Known for starring roles on Criminal Minds and beloved animated series Archer (where she voices Lana Kane), Aisha Tyler seized the opportunity recently to make her feature directorial debut with Axis.
Starring writer Emmett Hughes, as well as Tyler, Paget Brewster and Oscar nominee Sam Rockwell—all of whom lent their voices to the project—the enormously ambitious Axis follows an Irish actor on the morning he is set to star in a career-changing blockbuster film, as a series of devastating events threaten to challenge his sobriety.
Funded through Kickstarter, taking place entirely inside of a car and shot over the course of seven days, Tyler’s directorial debut was in no sense conventional, posing a degree of difficulty that was exciting for its director. “People make simple first films because that’s what’s manageable—family dramas, coming-of-age stories, things that can be made for a price. But this is a movie about a guy driving through Los Angeles, and it unfolds in real time,” Tyler said, appearing recently at Deadline’s Sundance Studio to discuss the film. “Axis felt like a great first film, something that could make a little bit of noise.”
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On a typical independent film, “an aggressive day” would entail shooting 10 to 12 pages. On the average day on Axis, Tyler shot 65. To hear Tyler discuss the many logistical challenges that came with the film and how she pulled the project off, click above.
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