Exclusive Interview W/ Film Director Michelle Danner

I gained something extraordinary because it’s hard to put a time clock on creativity.” Michelle Danner explains as she was directing her film, The Runner

The AfterBuzz TV Staff

Posted On: June 22nd, 2020 6:43 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

Credit: Gravitas Ventures

Legendary acting teacher and co-founder of the Edgemar Center for the Arts and the Los Angeles Acting Conservatory. Michelle Danner has made a name for herself in Hollywood as a performer, teacher, and now a successful feature film director. 

Michele sat down with AfterBuzz TV to discuss her new feature films, Bad Impulse and The Runner. Plus her unique teaching technique that helps her students succeed as an actor. 

How are you doing Michelle?

“I am great, thanks and thank you so much for having me!”

Thank you for joining us. We are thrilled to be talking about your latest movie, Bad Impulse, and the scary elements that occur throughout the film.  

“The last movie that was released is Bad Impulse and it’s a psychological thriller with supernatural and horror. Before the lockdown we were in several festivals and won some awards. I had the chance to fly to different places and see it with the audience. I have to say this did not happen with The Runner but with Bad Impulse to be able to see the movie with a full house around you is amazing.  The last screening we had was a premiere in Hollywood where we won The Audience Award. To be in the midst of everyone and get feedback and people were scared. I said to myself I would never watch horror movies [laughs] however, I grew throughout the years to like them.”

It’s interesting that you never liked to watch horror movies. What inspired you to want to direct Bad Impulse

“I’m very collective with my taste. I like to watch all kinds of different things. When the writer Jason Chase Tyrrell did a reading of a screenplay in Santa Monica. I really loved it. I loved that it was about protecting your family. Those are things that speak to me. I thought it would challenge myself and as a filmmaker to raise the bar.”  

What made Bad Impulse a success was the amazing cast she had the pleasure of working with and hearing how the audience would react to the film. 

“Audience says it scares them that they are at the edge of their seats and it’s a wild ride. I was lucky enough to get an extraordinary cast and I’m very happy with the way it came out.”

Not only is Michelle happy with the success of Bad Impulse but her next film that she enjoyed creating was The Runner.

“This was a movie that originated  at 2 o’clock in the morning [laughs] as I finished watching a news report and I balled my eyes out. It was about kids who are forced to go undercover and wire up to bring down the drug dealers in their town. Another theme that I’m always effective by, in addition to family, is the theme about how our children fall through the cracks if we don’t protect them. I was very moved by the story that I started to write. I sent it to my good friend who is the writer of Bad Impulse and I asked if he could write the screenplay.”

The Runner not only pushed Michelle’s creativity as a film director but taught her an important lesson while she was in post production. 

“We were lucky we shot it right before March of 2020 becasue originally we were going to push it to April. I have to say if we did push it we would have not shot it even till this day. It was great because it taught me a certain lesson that when I was in post production and editing, I could just sit down and it was more relaxed. I gained something extraordinary because it’s hard to put a time clock on creativity.” 

What a great lesson to learn and even when life starts to pick back up at least you had an extraordinary experience that you can carry with you on your next project. As a creator, not only do you enjoy directing but you are also an acting coach. Are there any techniques that you like to teach to your students when they sign up for your classes?

“I developed this technique called the golden box where they learn their unique discoveries. The tools they will learn. What helps them get emotional, what helps them create a character, and does it come from different places? It’s just not one way. I encourage actors to expand their knowledge as much as they can and read! So many books and biographies of other actors so they understand the process. Then they can understand what their process could be which of course could vary from different projects. But if you’re a constant  student like I am. I’m constantly learning all of the time.” 

We like how you mention that you are still learning and that you are a student. As a creator there are always opportunities to grow and you set a great example that you could always keep on learning new things. 

As a teacher you are helping so many of your students grow as an actor. Is there a particular student that you could recall where you felt honored to be part of their journey into success? 

“So many [laughs] but I’m going to go with one of my recent students. Edouard Philipponnat who is a young actor and his first movie is The Runner. He is in my class. One night when the lights went out. We had a few scenes left and the students put the lights on their phones so we could finish class and Edourad did a scene that sent chills up my body. I knew I was developing this project The Runner and I gave him the screenplay and he loved it. I ended up casting him and he did a fantastic job. He just got signed by a huge agency and I know this movie will change his life. He worked hard while we rehearsed but he brought his A game. I feel lucky and honored to see how much talent is in my class.”

That’s the best feeling knowing you are part of someone’s success story, especially with one of your students. 

Thank you Michelle for talking with us today about your two new films, Bad Impulse and The Runner, and sharing your extraordinary experience while producing these films. We can’t wait to watch more movies you have helped create. 

Make sure you all are following Michelle on Instagram to keep up with her latest projects. 

Keep up with AfterBuzz TV for the latest news TV entertainment news. 

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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