Punk Globe Interviews Film Maker
By: Ginger Coyote
I first met Lilly when I was asked to participate in a film that dealt with the life of my dear friend the late Marian Anderson.... Marian was a very amazing human being.. The first time I met Marian it was for a East Bay Cable Access Show . Marian was doing the interview and I was dumbfounded by how pretty and sweet she was... She was sporting a wonderful tall royal blue hawk and dressed in pure punk regalia... We hit it off instantly and it was not long that our bands were playing shows together.. The first time I saw Marian on stage I was in jaw dropping awe- The sweet considerate person who had conducted the interview was gone. On stage was a firecracker emoting all her inner rage... The new Wendy O Williams.... Sadly Marian left us way to soon. However Lilly Scourtis Ayers had a mission and that was to put out a film about Marian... It is January 2011 and Slam Dance Film Festival in Park City Utah has announced the films that have been chosen.. On the list is "THE LAST FAST RIDE- THE LIFE, LOVE AND DEATH OF A PUNK GODDESS" A FILM BY Lilly SCOURTIS AYERS...... We were lucky enough to get a chance to interview Lilly... I hope you enjoy........
Punk Globe: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer questions for the interview ... How did you decide to do a film surrounding the late Marian Anderson?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: I actually got involved through my good friend, Daniel deLeon. The idea of doing a documentary about Marian came from Danielle Santos Bernal, Marianís girlfriend the last six years of her life. When I got to hear about Marianís life decided I MUST make the documentary and in doing the doc, I would be gathering research to write a feature film script based on Marianís life.
Punk Globe: Did you know Marian yourself? I know that you are close with Daniel Deleon?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: The first time I saw Marian was at one of Nathan (Petersenís) parties in the mid-90ís. I was warned to stay away from her or I might get beat up by her girlfriend (Danielle)!! The next time I saw her was, I think, in 2000, after she had moved to LA. I was visiting home from film school in NYC and I went out with her to see Danielís band play at the Garage. Daniel thought we would be good friends. She was very soft-spoken, not at all what I expected.
Punk Globe: Did you have an initial budget when you decided to do the film or did you find investors?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: The doc was intended to be a short film, but it just kept growing!! Producer Shannon Factor financed the film through her production company, Cinespire Entertainment. She loved Marianís story and has been very supportive.
Punk Globe: Who are the principal people involved with making "Last Fast Ride: The Life and Death Of a Punk Goddess"
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: I couldnít have done it without my producer, Shannon. Then Danielle Bernalóit was her idea and she had come up with the title before I became involved. I worked very closely with Danielle and Daniel deLeon, who was band-mate and best friends with Marian.
Punk Globe: In what capacity is Daniel involved?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Daniel is officially credited as an Associate Producer. He has helped me with SO many things over the course of making the film.
Punk Globe: When did you first start filming the movie?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: We started in August of 2005
Punk Globe: You mentioned that you just finally finished the film at the very end of 2010?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Iím still working on it!! It never endsÖNo, really. Yesóthe official completion date is 1/1/2011.
Punk Globe: We most people very supportive of the project?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Yes, So many people loved Marian. I did actually look for hatersónone of them came out during the filming, but just a few days before Christmas, one of Marianís former band mates contacted meóheís the only one who really was not supportive & had issues with Marian.
Punk Globe: Did you ever have any feelings of not wanting to complete the project?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: It was such a difficult process. I definitely had moments of saying ok, itís good enough! But I knew I had to keep going until it was something I could be proud of and that people who loved Marian would appreciate.
Punk Globe: I can imagine that your husband being an Entertainment Attorney helped you alot?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Yes. He has helped me so much.
Punk Globe: You are combining footage of The Insaints playing with interviews with people who were close with Marian am I right?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: I was lucky enough to be given footage to use from several other sourcesófrom Randy Magnus, who worked with Marian in the early days, Erik Roggeveen, who shot the Gilman Street show, Harold Adler who filmed the Trocadero performance as well as interviews with Marian and Tim Yohannan from 1993. I also worked with over 1500 still images, documents and Marianís writings.
Punk Globe: Who were some of the people you interviewed?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Tim Armstrong, Dexter Holland, Texas Terri, Daniel, Danielle, Marianís sister, Lolly, Fate Fatal, and Ginger Coyote!
Punk Globe: Did you have any problems scheduling interviews?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: I did a few different sets of shootsóI went up to the bay area to film the Insaints tribute and did several interviews there (Rotten Ron, Marianís childhood friend, Selina Norris). I did a bunch of interviews in LA all on one day at Smashbox Studios. I made separate trips to speak with people like Tim Armstrong and Dexter Holland.
Punk Globe: You have Henry Rollins as a narrator for the film. How did that come about?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: There was a very short list when we were talking about who might narrate the film. I really wanted Henry, and my producer was able to contact him through a friend of a friend. Not only does Henry have an incredible punk rock background, but he is also an actor who has done voice-over work before.
Punk Globe: Were you able to interview Marian's daughter Hannah? Who Marian had put up for adoption. However Marian had a very good relationship with the adoptive family?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: I did not interview Hannah at the time of filmingóshe was still a minor and I felt it would be inappropriate to do so. We have recently been in contact. We will be setting up a trust for her as well as a link on our website so people can donate to her trust. Daniel, Danielle and I had Hannah in mind from the beginning. The film is dedicated to Hannah.
Punk Globe: Was Marian's sister involved with the film?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Yes, Lolly was instrumental, especially in retelling Marianís early years. She also gave me full access to Marianís writings and other documents.
Punk Globe: What type of film did you use for the Movie?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: We shot on a professional Panasonic DVX100A. I also shot Super 8mm Film and 35mm black and white photographs to add more visual layers to the film.
Punk Globe: I understand that you are premiering " Last Fast Ride: The Life and Death of a Punk Goddess" at Slamdance in Park City Utah in January?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Yes!! Iím so excited. Slamdance is like Sundanceís punk rock little sister.
Punk Globe: Congratulations Lilly.. I understand there were very few Women chosen?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Yes, I understand I am only one of two women. (I think there was another female co-director on one of the films.)
Punk Globe: Had you entered the film in any of the other festivals?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Weíre just starting this process. So far I have submitted to over a dozen. Iíll keep everyone posted on screenings on the website: Lastfastridefilm.com And on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Last-Fast-Ride/188269751184843
Punk Globe: In what category is "Last Fast Ride: The Life and Death of a Punk Goddess" being entered as?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Documentary Feature Film. Some festivals have other sub-categories, like Music or Music Documentary, it depends on the festival.
Punk Globe: Can you tell us the main message of the film?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: I set out to make a meaningful film without being preachy in any way. I hope people take away a feeling of compassion for people who have been through some of the same things Marian had been through, such as sexual abuse, homelessness and mental illness.
Punk Globe: Lilly, do you have any websites for the film production companies involved?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: My website is: desertflowerproductions.com My producerís production company website is: cinespire.com
Punk Globe: We here at Punk Globe are behind the film 100 percent... We all loved Marian Anderson... Any parting words for Punk Globe readers?
Lilly Scourtis Ayers: Thank you so much!! I hope you all enjoy the film. I just feel so privileged to tell Marianís story. Throughout the process of making the documentary film, I have also been writing a feature film script based on Marianís life, so thatíll be next!