What is the point of life if you are not continually learning and moving forward?

Laura VanZee Taylor, director, cinematographer, and editor joins the show. Laura’s first feature-length documentary, I AM MARIS premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2018 and is distributed worldwide by RO*CO FILMS. It is now available on NETFLIX.

Laura is currently working on the documentary featureWALK THROUGH THIS. Before devoting herself to filmmaking, she spent a decade as an editor, director, and creative strategist in the publishing industry. She holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor’s Degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR.

In this episode, Laura and I talk about how staying stagnant is not an option. We both have taken risks to create change in the world. When enacting change, be prepared to face obstacles. There have been countless things that went wrong with our film – for instance, we recorded during a state of emergency.

Laura explains her most significant struggles and obstacles along the way to becoming a documentary filmmaker.  Her family had to adjust to her newfound passion. Overall, the adjustments her family made restored the balance in Laura’s life by redefining roles.

Later, Laura and I talk about the “impossible” task of getting a recording permit in The Ground Canyon. After getting the permit, Laura knew she needed to get into shape. Instead of spending the majority of her days in a dark editing room, Laura joined a gym and got a trainer.

Stay tuned to hear about the state of emergency in The Grand Canyon, the importance of getting pushed out of our comfort zones, and the need for more donations.

In This Episode:

  • About today’s guest, Laura VanZee Taylor [ 2:15 ]
  • Creating change in the world [ 14:45 ]
  • Laura’s biggest struggle [ 17:30 ]
  • Getting a permit in The Grand Canyon [ 28:50 ]
  • About the state of emergency [ 38:15 ]
  • Getting pushed out of our comfort zone [ 48:50 ]
  • The need for more donations [ 57:45 ]


  • “I was afraid to lose my courage.”
  • “Now, I’m in the best shape of my life.”
  • “Making a documentary is a lengthy, and expensive process.”
  • “An independent movie is made from independent funds.”

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