It’s never too late to give up.
Interview with Writer/Director/Star Zeke Farrow
Main photo: Zeke Farrow
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Megan’s Shift is my directorial debut - I never really wanted to direct, which has posed more of a problem than you’d think. This project came first out of my frustration of being a writer of features - it’s not just urban legend how horribly the writer is disrespected in the features world. I’ve always been curious as to why… After all, nothing would exist without the writer. And then there was light, and it was good, and all… Directing can’t be all that hard… Can it?
So, I thought of a story that meant something to me, personally - a class warfare drama set in a world I felt most directors get wrong - a restaurant. I wanted to get it right. I wrote it. I produced it. I directed it. I starred in it. For better or worse, now I’ve done everything and it was like a ton of fun. And, it wasn’t all that hard.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
If you make it through the short credits, set to wonderful original score, composed by Lucian Piane, you will see that Megan’s Shift was made In loving memory of anyone who’s ever served you something… I assume that’s you.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Thematically, this film is a relatable microcosm - a restaurant (surely you’ve eaten in one), used as a metaphor for the struggle for identity of the little guy in a corporate setting, or some crap like that. Also, who hasn’t done a favor for a friend, only for it to backfire. It’s a real No good deed goes unpunished story.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The script didn’t evolve much. I wrote it, without an ending. Came up with the perfect ending. Rewrote it. Polished it. Then I shot it about six weeks later.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
People say they like it. No one tells me they don’t like it because they’re afraid of me.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
No. People seem to accept that the film is my point of view - I think that’s easy when you write, direct, and star. I think they’re more interested in the what and the why of that point of view, than they are in challenging it. I appreciate that response.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I hope everyone will look for Megan’s Shift at upcoming film festivals and eventually when it’s released for free online - hopefully later this year.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I need everyone who likes Megan’s Shift to share it because they like it. Or, share it because you’re afraid of me - I’m cool with that. If some of the people who see it are producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, or journalists, I hope they reach out to me on social media (/Zekeness, @Zekeness, #Zekeness), with effusive words of praise.
I also think my unique point of view on the service industry and its future would make for fun TV. Just sayin’.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
One thing you learn serving hundreds of thousands of people over a career, is that people are horrible when they’re hungry. They don’t mean to be horrible. They just are. We all are. We can’t help it. I hope people who see Megan’s Shift think about their lives, their behavior, and how hard it is for their server to maintain a valuable identity while serving others. Also, I hope people relate to the story and believe that it’s true.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
When you see an otherwise well-adjusted adult acting horribly at a restaurant, do you say something…?
Would you like to add anything else?
I can think of a lot worse ways of spending 10:52 than watching Megan’s Shift.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I’m about to start production on my second short, Ride or Die with the same cast and crew as Megan’s Shift. I have just optioned my next feature screenplay, Fuck Facebook, and I made a proof-of-concept short of my next-next feature film, A Film by Vera Vaughn - it’s a staff pick on Vimeo where it has 40k views: https://vimeo.com/146489061
Christine Woods can be seen in the Sundance-winning I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore and Jeff Garlin's Handsome, both on Netflix.
Interview: May 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
It’s never too late to give up.
Zeke Farrow, Merritt Lear, April B. Russell
About the writer, director and producer:
Zeke Farrow has written and or produced films that have played over 150 film festivals, including Sundance, Telluride, SXSW, and LA Film Festival. His new feature, Before the Sun Explodes, will be released by Gravitas in 2017. He won The Peabody Award for co-writing/co-producing Best Kept Secret. FILMS: Best Kept Secret, 21 Below, Gayby, Before the Sun Explodes, Slo-mo, Woman in Burka. Megan’s Shift is his directorial debut.
Zeke Farrow, Christine Woods, Tess Niedermeyer, Kerry Barker
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Social media handles:
Made in association with:
Where can I see it in the next month?
Megan’s Shift will screen at the LA Comedy Festival 365 Series on Friday, May 12th at 8pm.