For this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed award-winning Director-Writer-Producer Kerry Carlock. Her first feature, Armstrong which she co-directed with her husband Nick Lund-Ulrich, is currently streaming on Amazon. As a TV producer, She was the VP of Programming for Pie Town Productions,where she oversaw nine series including HGTV mega hits House Hunters and Flip or Flop. Other projects, include the Emmy nominated Trading Spaces and the feature documentary, Pageant, which premiered at the 2008 Slamdance Film Festival.
Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.
I recently transitioned out of my job as a television executive to focus on my second feature Red Knights Forever with my husband, Nick Lund-Ulrich. We wrote it together and are working toward going into production next fall.
Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?
Nick grew up in a small town in Western Massachusetts and there was a murder there in 1988. The killer hid in the woods and there was a massive man hunt. They couldn’t find him so they cancelled Halloween-every kid’s worst nightmare and a great set up for a scary story.We really wanted to do a classic adventure movie with girls at the center so we drew upon my 8th grade friendships that same year to create the characters – a trio of girls that dress up as knights to save Halloween.
Q: Who are your artistic heroes – who have had an impact on you and your work?
Even though I don’t work in comedy, I really look up to comedians like Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore and Tina Fey because it requires such a balancing act of rigorous craft and free play.
Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?
This one is totally stumping me right now! I’m going to come back to this…
Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?
Our first feature Armstrong is on Amazon Prime and I’m also starting a podcast called Okay, Back to that One that I’m really excited about. I want to talk about resetting my artistic life, get inspiration from other women that have made a similar leap and hopefully create a community that will support each other moving forward.
Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?
Well, I sure do know what it feels like to NOT be living your vision. Before I left my job, I felt so overwhelmed and emotional all the time. I knew in my gut that I needed a change but it was really scary because leaving a comfortable paycheck is considered insane. But it felt right and I’m glad I embraced the insanity!
Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?
Making female-centric movies!!!
Q: What has been your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?
The biggest barrier for us is fundraising so if money grew on trees, you better believe we would be planting elms in our backyard and harvesting cash.
Q: What do you do to stay connected to your creative self?
I’m the wrong person to ask about staying connected because I’ve been lost for a couple of years! I’m in the process of RE-connecting. I’m trying everything – meditation, books, long walks with my dog, movie marathons, crafting, journaling, road trips. Anything that can jostle my shellshocked creativity into shining again!
Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?
I care way too much about what other people think of me. I wish I could let go of that need and be more confident.
Q: What is your favorite piece of art?
My screensaver is a painting by Anna and Michael Ancher called Judgment of a Day’s Work. The couple collaborated on the self portrait and in it they are sitting back and critiquing a painting together- probably one of hers. It is sort of quietly feminist and it was painted in 1883! When I first saw it, I suddenly had the vision of what I want my own collaborative relationship to look like.
Q: What person do you most admire, living or dead?
Michelle Obama. I well up with emotion when I hear her talk or smile or laugh or motivate or … she can do anything and I will cry at the very notion that there can be some one so wise and effervescent in the real world.
Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?
Expressing my self and connecting with others.
Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
The Great British Bake Off!
Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?
Impostor Syndrome is real! If I could go back, I’d kick myself and say everyone feels like they don’t belong but don’t let that hold you back. You can do anything!
Q: Where would you most like to live?
I like where I am. I’m proud of the life we’ve built for ourselves and our home feels like a little oasis. But I DO want to travel. Top of the bucket list is Africa.
Q: What is your idea of success?
Making a living creating the projects we’re passionate about… and staying married through it all.
Q: What is your idea of happiness?
Living in the moment and not getting caught up in the past.
Q: Final Thoughts?
Okay, back to that question about staying motivated and inspired— I still can’t think of an answer so I’m just going to say ice cream. Ice cream keeps me motivated and inspired as an artist. And THAT is probably my most honest answer.