June 11, 2015
From stockbroker to documentary filmmaker, it’s been a long journey for Washington, D.C., resident and St. Louis native Lisa Hughes. An artistic pursuit was always in Hughes’ heart, but it took years for it to beat strongly.
She’s now in the midst of a passion project: a feature-length documentary on the iconic Airstream trailer and its ardent fans.
There’s no single reason for the intense Airstream following, she explains, because the distinctively shaped aluminum trailers, which date back to the 1930s, represent different things to different people: adventure, independence, Americana.
The documentary will include Airstream enthusiasts,
events and history — “everything, it’s everything,” Hughes says.
Behind the Scenes
More than 10 years ago, after nearly a decade working as a stockbroker, Hughes felt the urge for a change.
So she enrolled in graduate school in film and video at American University in Washington, D.C.
During that time, she and her husband moved to Los Angeles, and she commuted cross-country for summer school classes. The couple later returned to the East Coast, where she finished her degree. In the years that followed, Hughes, her husband (an architect) and some of their friends pursued many ideas, including an architectural TV show and a film about architect Frank Gehry. Although the projects didn’t come to fruition, working on them got Hughes started in the film business.
She later worked on a documentary about Abbott Thayer, a turn-of-the-20th-century artist and naturalist — and the father of camouflage. The Thayer film aired on PBS.