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Interview with Johnny Blanchard, writer of "Lost & Found"

Lost and Found takes you on a journey alongside siblings Max and Julie as they uncover a surprising side of their late grandmother. Directed by Erica Miller and written by Johnny Blanchard, this film delves into the complexities of family and reveals the hidden layers of their grandmother's life.

Filmtage : What inspired you to become an independent filmmaker, and how has your journey been so far in this challenging industry?

Johnny Blanchard : We had stories to tell that went beyond theatre and, lacking the contacts and funding, needed to tell those stories ourselves. The journey has been difficult, funding is a challenging process and we work hard to make sure that doesn’t interfere with the art.

Filmtage : Independent filmmaking often comes with limited resources and funding. How do you approach the creative process to maximize the impact of your storytelling within these constraints?

Johnny Blanchard : Frankly, using favours and relying on the charity of actors and friends. Our initial few films had no budget at all, which reduced our scope. We tried fundraising but without a large and dedicated following it wasn’t successful, but we earned enough to get together a solid base of actors and access to a decent venue for a key scene. Great directing brought out the emotion in the story. Lost and found might not be great technically, but we feel it works at the human level.

Filmtage : Lost & Found has received critical acclaim for its unique style and narrative. Can you share the creative decisions and influences that contributed to the film's success?

Johnny Blanchard : Both myself, as a writer and Erica as the director have experienced loss and understood the grief behind it. The film works because it’s a universal thing, few people have never lost a loved one, it meant that every actor had something to draw on. Grief can be complicated, it makes a good narrative.

Filmtage : Independent filmmakers often face challenges in distribution and reaching a wider audience. What strategies have you employed to promote and share your work with a broader community?

Johnny Blanchard : Without the contacts or funding it’s always a struggle and definitely not something we’ve cracked yet. Our main strategy up to now has been pushing our films into festivals and releasing them for free on YouTube. We also created a dedicated channel on Roku.

Filmtage : As an independent filmmaker, you have the freedom to explore diverse and unconventional subjects. Could you tell us about a particular project that was close to your heart and the importance of bringing that story to the screen?

Johnny Blanchard : One that most resonated with me was A night of dogs. It covers depression, something that I have struggled with for most of my life. Telling this story and talking about some of the things that affected me, in a narrative way, helped me and will hopefully help other people.

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