Friday, July 19, 2019

2019 Drama Films: Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru by Lauren Simpson
Los Angeles, CA (Milwaukee Premiere)

Running Time: 11 minutes
Screening Time: Sat, Sept 7th 6:45pm

Andi is super into Ben – they’re two months into a new relationship and connecting on every possible level. One night, on their way back to his apartment to hang, Ben abruptly turns into a fast food drive-thru, where he takes the opportunity to get something important off his chest. Caught off guard, Andi has to make a difficult decision.


Director's Bio:

Lauren is a Los Angeles based producer and writer whose credits span music video, commercial, narrative and virtual reality formats.

In 2016 she partnered with Google's then principal filmmaker for VR, Jessica Brillhart, and produced BEETHOVEN'S FIFTH, a VR collaboration with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and NASA JPL that won Best Music VR Experience at Raindance Film Festival 2017 and screened at the SXSW Conference 2018.

In late 2017, Lauren joined Amazon Studios, where she currently produces bonus content experiences for Prime Original series and movies. In Early 2018, she produced the short film SWEET MERCY for director and Nicholl Fellowship winner Michele Atkins, which was an Official Selection at SCAD Savannah Film Festival 2018 and won Best International Short film at Overcome Film Festival 2018.

DRIVE-THRU is Lauren's directorial debut.

Director's Statement:

When I read the screenplay for DRIVE-THRU I was struck by the authenticity of the story. My friend Haley has always self-identified as confident, direct and assertive but, in writing this short film, she decided to mine a part of herself that only comes to the fore in romantic relationships.

DRIVE-THRU explores Haley’s real-life tendency to take the path of least resistance and “play it cool” in moments when she’s been undervalued by her partner. Recognizing the universality of this particular narrative gave her the confidence to write a very personal film, and her collaboration with Taylor Miller yielded a piece that tells a poignant, uncomfortable truth.

The story is essentially one scene, unfolding in a confined space, but its three acts, relatable protagonist and compelling antagonist were obvious to me on the page. I had a crystal clear image of the tone and visual style that would bring the script to life. This is why, after years of supporting filmmakers as a producer, I felt compelled to take the reins and step into the director role for the first time.

DRIVE-THRU asks a specific question: 'When vulnerability is seen as a weakness, can you muster the courage to be honest about your pain?' While the set-up almost conjures romantic comedy conventions, the film’s ending forces the viewer to confront a disappointing reality that I think will be hauntingly familiar to audiences everywhere.

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