Writer/director Chell Stephen was raised in Toronto on healthy doses of music videos, The X-Files and teen dance movies – influences which shaped her debut short film CRYSTAL (SXSW, 2014) a dark comedy about a be-spandexed 17-year-old jerk. Its follow up, Shauna is a Liar, is based on a true story from Chell’s youth and features poppy camp visuals, a dash of surreal, plus an earnest beating heart at the center- aka Chell’s wheelhouse. Chell was a Sundance Fellow selected to participate in the 2017 New Voices Episodic Short Form Lab 2017 with her series, Kidnapping Brihanna. She also directs fashion and music content for global brands with production family Think/Feel, and presently reps the motherland from “fourth largest Canadian city,” Los Angeles.
What do you love most about Your City?
Wow is LA my city?? That’s crazy but okay sure I do live here, or at least my two cats and our cat sitter do! I love the signage : car washes, liquor stores, dentists… signs out here just kill and give you something to look at while you sit / drive in circles in your car. I love the vanity plates and the afternoon light and the strange shapes and colors of buildings. I love driving around at night with the windows down listening to the commercial free oldies radio station KSURF 1260.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My jam is the Brite Spot Diner and I always get the California Veggie Omelet with no mushrooms subbing feta for gruyere because I am a nightmare. They serve never-ending delicious coffee and I’m always too full to get the pie, but I’m told it’s delicious. If I’m home for breakfast, and most often this is the case, I’m having cold green grapes and hot black coffee as it is the perfect start to a day.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – writing! After procrastinating by reading every productivity article on this dastardly internet, I kept hearing about all these dedicated morning folks getting after it and decided I had to make myself one of them. I like to scream, insanely, at myself HOW BAD DO YOU WANT THIS??? when I’m sluggish to get out of bed. hey keep it light, good morning, let’s go!
10:00 AM – Taking a break between the writing and editing portions of the day, around this time is when I run 2 miles in my neighborhood. It is critical to the maintenance of my sanity and also lets me listen to whatever songs I am currently most obsessed with.
12:00 PM – Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
I am partial to diners for literally all meals and have perhaps never had a “power lunch” but I meet my peers for catch up sessions at 101 Diner, House of Pies, Brite Spot as above, Astro Family Restaurant, etc. I love a lunch time coffee walk n talk around Echo Park Lake as well.
7:00 PM – dinner at home. We make a meal called I Can’t Believe It’s Just Vegetables which is our fave custom salad and zucchini / yellow squash / peppers chopped n sauteed in pasta sauce.
11:00 PM – reading in bed, sleeping very soon after making 11:11 wishes (see again, nightmare)
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Before 2pm (or 4pm if things are really activated) I’m all about hot coffee but at the end of the day what a Very Cool Guy like me drinks to wind down is … peppermint tea.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
I have been guilty of deleting and re-downloading Instagram *multiple* times a day because I lack self control. It is easily my most used app, for shame, and let’s say my fave is anxiety meme account @itsprobablycool because I like my internet at the intersection of dark, wholesome and movies.
What should everyone try at least once?
Please go to the BatCade in Burbank to let out any and all frustration / celebrate a birthday / because it is Tuesday. For 5 dollars you can get 30 pitches at whatever speed you desire. It takes me longer to drive there than I actually spend there socking dingers, but I never ever regret it.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Not very comfortable getting lost to be honest – wanting to know which way is what at all times is kinda my thing! Perhaps the closest I come to losing myself is in the insanely giant (truly, golf cart sized) aisles at the Vista Theatre while seeing the deeply discounted matinee showings under cover of darkness. A delight!