23/52 SEQUIN RAZE.
It’s summer and ’tis the season for The Bachelorette and the Lifetime cutting-edge satire of such shows- UnREAL. If you’re a fan of UnREAL, as I am, then you won’t want to miss this short film that was the origination for the series.
The writer/director of Sequin Raze–the short film that took the 2013 SXSW film festival by storm–is Sarah Gertrude Shapiro. Shapiro was bound by a contract that transferred her from a different reality show to nine “miserable” seasons on The Bachelor. Her experience as a producer on that show was the basis for her short film, which was created during the AFI Directing Workshop for Women.
The film follows a jilted contestant on a Bachelor-type show and the morally conflicted producer who stops at nothing to get the footage she needs. Anna Camp plays the contestant and she gives an amazing performance that showcases her range as an actor. The film is beautifully directed and shot, capturing both the glowing glitz of the reality show and its gritty underbelly.
I was able to see a screener of the film a few years ago when a friend of mine was prepping an audition for the first season of UnREAL. I was an instant fan and thrilled to find out that the film was becoming a series. Incidentally, the Director of Photography for Sequin Raze–Ava Berkofsky–wound up shooting my short film, HARMONY, so it was nice that I was already a fan of her work when I met her. And, since then, I’ve become good friends with one of UnREAL‘s Season 1 writers and another actor acquaintance of mine (the fantastic Lindsay Musil) is absolutely killing it in a recurring role on this season, so I feel pretty attached to the show. The series has garnered incredible critical acclaim and rightfully so, as it gives two amazing women (Constance Zimmer & Shiri Appleby) the opportunity to play complex, meaty characters that are rarely available to female actors over 30.
I’d been wanting to see the short film again for years and it’s finally become available for free online, thanks to my favorite Short of the Week website. Enjoy!