After years of struggling to find her niche in the film industry, taking whatever work came her way, and relying on Flaky producers, Louise found muse and decided to take matters into her own hands.
Louise Brix is not afraid of failure.
She’s one of those lucky few whose palms didn’t sweat when asked the dreaded question, “What do you want be when you grow up?”
Even as a little girl, Louise was certain she’d grow up to be a film director - She just knew. This unwavering commitment has set the tone for the rest of Louise’s life.
She doggedly pursues her dreams, plows forward through setbacks, and keeps her eye on the prize.
As a young woman, Louise headed straight into film school. She dove into an intensive one year program and loved every minute of it. Her dreams were confirmed - filmmaking was it.
But after film school, things started to get trickier.
She moved from her native Denmark to Barcelona, and fell in love with the city - but finding work was tough.
She spent years struggling to make a living in film, working for free and feeling under-appreciated: “Every single time, people were taking advantage of me.”
Then Louise got an idea for a documentary: Denmark’s Graceland. The Danish replica is twice the size of its American counterpart and lies just outside of Copenhagen.
Louise threw herself into the project. She cut her full-time job to part-time and spent her own money on flights. Back and forth she went, all on her own, for years - no documentary experience, no team, a tiny Sony camera, and terrible audio.
Louise persevered and finished the film, but then came a major curve ball.
The Elvis Presley Trust was not impressed by the Danish copycat. They sued the owner and ordered him to change the name. If she released the film, it would face the same opposition.
A lesser woman might have thrown in the towel, but not Louise. She put on a brave face and decided to learn from her mistakes: “It's a shame, but it is what it is.”
Eschewing the comfort of Denmark, she decided to stick it out in Barcelona - the city that stole her heart.
At one point she told herself, “Ok, Louise, you either go back to your network or you stop thinking about that and you make it here.” So she did.
Louise dove back in. Again, taking anything she could get - freelance, editing, production - and again feeling dissatisfied.
She freelanced for two years, landing some bigger jobs and amassing a bigger gear collection, but soon realized something was missing:
“I was doing a lot of projects just because they came to me. I wasn’t really into them. I missed what I had studied in film pre-production, working on a project with time to think and prepare.”
Then came her next big idea: Another documentary. She heard about a controversial program offering boxing lessons as a form of rehab to inmates at a local prison. The prison keeps quiet about this program, not wanting to provoke more public criticism.
“It’s taboo. People wonder, ‘how can you let people who have killed be involved in it?”
As a martial artist, Louise knew it had nothing to do with violence: “It helps mentally. I totally understood.”
She did her research and got herself into a class, even putting on gloves and sparring with a group she describes as kind, nice people. She didn’t want to know what anyone had done.
She shopped the story around to producers, and had some bites. One producer said yes, but then went silent. After a series of unreturned emails, she decided to put the project on hold.
Then she met Moussa. And discovered the power of Muse.
Louise had been looking for character outside of the prison - someone in trouble, trying not to get arrested. When she got home from her first interview with Moussa - a professional boxer looking to make his way up in the ranks - She realized, “Wow, he looks really great on camera.”
Rather than plow ahead with the bigger project, Louise decided to keep it small, focusing on Moussa and his story. A passion project - No team, no money, just her and her camera. She had just finished The Muse Process course and thought: “Well, this will be a great opportunity to try out Muse and see if it actually works.”
She applied the Muse process and plugged the whole project into Storybuilder. Louise dug deeper into Moussa’s story and found his Big 3 Things, confirming her hunch: “That’s my heart.”
Louise took her time, using Storybuilder to help build her plot, testing out different directions and toying with alternate plot points. She brainstormed and eventually settled on 5 keywords that helped steer the plot and guide her storytelling: “The keywords helped me tremendously in staying focused and organized and always knowing what I want to tell the audience.”
She started working on the project in August and didn’t finish until December. Keeping it simple, “No deadline, no client, nobody telling me what to do.”
Now she’s got a film that she’s proud of and that she hopes to use as a sample piece to spark interest in her original, bigger project about the prison: “I can say to them, ‘Look what I’ve done on my own,’ and convince producers to work with me.”
Using Muse totally changed Louise’s approach to storytelling.
She deeply appreciates the intention that the Muse process brings to a project:
“Many people think you can’t plan a documentary, but that’s not true, you can do so much.”
If you'd like to see just how true that is, Louise has made her story public on Storybuilder for you to check out. Once you're logged-in, head over to the collaborate tab and search for "Moussa." Send her a request to collaborate and she'll let you in!
Louise Brix doesn’t give up, and with Muse on her side, she’s unstoppable.