Interview with Filmmaker Larissa Pruett (GET HOME SAFE)

GET HOME SAFE was the winner of BEST FILM at the September 2018 Comedy FEEDBACK Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Larissa Pruett: I was journaling on this concept of two women competing to see how far they could make it down an alley before they died. I thought it was hilarious but realized that the concept was short lived…(haha). I brought the concept to a table read and someone suggested I make it into a video game. GENIUS! Side note: So thankful for all the table reads and discussions I have with people about concepts. I could have never come up with this idea alone or even make this film alone so I really love table reads and anytime I get to work with groups of like minded comedians. Anyway, After writing down everything I could think of with a video game and women going out I realized I had too much material. I brought it to a few table reads and flushed it out. I decided to make it based of the reactions alone and encouragement my friends were giving me. I had so much positive feedback that I knew there was no way I couldn’t make this film and lucky for me my talented friends wanted to help.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took about 2 months of writing it and then 2 days of shooting. The editing process took much longer, about 8 months because I couldn’t do the editing myself for this one because we started editing it on a new program I hadn’t learned yet. Then I had to pull favors and see if my friends could help me edit and so since it was a free project we took our time. Once we finished that one of my good friends Pablo Ruff-Berganza learned how to do all of the special effects basically overnight and did them all for me. He’s the real hero.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Real life

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The editing, for sure. Getting special effects to line up with my timing that I had written before. I also believe I became a better writer by the time I was in the editing process of this film so I had to battle with my past self on why I chose to do what I did. At the end of the day it was a beautiful experience for me to have gone through.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Gratitude. I feel so blessed and joyous to hear people discuss the film. I love hearing disagreements and am absolutely shocked when it turns into a discussion on the differences between men and women and how we behave. I love hearing what I could have done better to make it clearer because it will make me a better filmmaker. My favorite thing though is having women react to it, I love hearing them laugh too hard because it is honestly too real.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Journaling. I try to free write most days for at least a few minutes. I remember watching men behave walking home one night with my male friends and they were having the time of their life, they had no fear of death or interaction with strangers. I compared it to walking home alone from my car to my house and realized that I usually have 911 dialed up on my phone while walking if I get scared. That’s when I wrote in my journal “concept: Two women compete to see how far down the alley way each can get without dying. “Claire made it 200 yards last week”

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Young Frankenstein by Mel Brooks. I watched it growing up and was shocked to see that I was laughing at different things later in my life.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

FilmFreeway is wonderful but submitting to festivals is painful. It’s like taking all of the extra cash you have to buy food with, throwing it into a toilet and then flushing. 6 months later you get an email that says you made it into a festival you never even remembered submitting to and they ask for 1,000 things you’re not prepared for. It’s an overwhelming experience that is absolutely necessary for us to suffer and go through. However, sitting in a theater watching it being put up and hearing laughter makes it all worth it.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I’m not really someone that listens to music, but I will say that if I do listen to anything it’s Bo Burnham, Can’t Handle This (Kanye Rant) on repeat because it is so inspiring to me.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m writing/directing a new short that will hopefully be done by the end of November. I’m co-writing a pilot episode with a good friend of mine and directing a few web series.
Get Home Safe - Best Comedy Film

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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