Sanctioned, Directed By Lauren ‘LaLa’ Robbins


As a San Diego native, Lauren 'LaLa' Robbins got her start on stage at Sue Hamilton's school of Dance Arts in a Reebok audition at 9 years old. She booked it and danced her way into musical theater sharing the stage regularly with American Idol finalist Adam Lambert for the Children's Theater Network. She then moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2003 to pursue a career in film as she enrolled in Santa Monica College as a film major while working two jobs. In her Production planning class with Robin Daniels she was given her first set assignment as a Production Assistant for a PSA. Some years later after attending P.A. boot camp she was introduced to Bob Roe who helped launch her career as a full time set P.A. on sitcoms such as Key&Peele, Playing House, and Teachers. Lauren is now a festival award winning director plying her craft for Disney's newest platform, Disney Plus as a 1st A.D. Her most recent film work was in capacity as a 2nd 2nd A.D. in the indie feature "El Tonto" in Charlie Day's, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia directorial debut. LaLa is a true team player, equally adept at leading or executing. She is always taking great strides to shift up the production ladder, with three shorts in post-production for the upcoming festival season.

What was the inspiration behind the making of Sanctioned?

Sanctioned allowed me to project my voice as a director with a story about a modern woman. The use of shots and performance showcase my evolving style that manifested April’s unflinching backbone throughout the story.


What were some of the challenges of making the film?

The biggest challenge I faced while producing and directing Sanctioned was casting Eric. He needed to be someone who is naturally intimidating that could feasibly detain April. Alexis Diaz who starred as April referred me to some great talent for a couple of the roles as I secured our locations for the shoot. Keilyn Jones from Netflix’s The Island became Eric and when they read together it all made sense.



When did you realize that you wanted to make films and what was the first film project that you created?

As a teenager I started creating my own projects just so I had something to shoot and edit in my free time. I wrote my own version of John Carpenter’s Halloween because my friend’s brother had the Michael Myers costume and my cousins were always my actors. Using multiple locations including my own home, I wrote and shot a scripted Halloween short that remains unfinished.


Which directors have been influential in your work and why?

Alfred Hitchcock for his use of story always having a brainteaser built on suspense and horror.

Dee Rees I had the honor of assisting in When We Rise, watching her work you feel the energy of story injected into her action packed shots.

Quentin Tarantino directs a unique style of pop-culture movies that warrant no introduction as to who created one of his classics. I will have a style that echoes this reputation in the horror house.


What genre of filmmaking do you like to work on?

Horror. Action, suspense, and horror are my favorite pillars in any story I’m shooting.


What is the most challenging aspect of making an independent film?

The most challenging aspect of making an independent film is understanding what you are creating while knowing there’s an audience for it.


What is your plan for distribution of your film?

Gilmore T.V. plans to explore streaming services after Sanctioned cycles the festival circuit.


How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?

Cinema impacts society by expanding our communication globally via technological advances and also ensures our future generations remain historically knowledgeable.


What is your next film project?

My next film project will be Bump an urban story about a young boy who loses his mother to find out years later the truth of her untimely demise.


Why do you make films and what draws you to the language of cinema and directing?

I make films because when I wake up in the morning all I can think about is directing and how gratifying it feels to explore the infinite range of my passion. The language of cinema makes sense to me like a natural stride in expression. I visualize so much out of a script internally it fuels my storyboards that make shooting feel like a choregraphed dance by the time I’m working on set. I imagine a conductor at her podium feels a similar pulse with the rise and fall of the orchestra at her fingertips.

© LA INDIES I 2020