level and pursued it. I met him in Detroit. He said I think I’m going to a wedding
and we had a guy from New York who was quite a good actor but then he freaked
out about being here. If you live in New York or L.A., you make these connections.
It was the gritty backdrop of the Presidential election (2004) in Cleveland that allowed Laura
to shine in multiple film festivals including Sundance and then subsequently getting picked
up by HBO. Click on the following link to view clip for “No Umbrella Election Day in the
City” (http://www.noumbrella.org/clips.htm). From working on a new project talking to the
women who survived the serial killer Anthony Sewell to her recent full-length feature-length
documentary on an E-Prep, an entrepreneurial charter school with a compelling success
record “Facing Forward” Cleveland is always a featured in her recent work. View the
clip for “Facing Forward” (http://www.facingforwardfilm.com). The one advantage of living
in a city with intense challenges is that there are plenty of topics to discover and document.
Married without children, Laura is able to be somewhat versatile in terms of her lifestyle and
project choices:
People hire me because they’ve seen my documentary work. They want
something with a documentary style. Maybe I’m lucky in that they come to me.
I’ve had no time in the last few months. If someone calls and they want something
I finish that. Then there’s something else.” It appears that work comes to Laura
and she comments, “Now it does. I’m trying not to think too far into the future or
I’ll drive myself crazy. Again, I don’t need as much because I’m not supporting four
kids. My lifestyle doesn’t demand much. This is the cheapest house on the street.
We don’t live beyond our means. It’s a nice middle-class house. It’s a way of
adapting to what you do. We don’t have a ‘McMansion’ and we live in Cleveland.
Laura discusses that she is thinking about living in a more vital, healthy city. I ask what she
means by healthier and she replies:
Where the whole city isn’t taken down by all these problems. We have a huge
underclass of people since the decline of the manufacturing industry. It’s creeping
into the suburbs too. People move to the suburbs to get away. It’s an insane way
of living. Or you just see the ruins of the suburbs because it’s just desolate. Or if
you see ‘Nightowls’ you see the end of it takes place at a mall. We were able to
use it because it was closed down. That’s what bothers me. There’s no aesthetic
anything here. People put up crap they’re so happy to have something go in.
There’s such low expectation for everything. This attitude extends to government.
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