Jamie Anderson is a writer, director, and filmmaker, living in Los Angeles, who is on the rise. Before diving into directing, she was an actress, so Jamie understands being in front of and behind the camera. She makes a “picture perfect cameo in her recent short; I’m F%$#ing Fine, a dark comedy about suburbia. In person, Jamie is kind, funny, and super inspiring. We connected on our southern roots, and she’s incredibly creative. In many ways, having grown up in Mississippi and Florida, Jamie’s work is inspired by the paradox of the south, as well as her life in Hollywood, both of which are a wealth of material that guarantees she’ll never run out of something to write about. Using her sharp humor, she has a talent for turning the painful into the absurd, always with depth and heart and leaving the audience for wanting more.
After winning Best Director and official selections at eight prestigious film festivals across the globe for her short film Punching Bag, Jamie Anderson is hot on the festival circuit with her new film; I’m F%$#ing Fine. A darker comedy/satire pulling back the curtain on suburbia, I’m F%$#ing Fine stars Bree Turner (“Grimm,” “The Ugly Truth”) as a single mom on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Jamie Anderson has already won Best Dark Comedy at the Hollywood Comedy Film Festival for her dark comedy film I’m F%$#ing Fine and will be awarded the prestigious Vitruvian Award from the DaVinci International Film Fest June 22, 2019!
With several features in development, she was announced as one of the “Top 25 Writers to Watch in 2018” by The International Screenwriters’ Association. Most recently, Jamie directed the film; I Won’t Say I Love You, in the U.K.
So, who is Jamie Anderson and what inspired her to make this film? Anderson is passionate about directing, a great storyteller, and a brilliant woman. She also knows how to embed various topical themes (yet timeless) into her films in a very subtle manner to spark conversation and make you think. Jamie has several movies in development and what makes her stand out from the rest of the female filmmakers is that she is touching on subjects that are within the current climate.
Her latest film, I’m F%$#ing Fine, consists of taking a serious subject of suburban moms overusing prescription drugs to “numb” themselves in life, and giving it a comedic twist. The film stars talented actress Bree Turner (from “Grimm”), who starts to question the idea of “numbing out.” Bree also has a fantastic dance scene in the film. When Jamie was not directing, writing or editing, she took a moment to speak with Gemma Magazine.
What inspires you to make the films that you do?
I would say it the real-life pain and everyday grit that people go through and then I make art out of it with comedy thrown in as well. It is always good to have comic relief. Ultimately though, I want to create thought-provoking films and have the audience feel an emotional connection to the film.
Tell me a bit about I’m F%$#ing Fine
I’m F%$#ing Fine is about a newly divorced, single mom named Maddie living in a town called Paradise (made up name). She’s basically on the verge of a nervous breakdown because everyone is so “perfectly fine.” However, everyone in town wants her to just “fit the mold” and, be alright. They drink and take “magic pills” to deal and numb out. Through comedy, Maddie starts to question this way of life for herself.
How was it working with your lead actress, Bree Turner?
Bree is fantastic, so talented, and very dedicated. She’s an incredibly gifted dancer, and her character dances in the film. Bree is also my best friend (20 years). We have been through so much together that making this film with her was heartwarming.
Do you genuinely love everything about the directing process?
I do. I get to tell stories that hopefully, the audience will resonate with. Also, and most importantly, I genuinely love to make others feel seen. Watching actors who receive recognition for their quality of work is truly satisfying. I also see the learning process as a gift. If I make mistakes, I always ask myself how I can improve. I love the editing process as well, even though it can be more tedious.
What is your intrinsic motivation when it comes to directing?
“I love directing in part because of the talented people I meet that become my team like producers Caroline Calvin, Cat Tyson, DP John Connor, my entire crew. And the actors, I love helping them shine.” In fact, her lead from her film
“Punching Bag,” Jamie Wollrab, was hired in the film “I Won’t Say I Love You,” that Anderson directed.”There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing an actor get the recognition they deserve — Jamie Wollrab went from being the punching bag to getting the girl in this latest film.”
What can we look for next?
I will begin shooting my next short, “Me Too Nice,” a comedic satire on the pendulum of the #metoo movement in Los Angeles. I feel we are putting all men into this one box. How is this going to affect our young men now or in the future? Has the pendulum swung too far,? We must honor both The Divine Masculine and The Divine Feminine. I love directing, and I’m a filmmaker— I’ll keep finding ways to make films that have something to say.
Gemma also got a chance to speak with Bree Turner, who plays Maddie in the film. I know that you were a successful dancer previously. At what age did you become interested in dance? Also, please describe your training process.
I started dancing when I was eight years old and never stopped. I took tap, ballet, and jazz, and I’m grateful to have found my passion at such a young age. My dance studio was my home away from home. The other dancers in the company were my closest friends. I trained and rehearsed three times a week until I was 18 years old. It was all I ever knew.
At what point did you decide to transition to acting solely and did it feel natural on set?
I auditioned for an L.A. dance agent at 18, once I finished High School. They took me on as a client, and I immediately started booking commercials as a background dancer. I had never been on a film set before, and I fell hard for her. Every detail of production — lights, camera, costumes, casting — was all an extension of what I had been doing my whole life. I was telling a story through dance. Now, for the first time, I could see a future where I could say the same story but in a new way. At 21, I joined The Acting Conservatory and committed to my acting training the same way I had committed to my dance training. It was the most organic next step.
You play Maddie in the film; I’m F%$#ing Fine from Jamie Anderson. Can you tell me a bit about your character?
Maddie is a woman in transition. She is looking over the edge of the metaphorical cliff and daring herself to jump. She made choices to put herself in prison, and she is finally ready and brave enough to break free.
What did you learn about yourself from Maddie?
What was it like to be directed by Jamie Anderson?
Jamie is a natural director. She lives the story from beginning to end and comes to the party prepared and ready to work hard. Jamie collaborates with compassion and integrity with everyone she works with on set. She’s fearless in her vision but listens and adjusts with grace and ease. Being that she began her career as an actor, her willingness to go on the emotional journey of the character makes the process so very fun.
Did you always know that you wanted to be in the arts? Did you have a mentor?
I have been a creative soul since the day I was born. I see it in my daughter as well. I was fortunate to have parents that nurtured and supported these instincts in me. I hope and try to do the same for my children.
On behalf of Gemma, I would like to personally Jamie Anderson and Bree Turner for the interview. Anderson has so much to look forward to, as does Turner. To follow Jamie and Bree on their social platforms: