About Lisa Elin

Lisa Elin

Houston Film Critics Society member, Cinema Therapy Mentor, New Englander, INTP, Libra, croquet lover, Depeche Mode die-hard, hopelessly smitten with dogs.

Many people say that everything is better with bacon, but I say everything is better with movies. If you’re like me, it probably appears that you’re incapable of going five sentences without referencing a film (you can, but who wants to?), and you often get “the look” from friends and family due to your vast [and to them, useless arcane] body of film knowledge. I’m really glad you’re here, and look forward to sharing the journey with you!

Movies have been a mainstay of my life since I was three years old (the first I remember was Cinderella, but the real kickoff was The AristoCats). They’ve seen me through the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I just naturally (reflexively? instinctively?) weave them into almost every aspect of daily life.

A fun example from my past-life (aka before-I-got-sick) career as a software trainer and instructional designer:  While teaching stu/life-with-cfs/dents how to fancy up their bulleted lists in MS Word, I’d ask for someone to call out their favorite movie star and then instantly rattle off several titles as the list items; as we practiced the various formatting options, others would jump in and they’d try to stump me – but never could. 😉

My Film Roots

oak-birch-inn-smMy love of film was awakened during childhood summers in New Hampshire, which included frequent visits to the Oak Birch Inn. It offered charming guest rooms, a formal dining room, a sprawling lobby, expansive porches overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee… and a first-run movie theater. Truly the Overlook’s benevolent twin.

The ones that “did it for me” were Tevye’s dancing on the rafters dreaming of being a rich man … when the woman behind me involuntarily cried out, “Don’t shoot!” as Rolfe held a gun on Captain von Trapp … and when Lady Litton pulled the Pink Panther out of the cold cream, at which moment I realized that a woman could outsmart the best of them (no small revelation for a young girl in the mid-70s).


Ultimately, I think movies are just in my blood. My grandfather was on the senior team of producer John C. Wilson and helped stage many Broadway shows, but before that, he was on the team that produced the first movie accompanied by sound.

Laying the groundwork for the “talkies” that came later, 1912’s Rainey’s African Hunt ran with a concurrent narrative track performed by Ernest Torrence, and the success of its first New York showing is widely regarded as having provided Carl Laemmle the funds to launch Universal Pictures.

Around the Interwebs

I joined the ranks of  the reviewing press in 2009 upon becoming the first Houston Movie Examiner for Examiner.com; I contributed to that outlet until its closure in July 2016, with a stint at We Got This Covered along the way as well. In 2014 I also became a member of the Houston Film Critics Society (which means I now also vote – tough work for a Libra!), and participate regularly in our Critics Circle radio show.

Professional Background & Training

Whether borne of personal wiring, life experience, or some alchemy thereof, I have a knack for helping people identify and complete a transition. For showing them a new sail and how to set it, and then wishing them fair winds as they move forward on a new, stronger course.

I went into private coaching practice in the mid-’90’s, which then pivoted into corporate work when I was asked to come on board full time by a client with a multi-location business. Along the way this evolved into the tech space, and when I became no longer able work due to a severe illness 2006, I wove it together with movies, the result of which you can see over at Reel Happiness Cinema Therapy.

  • BA in English with concentration in writing and literary criticism, Trinity University, San Antonio TX. (Trinity didn’t have a film studies program at the time – inconceivable!)
  • Certified Coach, Charter Advisory Board Member, and Senior Trainer for CoachU; personally trained, mentored, and coached by Thomas J. Leonard; specialization in teaching and personal coaching of the Personal Foundation Program.
  • Qualified Practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment, Association for Psychological Type.
  • Certificates in Collaboration Skills and Advanced Mediation from Chorda Conflict Management (now Blue Lion Conflict Solutions).
  • Certificate in Cinema Therapy from the Zur Institute.
So that’s me! Where to go next? How about letting me introduce you to one of my Top 5 favorite things in the world – I suspect you’ll enjoy this too!