I always admire those who are risky enough to take a chance on something they believe in. This could be as simple as repping an extra-flashy outfit on a Saturday night, taking Lebron over Jordan in a never-ending debate, or, in the case of Laura D’Antoni, something as complicated as making something out of nothing!

As storytellers, we are called upon to build universes, manufacture realities, and breathe life into the lifeless. Today Laura has done all of those things as she launches the first episode of her latest project Dead-ish! 

Before we fast forward to Dead-ish let’s start off by getting to know where you are from!

I was born and raised in Germany and lived there till I was 17. I grew up in a small village called Barbing that is outside of Regensburg, which is North of Munich about an hour. My father had his pizzeria in Regensburg, which was only 15 minutes from where I lived, so I spent a lot of time there.

Nice! Sooo, how many languages do you speak then?

I speak German and English fluently and then my Italian is so-so. I understand it, I don’t speak it as well, so two and a half.

Bene! Do you miss anything about living in the small village just outside Regensburg, which is outside of Munich?

I don’t miss anything from the village, that’s for sure. From Regensburg yeah, there’s a lot of history all over the place there and you don’t really get that out here because nothing’s really older than 200 years. You don’t walk into a cathedral that was built in 1200, you know?

My brother has a restaurant back home and there is a wall in his restaurant that is over 700 years old, which is really cool! I miss that, and then I miss the food, honestly. The bread and the cheese and the chocolate, oh my God, there is nothing better!

The 3 major food groups right there! So at 17 you move away from Germany and land in Florida settling down in Hallandale Beach outside of Fr. Lauderdale, what about that transition sticks out to you?

The transition wasn’t too hard because I’d been coming to Florida with my family since I was born basically. I think the first time I was 6 months old, so I’ve been coming to visit family in the states since then so there wasn’t ever a total culture shock where I was like, “Oh my God! This is crazy!”

When I arrived I had to get my GED because schools wouldn’t accept my high school diploma. One thing about that which was a bit shocking to me was multiple-choice questions! I had never seen those before and I’m like, “You’re giving me the answer, and I just have to guess which one it is?”

Let’s just say I went from being a C student to an A student when I moved to the states.

I’ve never heard that one before, I thought multiple-choice was a worldwide phenomenon! At what point did you get into storytelling? Where did that passion start for you?

I started to get into film or started being interested in making them when I was like 10 years old.

I wrote little dumb scripts with my friends and then shot them with my Dad’s Hi8 camera. I would edit them by having two VCRs and then playing one and stopping it and then recording it and fast forwarding on one and then recording it on the other one. It was kind of crazy!

10-year-old Laura running around Germany making movies!

Yeah! So that’s when I got into it. When I was young I always was just like, “I’m going to make movies. I’m going to be a director and that’s what I want to do.” Even though my friends, and even teachers, would say that’s not a very common thing for anyone to want to do in a small town. “I’m going to go to Hollywood and make movies!” And they’re like yeah, right.

But you didn’t come straight to LA. You are living near Ft. Lauderdale, you get your GED, what happens next?

I took my GED and started off by going to a community college where I finished all of my general education units. From there I applied to a bunch of film schools. Lo and behold NYU accepts me and I move to New York to finish my bachelors.

I recommend that to anybody that wants to go to an expensive private school like NYU. Go get your gen eds done at a community college and don’t pay $6000 for algebra when you can pay $600 at a community college.

After I graduated I got sick of living in the city and not making enough money, and not having nature around me, because I’m a nature person. So I head back to Miami and tell myself, “I’m going to be in Florida for 6 months and then I’m moving to LA.” Five years go by and in my head I’m like, “Shit. I still haven’t moved… I need to move!”

I basically didn’t want to regret not moving so I packed up my stuff and left!

And throughout your time in Florida and the past 2ish years you’ve been living in LA we’ve worked together telling all kinds of stories! Are there any that jump out at you?

I love working with everyone at VIMBY and together we’ve worked on a lot of different projects over the years! One of my favorites though was Walgreen’s Ride On for Red Nose Day, that was a lot of fun!

We followed a group of riders that went from Boston to New York to help raise awareness for childhood poverty.

It was a lot of fun being with that group and being part of that team! We would be in the van that goes ahead and sets up to get some shots and they would zoom by and then we’d jump back in the car and drive fast to get ahead of them to set up and do it all over again!

It was a team effort and it was great, we were all like family by the end of it.

I know as of late you’ve been busy working on a personal project of your own! Can you tell me more about Dead-ish and how it all got started?

Dead-ish is a short, dark, comedic web series about a woman, Darla, who’s a “ghost host,” and lives with 3 ghost roommates.

I came up with the idea for Dead-ish when I was living in Florida in a house with a bunch of roommates. It’s kind of like the New Girl with ghosts. The New Girl meets Beetlejuice and then Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she was chosen to be a ghost host.

Darla wants to have a regular life and have a career and have a man in her life and all this stuff, but that’s basically impossible because she’s been chosen to be a ghost host and has to deal/live with that.

What pushed you to make this project happen?

I moved out to LA to be a director. I thought, “You know what? This summer I’m going to do something!” I looked back through some projects that I’d written and I remembered the ghost host idea! The more I thought about it the more I realized this can be done well for cheap. It doesn’t need a huge budget, you really just need a couple of actors and a house, could be pretty easy and a lot of fun!

That’s so awesome! Congratulations on making your vision come to life/afterlife! So what’s next for Laura D? What’s on your to-do list?

We are hoping to raise more funds to make 5 more episodes and complete the vision. We just launched a Kickstarter today to help make that happen! I want to have a full season and then see where that goes on YouTube and on Facebook and who knows from there!

 

Be sure to follow Dead-ish online at:

https://www.facebook.com/leprika/videos/529576844059136/

 

And check out the Kickstarter page:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78931247/dead-ish-web-series