Mary Lambert, a filmmaker notorious for her groundbreaking work in music videos and one of the most prolific female horror directors of the past 30 years, was born in Arkansas and was drawn to art and creativity from an early age wanting to be a painter. She didn’t grow up around artists but was influenced by the culture of storytelling in the South. The ideas of fractured narratives, non-linearity, and multiple interpretations are a familiar presence in her work. Her outrageous imagery and nonlinear storytelling became her trademarks. The visual landscapes that were naturally hallucinogenic and dreamy landscapes can also be felt in her painting work as well.
Mary Lambert is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design where she studied fine art. At RISD she learned a there that being an artist was not limited to being a painter, it was a state of mind, a creative lifestyle that you chose and that anything you did could be art. As an artist, you could influence other people and have a voice in the world.
While living in Los Angeles and working on the fringes of the film industry in editing and animation, making special effects for washing machine commercials, she made a music video for their band The Tom Tom Club which they showed to Jeff Ayeroff of Warner Bros. Records. Lambert’s follow-up with Jeff earned her a ticket to New York to meet their hot new up-and-coming artist, Madonna. Lambert shot her first music video for Borderline, and the rest is history.
Mary didn’t set out to brand herself as a horror director. Her first feature was cult classic Siesta (1987), which received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Feature after its release. Lambert perhaps is best known for directing Stephen King’s first adaptation of his own work, Pet Sematary, the huge box office success of which inspired a sequel, Pet Sematary II, three years later. Now a prolific television director, and the first woman to direct a Syfy Channel original movie, Lambert has consistently tapped into her own interior mindscape to manifest deeply emotional genre fables.
Mary is an Assistant Arts Professor at Tisch School of the Arts, Undergraduate Department of Film and Television where she has served as the Area Head of Acting and Directing. She teaches a range of production and craft classes at NYU including Advanced Production Workshop, Narrative Workshop, Sight and Sound Filmmaking, Sight and Sound Studio, and Directing the Camera. She has also taught film and directing classes at AFI, USC, and Chapman University.