A very silly satire of the beauty industry.
Interview with Writer/Producer Lauren Martin McCraw
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! The initial inspiration for the film came after I (Lauren, the writer and producer) spent the afternoon watching cable TV with my Grandma. A ridiculous commercial for a beauty product came on that left me wondering - "What the HECK are they talking about?" I couldn't stop thinking about it and laughing to myself, which means it's time to share with the rest of our sketch comedy troupe, Strapless. As women, we could all relate to the absurd way we are pandered to by the media and beauty industry. We made the film selfishly for ourselves but Darren shot it so beautifully it had to be shared.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
You should watch our film if you've been enjoying a long day of watching heavy film festival screenings and need a cleansing laugh. Alternatively, our film can provide immunity against the seriousness of our current political environment.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
In our film we ask the question "What makes a woman beautiful?" At first viewing, it's a joke, a send up of marketing catchphrases. But it's something that every woman has asked herself at some time in her life. Our society is quick to have us think that we're too big, or too dark, or too masculine to be beautiful. To its credit, the ad campaign that inspired our parody did feature a lovely range of actors who defy some of these stereotypes. But the irony is that our culture reinforces negative stereotypes in order to sell us expensive products we don't need, like the one the actors are hawking. This is both a personal and universal issue, but above all we wanted to take all that cultural baggage and have some fun with it. It was cathartic for us to make and we hope it resonates with both men and women who watch the film.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
From development to shooting, the script changed very little and was always written with the intention of each performer riffing on the material to their heart's content. We were lucky to get Darren on board as he understands shooting comedy and how to allow comedic performers time to improv. He patiently cut two hours worth of footage into a very tight one and a half minutes!
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Our film has been described back to us as, "a breath of fresh air".
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
We filmed "Ambiguous..." in one day. And we had a lot of fun doing it. The quick and positive response we've had to this film has bowled us over. I think it serves as a reminder that sometimes forces combine at the right time to create something wonderful. As opposed to the projects we labour over, that are met with stop signs and delays. If it feels right, create it! You don't know where it will go.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Strapless is already working on more film projects for 2017. We hope that by hearing about this film and our creative process people will check out our website and learn more about us. We've been making comedy together since 2013, even taking our show to Montreal and Toronto. In our Strapless stage shows we've explored a variety of tones and styles of comedy, from naturalistic to the ultra-ridiculous. Parody and reflections of pop culture have always been a mainstay for us. This project was a perfect storm of all our favourite things! Including peanut butter.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
"Ambiguous by Strapless" could benefit from media, word of mouth and distribution to a wider audience. It would be so wonderful to get our film's message out to a youth audience, who are already so savvy at dissection and deconstruction of advertising and mainstream media.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We like to make people think with our comedy, and occasionally wonder WTF, but more than that, Strapless loves laughter wants to hear our audience enjoy themselves.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What DOES make a woman beautiful?!
Would you like to add anything else?
Check out our website or "like" us on Facebook! You can stay up to date with our live shows, which have been described as "a fantastic romp!" or watch out our previous short films: straplesscomedy.com
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Strapless has started the writing process for their next film project! Darren Borrowman is attending festivals in support of his webseries "Telegraph Cove". And together they've already filmed a second comedy short as a team, which is now in the editing stage. It's based off a script from our very first show together and was an audience favourite. It has an absurd element to it, but at it's core it's so dark and painfully relatable - which is why I personally love it! Sidika Larbes of Strapless did a fantastic job writing the script.
Interview: March 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Ambiguous by Strapless
A very silly satire of the beauty industry.
Director: Darren Borrowman
Producer: Lauren Martin McCraw
Writer: Lauren Martin McCraw
About the writer, director and producer:
Darren Borrowman's been making films for ten years, most recently as creator/director of the webseries,"Telegraph Cove".
Lauren Martin McCraw is a versatile writer and performer of comedy, "Ambiguous by Strapless" is her first foray into producing.
Key Cast :
Jackie Blackmore, Iva Kapsikova, Sidika Larbes, Lauren Martin McCraw
Social media handles:
Twitter: @dborrowtime, @straplesscomedy
Instagram: @dborrowtime, @martymccraw
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
We're working on our next film script, and potential webseries. Looking for producers and funding!
Where can I see it in the next month?
Screening at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival!
Available on our website in the near future.