Every relationship has a few split ends.
Interview with Writer/Director Catherine Dee Holly & Fray Forde
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Catherine: When we initially set out to make the film, we were approaching it from a very practical standpoint of what’s something we can make right now with a very practical budget. We were in a place where we felt the only way to starting building ourselves creatively was to make our own content.
Fray: From there, we landed on a simple premise based on a real argument: when I used all of Catherine’s conditioner and it started the biggest fight in our relationship. As the story evolved, we realized this simple “conditioner” argument was an entry to bigger ideas and themes about relationships.
Catherine: Exactly. It’s the notion how, in relationships, a lot of bigger problems are below the surface. And sometimes all it takes is a silly argument to open up a dialogue about deeper issues you need to deal with as a couple.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Fray: Good Hair is a great balance of relatable, emotional moments and rapid fire comedy. If you walk out having laughed and a little teary eyed, we feel like we did our job.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Catherine: This is a movie for couples made by a real couple and the biggest theme is communication versus expectations. Sometimes, we expect our partner to understand the emotional battles happening inside our heads with ever communicating them. Whether it’s a fear of the future, financial problems, or fighting to make sure you’re not becoming complacent, you have to voice these concerns to have a healthy life together. And, through our relationship and the couples we’ve met on tour, we’ve found this is common in every relationship. We want to show that not every moment in a relationship is perfect and that’s okay. Because every relationship has a few split ends.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Fray: The process of making the film moved so fast, it wasn’t until it was done we realized how much it changed. We started writing in October, shooting in December, and premiered it in February. The actual writing never stopped because we were still rewriting the movie until 3 a.m. the night before the first day of shooting. Once on set, we heavily encouraged our actors to improvise and find their own moments. So, even though the script was 25 pages, the first cut of the movie was 45 minutes. From there we cut it down to 26 minutes and I would say roughly 60% of the final cut of the movie was improvised on set.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Catherine: The feedback has blown us away. We initially made this film with the intention of producing a 15 minute short film that we would release on Valentines Day for free. To be frank, we only thought our friends and family would even watch it. Since its release, we’ve had over a dozen screenings in the Southeast to packed out shows on our Comedy & Curls Tour. The tour consisted of Fray hosting and doing stand up comedy, followed by a showcase of four comedians, and a screening of the film. We’ve had write ups, been on air and radio promoting the film in every city. We’ve been in 11 film festivals since February, including the biggest comedy festival in the world, Just For Laughs in Montreal, where we were a top 5 finalists in Kevin Hart’s Eat My Shorts showcase where we screened to 800 attendees. It’s safe to say we’ve gone farther than we could’ve ever imagined.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Fray: We just love seeing how people receive the movie. We can’t count how many people have said this felt like a depiction of their own relationship. I can recall several people saying it reminded them of their past relationships and how they wish they would’ve said the things said in the movie to their ex. To know the film resonates on a deeper level with an audience like that is all we can truly ask for.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Catherine: As a female director, it’s empowering to see one place people can go to find content and read about created by women. And we are so proud to make a film a part of this community.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Fray: As we started screening the film, we kept hearing one thing: “It’s too short and we want to see more.” It seemed absurd to us considering the movie is 26 minutes but we realized that what we created wasn’t just a short film, but rather it was a pilot. So we went back to the drawing board and outlined an entire series based on Good Hair called Split Ends. It follows the life of Frankie and Khi as they try to maintain love, even though their heads occasionally get filled with anxiety and doubt. Now, the goal is to find producers and production companies that are willing to hop on board and find a way to make Split Ends a reality.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Catherine: Like Fray said, we just want people to relate to it on a personal level. Sure, we want it to be funny. But we love the idea of a couple seeing the movie then driving home and it sparking a conversation about their own relationship. In terms of the film’s success itself, we’re moving to increase the size of our tour for our next project. So we want to return back to the cities where Good Hair was a hit and keep growing our fan base as we also go to new markets and show our work!
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Fray: I would ask “are you always honest with your partner?” Not just about the big things, but the little things inside that are building day to day. For instance, in the film, Frankie starts to feel like Khi is becoming lazier and complacent. This thought starts to spiral until she starts questioning whether he’s mature enough to ever have a future or kids with him. Instead of confronting him about it, she bottles in until it comes out at the wrong time, pushing their relationship into full crisis. If she had addressed these feelings earlier, maybe they could’ve avoided a giant blow-out. So, we want to open up that conversation for couples to ask each other if there’s things they wish they could share but feel like they can’t.
Would you like to add anything else?
See the movie! Follow us on Facebook.com/goodhairentertainment to see when we’re coming to a city near you and more details about the film and our upcoming projects.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Most of the feedback we’ve gotten from Good Hair says that the film feels like a pilot. We have a pitch deck for our original series “Split Ends” where Good Hair is the intro episode. We plan to have Good Hair stand as a proof of concept as we finish writing the series. In the meantime, we want to produce some sketches we can drop directly online to provide quick content for people that may not have the opportunity to see the film. So yeah, follow us because we have tons of ideas and we are making them.
Interview: August 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
Every relationship has a few split ends.
Length: 26 min
Director: Catherine Dee Holly & Fray Forde
Producer: Catherine Dee Holly, Fray Forde, Ted Kendrick, Sylvia Queener
Writer: Catherine Dee Holly & Fray Forde
About the writer, director and producer:
Catherine Dee Holly is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Horizon Theatre Apprentice Company. Signed with People Store Talent Agency, she was recently seen in The Santaland Diaries at Horizon Theatre, Dad’s Garage “EEIC” show, and the hit web series Kaleidoscope. Her break out roles were in Cannes Film Festival acclaimed short films Heartbreak Happy and Tragiometry.
Fray Forde can be seen all over the South East, performing stand up comedy. Recently, he performed at Sweetwater 420 Fest, Laughing Skull Fest, and Wild West Comedy Fest. Fray has shared the stage with Chris Tucker, Ron White, Hannibal Buress, Katt Williams, TJ Miller, Ron White, and more. Signed to People Store talent agency, he was part of the principal cast in the hit Atlanta based web-series QUARTER LIFE*.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Social media handles:
Funders: Michael J Harris
Made in association with: Good Hair Entertainment, LLC.
Where can I see it in the next month?
San Antonio Film Festival 8/4
New York Film Screenings Festival 8/11
ATL Underground Film Festival 8/18
Marietta International Film Festival 9/9-9/10
Catalina Film Festival9/27-9/29
Heartland Film Festival 10/13-21