LOS ANGELES -- A St. Cloud Technical High School grad is making her presence felt in the world of Hollywood.

Writer and Director Lisa Dooley grew up in central Minnesota and graduated from Tech in 2005. After high school, she moved on to New York University, then out to Los Angeles to make a name for herself on the silver screen.

Dooley started out in acting, but after moving to L.A. and starting a comedy group with classmates from NYU, she found herself directing most of the digital shorts the group was making.

While cutting her "directing teeth" there, she began working on the set of HBO's "Big Love", and after something went wrong on set, Dooley says that's when she realized she needed a job where she was in the know at all times.

"There was a problem on set, and everyone was running around. I was in the back with Bill Paxton and he was asking a PA what was happening. And I thought 'oh my gosh I could not have a career where I didn't know what was going on all the time', so that's when I knew I needed to be a Director, not an Actor."

Dooley says every project is different, which is part of why she loves directing.

"I think every project is its own in a way. It's a whole new experience, that's what's fun about directing, you get to develop new characters and a new story. So I think when I enter a project, I try and figure out the heart who these people are, and what's happening to them before I start, and just go from there."

She's currently getting into writing her first feature film, which she says will be something for the moviegoers who like to be on the edge of their seats.

"I actually like thrillers, I'm not super into gory horror, but I really enjoy, like a thriller horror. So that's the direction I'm heading in right now. I'm working on writing my first feature, and that's a thriller."

Dooley says that feature will be based on her short-film "Persephone", in which a girl is buried alive, with only a flashlight and pocket knife. Dooley just finished up with her Graduate Degree from the University of Southern California. Her thesis film, "Ben is Dead" was partially filmed in St. Cloud.

She says the scene they filmed back home actually came to her in a dream.

Dooley has 12 directing credits, 11 as a writer, and several others as an actress and producer. She says if you want to be in film, just start making one. Saying, it's as easy, and as hard as that at the same time.