Hilary Graham is a reality TV contestant on the reality filmmaking show On The Lot.
Hilary's On The Lot Q&A:
Location: Francestown, NH
Hometown: Francestown, NH
Occupation: Stay-at-home wife and mom
Why am I here?
In January, I saw an ad calling for submissions for "On the Lot" and I decided that, if I didn't enter, I'd probably just end up watching it on TV and complaining about how I could have done better than those filmmakers. So I made a movie specifically for the contest, sent it in, and here I am.
A quick tour of my life
I was born in Boston & raised in suburban Chelmsford, MA, by my mom & dad (JoAnne & Larry). I have one sister, Andrea, who is three years younger than me. My dad died when I was 16. I went to B.U. & studied film and then continued living in Boston for 10 more years.
I made my first indie feature at age 23, my second at age 27. Both films got some good reviews & played in festivals but neither brought me fame or fortune. Mostly, I made my living as a TV producer. My mom married my stepfather, Ken, when I was in my mid-twenties.
When I was 28, I met my husband, Andy, at a Halloween party, where I was dressed as Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt, and he was dressed as a fisherman. Andy & I dated for 5 years, then we bought a house together in rural NH, and got married the following year.
Our son Henry was born about nine months after the wedding. He is now three, and I have been a stay-at-home mom for that period of time.
Describe yourself in one sentence...
creative, funny, plucky, kind, down-to-earth (I realize this is not a sentence)
Your theme song?
"Save Me" by Aimee Mann
First movie you ever saw?
The Red Balloon
Favourite line from a movie?
"Which one of you bitches is my mother?," Lace, made-for-TV-movie (1984)
What made you want to be a filmmaker?
Seeing John Cassavetes and Hal Hartley films in college, reading the book "Spike Lee's Gotta Have It," being exposed to so many DIY outsider filmmakers by my cool B.U. film Prof. Ray Carney.
When you make a film what do you want the audience to leave with?
I'd like them to leave with their own empty popcorn tubs & drink cups - it's so rude to leave them on the floor for someone else to clean!
Other than that, I like to challenge audiences with a certain amount of ambiguity, to leave some things open to interpretation, so they have room to feel their own feelings.
I think a lot of big films tell you how to feel and, personally, I'm insulted by that. But at the same time, I really love the idea of people having a shared experience.
When I'm behind the camera...
I sometimes get terrified, often get impatient, and, hopefully, most of the time, I am excited by seeing my script come to life.
What do you think it will be like working with other Directors?
I'm really looking forward to working with such talented people! Collaborating is a new thing for me & I wish I had discovered it years ago.
Favorite joke about Directors/Actors?
I don't know any except for the old casting couch chestnut.
Movie that best encapsulates who you are?
While On The Lot you have a week to make a film every week. What's the biggest challenge?
Keeping up my energy, not comparing my work to the work of others.
When you get the power, how will you use it?
What power? Does Mark Burnett have some magical potion (Clearly, the answer is yes)? But to answer seriously, I don't think about having more power at any particular time; I think I always have power (Now is the time someone should shout, "You go, girl!").
What's more important talent or ego?
Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Taxi Driver, Lone Star, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Sunshine State, Dr. Strangelove, The Graduate, Blue Velvet, Heathers, A Woman Under the Influence, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Brokeback Mountain, Fargo, Rushmore, The Sweet Hereafter, Harold & Maude, Annie Hall, Five Easy Pieces, Secrets & Lies, Being John Malkovich, Safe, The Outsiders, Ferris Bueller?s Day Off, An Angel at My Table, The Last Picture Show, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Casablanca, The Princess Bride, American Beauty, The Departed, Manhattan, Children of Men, The Breakfast Club, Raising Arizona...so many more.
David Lynch, John Sayles, Martin Scorsese, John Cassavetes, Atom Egoyan, Pedro Alomdovar, Mike Leigh, Sofia Coppola, Stanley Kubrick, Ang Lee, Jane Campion, Hal Hartley, The Coen Brothers
(novelists/essayists) David Sedaris, Anne Lamott, Yann Martel, Salman Rushdie (Screenwriters) William Goldman, Charlie Kauffman, Ruth Gordon, David Mamet, The Coen Brothers
Sean Penn, Paul Newman, Chris Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Bill Murray, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Robert Downey Jr.
Robin Wright Penn, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jodie Foster, Anjelica Huston, Laura Dern
"Magnolia", "I Am Sam", "The Virgin Suicides", "The Big Lebowski", "Sling Blade", "Buena Vista Social Club"