Girl Friend (2018)
She thinks they have the perfect relationship. Then he refers to her as his friend. So what are they?
Laura Holliday is a writer, director, actor and musician from Lewisburg, West Virginia, based in Los Angeles. In 2017 Laura was chosen as a Sundance Ignite Fellow, for her short film 'Persephone Goes Home,' which screened at NFFTY 2016. Laura has studied and performed comedy at UCB LA and The Second City Hollywood and made many videos for the website Funny or Die. She holds a BFA in film production from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and you can watch her 3 episode sketch series 'Brief and Futile Love Stories' on Comedy Central Digital. She is passionate about telling interpersonal, human stories and making content for and about young people.
Ali Ghandour & Laura Holliday
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Questions for the director:
1. Tell us about the inception of the idea, and your writing process for it?
I wrote this film in the aftermath of a real break up. The film is definitely fiction but the theme of trying to understand my own wants and needs, and separate them from the desires of my partner and the expectations of society is something I was working through in my real life at the time. It's easy to see in hindsight that all the answers you need in those situations are there when you know yourself, but when you're still figuring yourself out and really like someone, it's easy to sort of get lost. This was about that journey for the Ella character, of learning at least what she doesn't want.
2. Tell us about production and turning this idea into reality?
The prior year I had directed a short film called Disfluency* for my friend Anna Baumgarten who wrote and produced it. It was a really positive experience and when I felt like I wanted to make this film and get this story out of my head, I wanted to approach it the same way and have Anna produce it. It's really hard when you're telling a super personal story and doing multiple positions to make everything come together and know what works so I relied heavily on Anna and on my DP (Kevin Stiller) and my Editor, Kevin Birou. It's such a simple short but it was a lot of pages and I had very specific ideas about the feel so there was a lot of work behind all of it. *Disfluency is now a feature film that Anna wrote/directed and I was a consulting producer on, keep an out for it. It's being distributed by Vanishing Angle Films.
3. Share with us your experience distributing the film and getting it through the festival circuit?
This film had a really fun festival run. It premiered at the first ever Rom Com Fest in LA which was the perfect place for it. We screened a lot of other really wonderful fests too like, Pittsburgh Shorts, Salute Your Shorts Fest, Highland Park Film Fest, and Broad Humor Film Fest which is all female created comedies. I definitely was slow to release it online; our last couple screenings were canceled due to Covid so I wasn't sure exactly when or how to release it. We ended up premiering it on my youtube channel and a curation site called Respectives of Jupiter and they were great. It definitely didn't get into a lot of my goal festivals/ platforms, but not every film is right for every outlet - and this is a very long film of two people talking in one room haha, so I knew going into it that it wouldn't be the easiest thing to curate.
4. What else are you currently working on?
Right now I'm in the writing and pre-production stage for a narrative podcast called Rural. It's a comedy that my best friend from WV and fellow writer/creator Andrew Vass and I have been working on for a while, but putting it into podcast form is new. We're really excited about it. It's basically a millennial comedy set in a town like Lewisburg where we grew up and we're creating it with a production company called Odd Media. I'm also re-writing a dark comedy pilot and auditioning for projects (remotely) as an actor.