Your new movie Lost
+ Found - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell
us about your character in it?
+ Found is a short adaptation of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. Our
film details Satan's fall from Heaven and her plan to seek revenge. And I
What did you draw upon to
bring your character to life, and how much Jennifer Plotzke can we find in
Satan - if you don't mind me asking?
of the most intriguing things about playing a villain, and in this case
arguably the most classic of villains, is the back story. The inciting
incident. What is the fuel behind the fire? No one is inherently evil.
That rage, that revenge, that hatred comes from somewhere or something.
The story of Satan has been sensationalized but at the core, itís just
someone that had everything taken from them and how the impact of that
loss fueled their actions, outcomes and journey. That is what is so
exciting about playing a role like this. Understanding from a basic and
human perspective what exactly this character is experiencing and breaking
it down from a classically large scale. Itís really interesting as well
to approach this from a personal standpoint and really visualize just how
far into that evil abyss we are capable of going if there is nothing
holding us back.
+ Found being based on (and using the words of) one of the
epic poems of the 17th century, Paradise Lost by John Milton, how
difficult was it to find truth in these words given the film's very
I think the beauty and
genius of Miltonís poem, which is true of any great literary work that
has withstood several centuries, is its timelessness. If a classic such as
Paradise Lost can be adapted and work in a contemporary setting, it is
proof of the ongoing relevance of the story. Revenge, love, temptation and
deceit are all threads that weave his story together and whether they come
to us in poetry or prose, these stories and themes are still terribly
How did you get involved with the
project in the first place, and how did you end up a producer as well?
It started with Ari Rossen,
our other producer who plays Beezlebub. He found an indie film festival
that was challenging filmmakers to create a micro short film based on a
literary work. He mentioned it to me and we were both really intrigued by
the idea. We had both previously worked with director Jeremiah Kipp [Jeremiah
Kipp interview - click here] and were anxious to
do it again, so we felt very lucky to have him come on board. And it's
thanks to him that we had our amazing screenwriter, Laura Sweeney. She had
worked with Jeremiah before as well and is an expert on Milton, so she
suggested we adapt Paradise Lost. And she did so brilliantly and now here
were the challenges of bringing Lost
+ Found to the screen from a producer's point of view?
I think the greatest challenge
of any indie film production is money. Raising or finding money for this
type of work is really difficult, mostly because there's often no
financial return on it. So finding an investor can be hard and usually
what ends up happening is you try to find donations or you pay for it out
of pocket. And making a film is expensive, no matter how short or small.
So navigating that can be rough. We had a very limited budget for this, so
we were lucky to find these brilliant people that were willing to work on
our budget and do it for the love of filmmaking!
can you tell us about Lost
+ Found's director Jeremiah Kipp [Jeremiah
Kipp interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
with Jeremiah is a dream. This is my second collaboration with him and I
hope itís the second of many. His passion, unique vision, ingenuity and
commitment to storytelling are extraordinary. He has a tremendous body of
work and Iím a huge fan! He is known to be an actorís director and the
people on his production teams collaborate with him regularly. I think
youíd be hard pressed to find someone thatís worked with him that
wouldnít jump at the chance to do it again. Heís an indie film hero.
A few words about the shoot as such, and the
thing I love about making indie films is that no one's really doing it for
the money. Everyone's there for the love of filmmaking and telling
stories. We produced this on a micro budget and everyone chipped in
everywhere to get it done. We shot the Garden of Eden scenes in Fort Tryon
Park in New York and at one point late in the day we were moving from one
garden spot to another, with a fair distance between them. Fort Tryon is
big. Moving the company means moving all of the gear as well and I
remember grabbing something to carry and walking next to Jeremiah and
looking ahead of us at this long line of people, both cast and crew, all
carrying various pieces of equipment, costumes, props and food. Through
the park, through people, in the heat. And I was so grateful to be on a
production like this and really to be in this network of indie filmmakers
that just get it done no matter what.
The $64-question of course, where can
Lost + Found be
can see it on Vimeo at
Any future projects you'd like to share?
I'm heading into production
in the spring on a film that takes place in New York City in 1967. It's a
story about the beginnings of the Women's Movement and I play one of the
lead characters who is a suspected cult leader. It's called From Venus With
Love and it's an absolutely fantastic script! I'm very excited to start
working on it.
got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
education on the subject?
I've been acting since I was a teenager and
received my undergraduate degree in Acting. I have since continued my
education in various acting studios in New York and previously in Chicago
before I moved to New York.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to Lost
spent the last three years working on lots of indie films in both
supporting and leading roles. I've worked in both comedy and drama,
feature and short. I love it all!
How would you describe yourself as an
actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
In the beginning, I approach everything from the "what would I
do" standpoint? How would I personally handle or react to this
situation or circumstance?
I think starting from a personal place like that and then building and
weaving in the character from there creates something much more
honest and believable. It won't be where you end up with the character,
but for me, it's a great place to start. The character has to have some
element of you inside, so breaking it down like that in the beginning can
be really helpful in finding the similarities and differences.
also taken up producing of late, and not only on Lost
+ Found - so how did that come about, and how hands-on or
hands-off a producer are you?
I began producing a few years ago because I was finding it
difficult to find acting work. So I decided to start making my own films
so I could have an outlet for acting! In doing so, I realized that I was
pretty good as a producer and I also became acquainted with a large
network of indie filmmakers. That led to new collaborations, larger
networks and more films! I'm pretty hands-on as a producer. I like to know
that things are getting done and getting done correctly and that nothing
is being forgotten! There are so many details both large and small that go
into making a film and it's easy to overlook things!
whoever else who inspire you?
So, so many people. I am
truly inspired by people that maintain a balance between career longevity
and regular life. I think to work hard in this business takes most of the
hours of any day and week. It takes a lot in this day and age to work on
your craft and simultaneously promote yourself. It's two full time jobs,
essentially, and it's easy to let your personal life suffer. Or vice versa.
So I greatly admire people in the industry that achieve that balance and
also bring us their best work every time. And those people I believe are
truly committed to this art form and to telling meaningful stories. That's
what they show up for and that's what I show up for.
Your favourite movies?
Too many to count. My love for film spans all time
periods and genres. But if I have to pick a favorite, it's Hitchcock's
Rear Window. There are so many genius elements to this film, but for
anyone that knows the film, the moment when Thorwald is in his apartment
and all we see is the cherry on his cigarette illuminating and going out
as he's smoking in the dark in his chair, for me that's one of the most
innovative moments in cinematic history. Watching and studying that film
was the first time I began to see film from a filmmaking perspective, not
just an acting perspective.
and of course, films you really deplore?
Oh my. I have to say a film
has to be incredibly bad for me to not at the very least be entertained by
it. I think there are films that I've not liked but are still good films,
but there are a select few that I think are in the realm of "what were
they thinking" but out of respect for the filmmakers, I won't say
which. Because after all, I have a few of those in my own history and
I hope if they are ever seen, people will be forgiving!
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
We currently have a Lost
+ Found Facebook page with a link to the film and all other necessary
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
can't think of anything. I think we've covered just about everything!
Thank you so much for the interview. Making Lost
+ Found was such a
joy and this was a great way to look back at that experience!
for the interview!