Today we’d like to introduce you to Maggie Levin.
Maggie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in New York and began my career there as a theatre director and a playwright. I was completely immersed in music, dance and theatre from early childhood, and thought of myself as this diehard, rock n’ roll New Yorker. Even though I loved movies, I believed – religiously – that my medium was live, immersive theatre – the more in-your-face, the better. But when the opportunity to workshop a piece of mine at UCLA brought me out here, and I subsequently discovered I LOVED Los Angeles, everything changed. I shifted my focus to film, and have been making things in that realm ever since.
From VR shorts to epic digital series set in space, I’ve had the opportunity to bring my theatrical sensibilities to a wide range of film formats, and collaborate with some truly incredible people. My credits include Season 2 of MISS 2059 (New Form Digital/go90), THE FRIENDLESS FIVE (Fullscreen), the groundbreaking VR film VAIN: THIS PARTY SUCKS (Nashville Film Festival, VeerVR & more), YouTube Multicultural’s REGISTER TO VOTE IN 1:34 campaign, and FAE VR (Anna Akana/STX Entertainment).
I’m also the creator of THE ROCKY HORROR HIPSTER SHOW, a live rock show at Three Clubs in Hollywood, and the author of SOMETHING WICKED IN RIVERDALE, an official Archie Comics text-based series available on the Yarn app.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think a constant challenge for any freelancer in the arts is learning to live with uncertainty. A job well done in this industry does not guarantee another job. The rejection is often very quiet – slow ghosting, rather than a hard smack.
The months of writing then waiting, pitching then more waiting, meeting then STILL MORE waiting can be very long, and projects can fizzle without much fanfare. In the middle of those waiting periods, I often wind up self-producing short films, music videos or live shows, to get my hands back in the clay of what I really love to do.
Those pieces are truly some of my favorites, despite them being born out of immense frustration. Ultimately, I consider myself insanely fortunate to make my living as a creative, and instability is a pretty small price to pay for that privilege.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
My visual vibe – and the spirit I try to infuse in every project – is kinetic, vibrant, and packs a glittery punch. I often refer to my style as ‘disco witch.’
Whether it’s an aggressive action scene or a quiet moment between two people, I’m always interested in capturing energy on camera that feels like it shimmers & sparks. That said, whatever splash I’ve made is only possible because of my community.
The producers, cinematographers, actors, and artists I’ve been blessed to build collaborative relationships with are a crucial part of who I am, and what I do.
‘Make films with your friends’ is my motto, tagline, life’s mission. Vision is important, yes, but I think auteurism should go the way of the dinosaur. Filmmaking is a team sport.
Will Akana, Sela Shiloni, Tybee Diskin, Justin Baker, Will Akana, Russell Henson, Helen Highfield