Check out our interview with talented Writer & Director Jamie Anderson who was determined like never before at the end of 2020 to get people back to work and keep hope alive, Anderson was able to raise money during the pandemic, to independently shoot her pilot, PUMAS. She was one of the first crews to get back to work in the industry! With strict Covid-19 compliant union rules and testing multiple times a week, it was no small feat, but with perseverance and a lot of work and time put in, Anderson was able to shoot her latest project.
PUMAS follows a single relationship advisor and her lifelong pre-cougar besties, all pushing the other side of thirty-five, struggling to survive and thrive in the muggiest armpit of ‘merica—Tampa, Florida. An edgy comedy with a lot of heart, Pumas is a timely female-led show amidst a backdrop of the American South, exploring diverse friendships, their sex lives, and what it means to be truly happy.
Jamie was recognized as one of “Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2018” ISA’s Top 25 Screenwriter’s to Watch and then in 2019, Viva Glam Magazine featured Jamie and her current projects while naming her “New Female Director to Watch Out For in 2020”.
Follow Jamie @jamieandersonfilm
Jamie Anderson - Director Reel
Hi Jamie, please tell us a little about you?
I am a writer, director, and producer living in Los Angeles since I was nineteen. Originally from the South and having lived in Los Angeles for more than half my life, my work is inspired by turning the painful into the absurd. I write and direct comedies that run the gamut from crass to satirical to romantic, always with passion, depth and heart.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Loving, Funny, Creative.
How did you get started into the business?
I started as an actress in film and television. I came to LA with a dream and hustled my way into getting in front of casting. I was writing throughout, and after many years on sets, I found myself thinking about how I would direct the scene I was acting in.
How has this changed your life?
Directing makes me feel more empowered to help others through art. My acting career gave me a deep foundation for the craft, all facets of the business, and tremendous compassion for actors and what it takes to book a job.
What is the best and worst part of being a writer/director?
The best part is when I get to tell an actor they booked the job! It is so exciting! The worst part is when I have to let an actor know they didn’t get the role.
Tell us about your work in project “PUMAS”?
Pumas is a comedy pilot I wrote several years ago. It had almost sold, and during the pandemic I wanted to figure out how to get people back to work, safely. I raised the money, cast entirely on Zoom, fought a lot of red tape, and navigated how to keep people safe. It was one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences to create during the height of the pandemic.
How was working alongside such a talented cast?
My cast was phenomenal, and all so grateful to be working. It brought a new level of passion and joy to the set.
What is your creative process for writing/directing?
Both start with the why… Why do you have to tell this story? When that answer makes me emotional, I know I have something meaningful to fuel me, and the work begins.
Any tips you want to share with up and coming writers and directors?
Find a way, get a yes, and put one foot in front of the other. So many get bogged down with why they can’t do something. You really are in charge of your own destiny. Finish writing the script. Set a deadline to shoot and create the how. Get resourceful.
You have been named “Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch” and “New Female Director to Watch Out For in 2020.” Please tell us about it?
It’s validating to work so hard, and have your work recognized. I think the most important intention though is giving your absolute best, regardless. Then any accolade is a cherry on top surprise.
What are some of your past projects?
I have written, directed, and produced three short films, Punching Bag, I’m F’ing Fine, and Me Too Nice, that have all won awards. I also directed a short film in the UK, I Won’t Say I Love You, that won awards as well.
One of my other favorite projects was directing a spot for Craig’s Vegan to the tune of Sinatra’s “My Way”.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I am solely focused on my directing and writing career now. But on occasion you can find me doing Hitchcock cameos lol.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Creating stories that inspire people to feel something and laugh.
What’s next for Jamie Anderson in 2021?
Next, I will be shooting a romantic feature in Rome, which I co-wrote. Then I will be shooting a big comedy feature, Pregnant in Las Vegas, which I wrote for Patriot Pictures.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Feeling like I am in flow with my life, harmony in my relationships, and creating daily. After this past year, hugs are also my definition of happiness.
How would your best friend describe you?
She describes me as “The one that always shows up for you, is your biggest fan, helps you through the low moments, and celebrates your accomplishments with confetti!”
What is your favorite healthy food?
Grilled fish tacos.
And your favorite cheat food?
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
John Hughes. His films had the greatest influence on me.
Best advice ever given?
Have the heart of a rose, and the hide of a rhinoceros.
Do you support any charity?
Food on Foot (for the homeless), Save Elephant Foundation, Village for Vets.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Making films and television that reach people around the globe.
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. Why? Because nothing’s gonna stop me lol. To me, the song is about not listening to the noise, staying heart-centered, and going after your dreams no matter what.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it can be both detrimental, and keep you connected. It’s best used when it’s done from an authentic place.
Where can we follow you?
Quote: Shine your light.
Favorite Singer/Artist: Frank Sinatra
Movie: Dead Poets Society
Travel Destination: Paris
Sports Team: Any team in LA, love my town!
Tv Show: Ted Lasso or I Love Lucy
Book: A Moveable Feast
Photographer: Sonalii Castillo
Makeup/Hair: Audur Jonsdottir