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Interview with Buried Treasure's Director Leslie Hope

Leslie Hope a Canadian actress has done it all! She has acted in TV shows such as ’24’ and ‘The River’, directed films like ‘My Neighbor’s Secret’ and ‘GayKeith’, and has written a few shorts and documentaries. She became close friends with Jeff Galfer while filming ‘The River’ this past year, and is now directing his short “Buried Treasure”. Take a look at our interview with Leslie below, and make sure you check “Buried Treasure” on Kickstarter! They have 12 days left to reach their goal of $24,750!

How did you get involved with acting originally?

“I went to boarding school in Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. It was a university prep school. Everyone was supposed to decide what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives by grade eight. I was supposed to be a lawyer. I didn’t like that notion. Just by chance a movie called “Ups & Downs” came to my school to film and they cast kids from my school. That was it. Once I got that role I found my ticket out of law school, out of boarding school, and out of that environment. I moved to LA a year after that.”

What has been your favorite role so far?

“I have several favorites. Sometimes it’s not because of the role itself, but because of who I worked with. One of my all-time favorites was working with John Cassavetes on a movie called “Love Streams”. It was the first job I did in the states and it was a small part, but I loved working with John and on that set. I loved working on ‘24’ opposite Kiefer Sutherland who is now a dear friend, but at the time was somebody I really admired. I was happy to work with someone from the Homeland. I really liked working on “Paris, France” which shot in Toronto with Jerry Ciccoritti. At the time it was considered really risqué. My mother called me in tears asking if I was making a porn. It really pushed the envelope in what you could show in a movie, and still keep it a literary movie about someone struggling to write and taking her frustration out through sexual encounters. It was a really neat movie. I loved ‘The River’ too! I had such a good time on that show.”

What do you miss most about ‘The River’?

“I miss my bosses and that group of actors. It doesn’t happen all the time where you get on a show with a group of actors where you all have a big personality and there’s still room for everybody. It was great ensemble and I made terrific friends. We were stuck in small places together, and we all encouraged each other. I miss the feeling in Hawaii that we had shooting there. Eloise Mumford is actually starring in “Buried Treasure” as Jeff Galfer’s wife. I love her.”

Do you prefer acting or directing?

“I’ve been acting for thirty years so there’s not a lot of opportunity for me as an actor to do things I haven’t done before. That is why ‘The River’ was so fun for me. I got to this big scare, operatic kind of acting. I hadn’t done something like that before. Generally, I do prefer directing. It challenges in my different ways than acting does. It allows me to think about the big picture. When I’m acting I still think about the big picture. It can be frustrating as an actor to think about something like “wouldn’t it be cool if the walls were yellow” and that not matter, but as a director I can think “wouldn’t it be cool if the walls were yellow” and then have them painted yellow. I really find directing a better fit for my personality.”

What is geocaching?

“Jeff’s girlfriend Anna Douglas had geocached while at university. There’s this website about geocaching. The community is millions strong. My best understanding is that geocaching is when someone hides something of value to them in plain view for others to find. They post GPS coordinates for their treasure. You have to find their treasure using clues, then log in and say you’ve found it, and then leave it for someone else to find. There is something quite beautiful to me about the idea that people are sharing their treasures with others, simply to witness, not to steal or trade, but just to share. Our movie “Buried Treasure” is not particularly about the community of geocachers, although it is a geocacher that puts our story in motion and helps our hero (Jeff) get past the grief he is suffering.”

What treasure would you hide?

“My mother passed away a couple of years ago and she gave me her naval crown. It’s a little pin that she used to wear all the time for luck. I wear it now every time I’m directing. If I wasn’t directing I would geocache that.”

How did you get involved with “Buried Treasure”?

“Jeff Galfer who is the writer of “Buried Treasure” played Sammy on ‘The River’. Jeff told me about this project and I knew that it was connected to the death of his father in real life. This project was inspired by his experience. I read the script and I loved it. We’re pushing forward to get this movie made in June.”

What about “Buried Treasure” are you most excited for?

“I’m really excited to work with Eloise and Jeff again. Eloise is a power mind. She is an extraordinary actress and I love being in a room with her. She is so beautiful and interesting. I’m excited to work with the rest of the amazing cast too. The material is also great. Because of the short schedule I’ve been able to bring in some of my friends to work behind the scenes. The production designer (Tomas Voth), make-up artist, sound guy, and costume designer (Pamela Incardona) are all top notch. I have this incredible group of artists working on this film, which I would not have if I was directing a feature film.”

What would your dream directors gig be?

“I would love to work on a movie like “Buried Treasure”, but a feature version. I want to be surrounded by these kind of artists, making a movie that we all want to make.”

Are you surprised by the “Buried Treasure” Kickstarter success?

“I’m overwhelmed by the success of Kickstarter. I’ve contributed on Kickstarter before to people’s projects, some for people that I knew and some that I didn’t. I love the notion of making a movie $25 at a time. It’s a little nerve-racking. We’re aiming for $25,000 and we are over a third of the way there. Hats off to Jeff for putting it into motion. He is like a telemarketer shaking down his friends and family. What I am most moved by is the support we’ve gotten from people we don’t know. It is amazing that people who don’t know us personally are helping us pursue our dreams. It makes me want to contribute more to Kickstarter. Donations of any amount really make a difference.”

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