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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Actor/Director MELANIE MAYRON Five Question Interview

MELANIE MAYRON is a Director and Emmy Award winning Actress ("thirtysomething" - Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 1989.) Her latest directing project is MEAN GIRLS 2. With over thirty years of experience in the industry, on an incredibly diverse range of projects - a five question interview was never going to be enough. But that's what makes it fun! Enjoy!

If you could only act --OR-- only direct; for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why?

Oh God, that's a tough one. I mean, once an actor, always an actor, right? But when I direct I seem to act out all the roles in my head in order to figure out how the characters would move in a scene so I can determine where to put the camera and how to exactly set up a shot.

I find I use more of myself and my talents when I direct, so maybe I would say directing... but it's a tough call because I LOVE to act.

How is directing for film different to directing television?

Directing for film and television is pretty close to the same. I mean, staging scenes with a camera is the same. That said, television is smaller screen than the screen in the movie theatre so in television I would shoot tighter shots and use more close ups than a film... but in a film I would do really wide shots too, and just in general frame everything much wider, so you see more of where you are and you see more of the actor's bodies.  And use the close ups more sparingly. So when you are in close on an actor's face you are there because it is a moment when you really want to be close to them.

There are a lot of people who were really passionate about the first 'MEAN GIRLS,' do you think the sequel will please them or is it for a new, younger generation? 

The first Mean Girls was very sexy and a bit more risque than this story. This story however has a bigger and more universal theme behind it, which is about friendship and betrayal. That is the sort of thing that everyone can relate to on some level. And it is geared more for the teens and tweens as the casting was all actors from ABC Family, The Disney Channel and TeenNick shows... Although some of the stars are from 90210 and Desperate Housewives too.

The film industry is insanely difficult to be successful in-- do you think there are certain character traits that separate the successes from the failures?

No. None. It is a crapshoot whether you get anywhere here. There are just so many very gifted people that come to Hollywood to try to realize their dreams, that the reality is it is luck, karma, destiny, whatever you believe.  But you do have to be motivated. And passionate about what you want to do and say.

The ratio of men-to-women in Hollywood, especially in Directing, is still a giant gap. Do you see this changing? What can we do about it? 

I suppose so. I do see more women's names on projects and I always want to look them up and see who they are. Slowly it is changing, although it still seems like there are only a few women on directing rosters say, in the episodic television world. Certainly more women are directing film and that is wonderful to see. I think to change it would be probably if there were more women in executive positions at the studios that would be looking for more women to direct. That would be nice.

Mean Girls 2 was shot in July in Atlanta. It will air on ABC Family on Jan. 23rd and be released on DVD in February 2011.

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