–Who is Laura Burnett?
I am from Clearwater, Tampa Florida, then moved to Los Angeles to study acting. I have worked in post production and production for tv series for 20 years.
I desired to create my own projects and finally in 2010 I wrote, directed and produced a music video “Queen of the Sun” for the Indie band, Windsor for the Derby.
Their label Secretly Canadian used the music video.
While working as a producer on a true crime tv series, I had a overwhelming desire to be creative and that is where the script for “Blind Truth” originated from.
“Blind Truth” was my first scripted movie.
–What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
When I started working in television it was in post production because I had learned Avid and Protools in 2001. My first job was an assistant editor on a feature film then my first job in television was a logger who moved up to librarian for a Dick Wolf’s documentary series. After that I was hired in different positions on a many series but not creative positions. I started working on a documentary crime series as an associate producer and then moved up as a producer. I have always been a very creative person and that is what is natural to me; but I have not been hired for those skills. My work in television is very different, so in 2010, I decided to create. That is when I made a few music videos for an indie music artist and also for a contest for a well known artist. Even though I funded these, I was happy to be creating and being able to do what is my passion. My desire to create is what inspired me to be a filmmaker and write “Blind Truth.” For this movie, which I wrote in 2013, I was very affected by wrongful conviction stories and how the justice system can sometimes work against people of color. So what inspired me was a mix of me always being creative and desiring to create. As a child I was a talented fine artist and wanted to pursue a career in the arts. I was told fine art wasn’t reliable, so I studied acting for over a decade, was in a few indie films, booked a commercial, but it wasn’t enough work to continue. I was told to get a reliable job, so I learned editing. That led me into production and the business, legal and technical aspects. So when cameras and software became more affordable, I was able to finally create.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
Yes. I know I was heavily influenced by stories I saw as a child. Star Wars, IV, V, VI were a huge influence on me. I really connected with the Jedi and I feel those films had an impact on my world view. Another film that impacted me was “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” My mother was a movie fan, so she had me watch all the classics. When I saw that movie I was 6 or 7 and I felt the same way as the main female character. Sidney Poitier’s character was a great man, and I loved the message of that film. It was entertaining but also taught wonderful lessons about our world as do documentaries and other tv shows. I remember seeing the 1977 Roots version as a child and feeling so angry at the injustice. But also, cinema for me; just lifts up the spirits and can show the best parts or humanity which is just inspiring. Spielberg Films were also a huge inspiration for me because they lifted me up, and allowed me to dream. So I would say based on my personal experience, I know how cinema has impacted me personally. I guess everyone is inherently different with different backgrounds, so each person will take away different things from the same story, but for me, I know it has affected me. At the least, I feel it will open up discussion. In general though, I think cinema and pure entertainment with or without a message makes us happy and that is important. I know it lets me dream and opens my mind.
–What would you change in the world?
So many many things. The dark side of human nature?
In general though, abuse in any form.
Since I live in Los Angeles, right now, having the right to housing, food and clean water is a human right.
I really wish we could find and enact a more comprehensive approach to the homeless problem.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
Wow, I have no idea. There are so many probabilities.
I am sure things will change with technology advancements.