After a tumultuous relationship with her Boyfriend Arlo Tyler, Jade Morrison leaves him, for the last time, or so she thinks. Mick Lexington has directed the Lipstick Traces, a short series project. Mick lives and makes films in New York City. It is our pleasure to interview him regarding the making of his latest series.
What was the inspiration behind Lipstick Traces?
In late 2019 I had just begun principal photography for a web series based on a novel I'd
written, Mr. Jack. We were taking a break for the Holidays, and it became very evident in early
2020 that due to Covid, we would not be able to resume shooting anytime soon. Mr. Jack is a
very complex story, and we would not have been able to do it justice with all of the restrictions
in the early days of Covid. I needed a light and maneuverable story, so I wrote the pilot episode
for Lipstick Traces. This was also a fatalistic time for our culture, and those themes come out in
Lipstick Traces. Does one plan for a future that may never come or live for today, even if it
means we sacrifice our morality?
What is the most challenging aspect of working on Lipstick Traces?
Lipstick Traces began as a concept, and the story fell into place. My writing style has more in
common with scoring an orchestra than narrative theory. There are a lot of subplots and hidden
agendas. Some are shown to the audience, while others are waiting for a big reveal. Keeping all
of the themes moving in time is a bit of a challenge, yet it's also what gives the story its energy.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project you created as a director?
I still haven't decided if this is what I want to do with my life. It's what I'm doing now, and no other form of self-expression has made me feel more complete, so I'm probably going to stick with it, but I'm never one to say never. I started studying film in college, but it wasn't a prestigious Film School. It was a community college in the Midwest. I was a very impatient student, and I quit college. Apart from maybe working as a novelist, filmmaking has the longest wait time from concept to the finished work. The gratification can take years, and I was a very impatient youth. So I quit studying film and got a one-way ticket to Paris, where I tried to make it as a painter. It turned out I was much more successful as a café patron. Then I left Paris and headed to London, where I played Rock & Roll for a few years before heading back to America to write novels. After a few years, I realized that filmmaking was writing in motion, so I turned in my pen for a camera and started working in film again. This brings us back to Lipstick Traces. You mentioned assembling an ensemble cast.
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film?
You have to understand that for me to get an ensemble cast together, I have to find actors who
have a genuine interest in the projects I write. I'm not going to sift through a stack of self-
audition tapes until I find the right look and delivery. I want to work with actors that have a
desire to tell a story in their souls. I've had a handful of casting calls and table reads for different projects and received hundreds, if not a few thousand submissions. I try to go through
each one and look at what was sent, and on the first pass, you can tell immediately if an actor is
sending out a form letter, the shotgun approach, or submitting because they feel some synergy
for the project. It might work for other projects, but I want to work with people who genuinely
want to be part of the project. So, as I was saying, I first look at what they have sent to me. Then, if I'm satisfied they are sincere, I give them a more profound read about the project, maybe some information on the website, or even a cultural reference that parallels my story. Then, if they are still there, I'll grab lunch, dinner, or a drink and get to know them socially to see if we can work together. I'm going to be asking a lot of these people, so I want to make sure we will be able to endure hardships and celebrate victories together.
What is the most challenging aspect of this production?
There are always hardships and walls you encounter. The secret is to look at everything from a
position of status and keep the status moving in a positive direction. It's the same thing with
any other Indie production, financing. Having said that, limited financing is a catalyst for
What Genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director, and which genres do you prefer to
Drama and all that it encompasses. There are moments in Lipstick Traces that are pure comedy
or pure horror but in the guise of neither. I feel Drama is the least inhibitive Genre of Film. You
have the entire gauntlet of human emotions. Further to that, I think it is the most accessible
Genre, and, as it draws on the verisimilitude of the viewer, any viewer will have an experience
dependent on their personal experiences.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
Does the world want to change? First, that's a very grandiose question and designates much
responsibility on the director. I believe all film falls into one of two categories, Art or
Entertainment. That which entertains satisfies a predefined quantum of information. A Horror
film needs to scare you, A comedy to make you laugh, etc. Art, on the other hand, is that which
impacts culture. Now, will that change the world for the better? Yes, but overtly? It's like the
butterfly that flaps its wings in the forest and will, in time, impact a hurricane. I think it's
unrealistic to believe that someone will see a film and go out and end world hunger. Can one
see a film and become a more compassionate person, perhaps? Those who save one life in time
save the world.
What is your next film project as a director?
I have a Dramatic Comedy in Development, Chasing Rainbows. It's the story of a young
comedian who begins working for, then deposes, her comedic idol. A modern take on All About
Eve but much more sympathetic. It follows the human drama of desire, dream fulfillment, and
personal decline, all juxtaposed on the vehicle of a Dramatic Comedy, which one could argue is
a perfect metaphor for life.
To find out more about Mick Lexington and his web series, Lipstick Traces, please click to go to the official website at
Lipstick Traces - An Arthouse Soap opera (lipstick-traces.com)