In this poignant snapshot of the modern relationship, a dysfunctional night with his girlfriend challenges Jay to evaluate whether the rewards of intimacy and commitment are worth the complicated baggage that comes with.
Produced by: Jessica Rose, Kristopher Turner, David Lester
5 questions with Alison writer, producer, actress, Jessica Rose at the half-way mark.
Monday, August 28th, 2017
1Hi Jessica! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make Alison? There is a specific kind of intimacy in long-term relationships that I hadn't seen portrayed on screen before in a way that felt authentic to me. I've seen all kinds of movies about the beginning or end of a relationship, but I wanted to see something that showed the in-between: the significant but less remarkable moments where two people are working hard to stay together and love each through their dysfunction and baggage. I have been in a relationship for eleven years, and I'm surrounded by other couples who have worked equally hard to keep their relationships going long term -- and I know all of them would say that it takes a lot of work, especially in the early days when you're really figuring each other out. But if you are able to get through the rough patches and make it to the other side together, the payoff can be huge.
2You wrote this film and act in it as well. What was it about this character that made you want to play it? Honestly, I know that she isn't everyone's cup of tea, but Alison was SO fun to play. I think she's edgy, sharp, and free spirited, but she also has a big heart and a deep vulnerability. Getting to explore so many sides of her in one short film was a beautiful gift as an actor. I'm different from her in so many ways (contrary to popular belief, I have never actually peed in the middle of the street, although I've now learned that LOTS of people do!), but I was going through a challenging time when I wrote her and I'm sure I was channeling some of those feelings into the role. Also, I just think she's very human, and frankly there aren't enough roles written for women my age that allow them to be so complicated and real.
3David Lester did a great job as your director. How did you find him and what was it about his directing style that made you want him to direct your script? David is actually my husband, so finding him was easy! While I was already an actor when we met each other, he realized his calling as a director a few years into our relationship and we then developed this wonderful, creative partnership. He immediately proved to be a natural behind the camera and won an award for best direction at the Lakeshorts International Film Festival for our first short together, Frozen Marbles. But not only is he a great director, he really understood what I was trying to say with this piece and he knows how to bring the best out of me. There is really no one I trust more.
4You've got great chemistry with the other lead, Kristopher Turner. What was your process like working together? Did you work on the script together? Did you do lots of rehearsals? What prep work did you do to create such a realistic couple? It helps that Kristopher is the greatest, most generous actor and working with him is the best thing ever. He really couldn't have made the process easier. We did get together to discuss and read through the script beforehand, but there wasn't much rehearsal at all. I love rehearsal generally, but there just wasn't time. We actually barely knew each other when we filmed this, but we did have a conversation before we rolled where we talked through the places we would need to go emotionally together and sort of a made a commitment to trust each other and go there. The bathtub scene was actually the first scene we shot, which is obviously a very vulnerable, intimate scene, but it made us get to know each other very quickly and the rest of the day grew from there.
5What's next? We have a few projects in the works: a couple short scripts that we're ready to film and I'm working on writing my first feature. That being said, I've been pretty busy as an actress recently, so some of my own projects will have to go on hold for a few months until I'm done filming. David is about to direct another music video for the hot new band, Citizen Fame - so stay tuned for that!
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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