, move it into another medium. That is the function of art.

  1. What are the next steps for Lindsey? Are you planning to make any more films? Do you have any other artistic endeavors you’d like to share with us?

    LN: 2022 has been a whirlwind. Not only have I had some of my best job opportunities yet in acting, I've also been heavily involved in unionizing my strip club Star Garden with my crew at Stripper Strike Noho. I don't know everything 2023 has in store for me artistically, but I can say that a career dream of mine is underway! That's all I can say for now, but this year should start off very special for me. I'm hoping that in the next few years I'll be in a financial place to start developing my first feature, and I can move into writing and directing moreso than I have had the chance to since HWDGRFLA was made.

  1. Cheesy question but I must know. If you were granted a large budget and you could make your dream film, what would that be?

    LN: System of a Down jukebox musical. I'm completely serious. Please nobody steal my idea!

  1. Any last words you’d like to end on?

    LN: Thanks for taking the time to watch our little movie! Solidarity forever to workers across all industries. <3

Want to watch Lindsey's award winning film? Click the link below!

How To (Without A Doubt) Get Rich And Famous In LA - YouTube

Are you a filmmaker and looking to screen your film on the big screen? If so, please visit for submission rules and guidelines. 

Finally, mark your calendars for the next Open Projector Night that will take place on Wednesday, February 15th. 

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