Amy Jo Johnson: Tammy’s Always Dying

Director Amy Jo Johnson on her film Tammy’s Always Dying (which premiered at TIFF), being a female Director and the power of Lady Gaga.

DGC Ontario Director Amy Jo Johnson’s Tammy’s Always Dying premiered at TIFF and is now available on digital. We caught up with Amy Jo to discuss the Hamilton-shot film, being a female Director and, the power of Lady Gaga.

How are you doing during this crisis?

I’m doing well, trying to stay positive and proactive. Having the focus of Tammy’s Always Dying coming out on May 1st has been such a blessing.

I’m doing well, trying to stay positive and proactive. I’ve had the May 1st release of Tammy’s Always Dying to focus my creative energies on which has been a huge blessing.

Can you speak more about your experience premiering Tammy’s Always Dying at TIFF?

Oh wow, I am ever so grateful for that opportunity. Being part of such a prestigious festival as a filmmaker in my hometown was literally a dream come true. I soaked up every moment. In hindsight with all that is happening in the world with COVID I’m even more grateful to have had the experience of watching the film in a theatre with an audience. My heart breaks for all those filmmakers who were supposed to premiere at a festival this spring.

What lessons did you take from your first feature into Tammy’s Always Dying?

My learning curve on The Space Between was so massive; I took it all with me!

How have you negotiated the male dominated industry of filmmaking?

I just don’t think about it. I’m a doer and never dwell on the challenges of a situation or goal. I just push through them. Some of my biggest supporters and mentors are male veterans in this industry and I appreciate their work and am eager and grateful to learn from them.

What is the best/most helpful advice you’ve received or given for enduring these trying times?

I watched Lady Gaga talk about kindness on the “Tonight Show”. To me right now this is my antidote for when I fall into the doldrums and gravity of these times. It’s amazing what small acts of kindness can do for the spirit.

What are you watching/reading/listening to stay positive these days?

I’m re-watching The Good Place with my daughter and banging on my piano and singing A LOT. Oh! We’re also growing tomato and basil plants from seedlings. This is making me so happy. Growing something.

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