From the time Lisa Mazzotta was a child, she knew she wanted to make films. That childhood interest has turned into a lifelong passion, and she is now a successful film and television producer, sought-after around the world for her talent.
While working on the film Marilyn, Mazzotta’s producing skills helped make the film the success that it was. After premiering at the Whistler Film Festival, the film went on to be an Official Selection at the Calgary International Film Festival, and Banff International Film Festival. The film also was extremely popular when it went to video-on-demand afterwards.
"Lisa is a driving force; Marilyn wouldn't have happened without her. She has that right combination to get things done while keeping everyone happy at the same time. I'd work with her on everything if I could, and am always looking for another project for us to collaborate on again,” said Alexander Godfrey, the Owner of Ironwood Studios and who worked with Lisa on Marilyn.
Starring Alison Mack (Smallville, Lost in Oz) and Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary, Warcraft), Marilyn tells the story of a bank robber on the lam who reluctantly takes a runaway young woman under his wing. Distracted by this volatile girl, he struggles to keep his head in the game and stay under the legal radar, but her dreams of becoming a singer sidetrack his plans and change him irrevocably. Filmed in a gritty 1970s style, Marilyn is based on a story written in Leavenworth Prison by Paddy Mitchell of the infamous Stopwatch Gang.
“This project was a lot of work since I didn’t have much time to prep. I don’t remember sleeping much. Because of my history and work experience, alongside my producing partner Alex Godfrey, we were able to get certain sets, studios and locations that even I was surprised with,” said Mazzotta. “Actually, what was most amazing about this project was how dedicated the crew and cast were. I don’t know if I’ve ever worked on a project with such a low budget with a cast and crew that were so happy to do anything and everything I had to ask. No one was complaining and at the end of it everyone was truly sad that it was over. It’s not always like that. It was such a kick ass team that would stop at nothing to make this film.”
After working on the hit Warner Bros. series Smallville, Mazzotta was always eager to work alongside those she had worked with on the show. Working with Alison Mack on Marilyn, Mazzotta knew her fan base would be eager to see her in a new film, and capitalized on this from a producing standpoint. She had also worked with Executive Producer Mark Warshaw on the show, and when she had the opportunity to work with him again on Heroes 360, she jumped at it.
“Mark is incredibly creative and an amazing visionary. He was ahead of his time with interactive media. It’s no shock to me his shows are winning several Emmys now,” said Mazzotta.
Heroes 360 was a multi-platform campaign that used several forms of media to expand on and create new story pieces for the NBC show Heroes. For the fictitious company that a character on the show owned, Mazzotta and her team made a working website for the fake company that fans could go to. In this website, there were hot spots that could be broken into that revealed footage that gave some backstory to what was going on in the show. They also revealed a new character to the show through the Heroes 360 campaign. There were comic books, fake in-universe websites, characters, cast commentary, and fans could even call phone numbers that had messages from the cast on the show that led to them finding more information on the episode. Heroes 360 was the first of its kind to use this technology, and Mazzotta was the perfect producer to make it a success.
“I could see this project was going to be a project that would set the path and tone for future projects to come. No show had done something of this scale before, so it was exciting. It was an incredible team effort, we were all learning as we went,” she said. “It always comes down to the team and what you learn along the way. I had the opportunity to reach out to some of the top geneticists to talk about the possibility of various super powers, and get detailed answers from them. I don’t think I’ll have ever that experience again in my life and I can’t think of a lot of jobs where you can do that.”
The commercial in the show was filmed in the popular 360 style that allowed you to move your phone or computer to change your point of view as if you were actually there. It went viral, and in the first three months of the campaign it had over 48 million views.
“Lisa is an extraordinary accomplished film and television producer and amazing to work with. She has the ability to see the value in using new technology to engage the changing markets, which was huge for the phenomenal success of the Heroes 360 Campaign,” said Mark Warshaw, an Associate Producer on the show.
The project went on to win a Primetime Emmy for NBC.com. For Mazzotta, working on such a revolutionary project was not about the awards, it was about the fans.
“It was exhilarating. We wanted to keep making it better to give the fans more and more. We were all in it together, the fans and the creators,” she said.
You can watch a commercial for Heroes 360 here.