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Jane LA

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Published on Dec 15, 2014

a short film about a girl and her art project
starring Zena Grey
directed by Max Landis
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I borrowed a friend’s camera to make it; it’s shot entirely by me. It was an idea I’d had for a long time; I only really got motivated because I thought Zena would do a good job, and that brought out the director in me.

Almost every line of dialogue you here is improvised; there was absolutely no script. I just knew the scenes we needed. I would, before hitting record, throw the actors (random friends of mine) the idea they needed to convey. Occasionally I got more specific, but mostly it was “Prompt, shoot, notes, prompt again, shoot again, notes again” until I got what I needed.

The end result got put in limbo as my life grew steadily more busy, but I’m happy to finally release this cut. It’s not the “SUPAR HIGH PRODUCTION VALUE SPECIAL EFFECTS WOW” type of short most directors release these days. It certainly isn’t “viral.”

But I’m very proud of it as an experiment in shooting from the hip to tell a story, which is exactly what it was meant to be.

The cast, with the exception of Zena chosen via their availability, is as follows:

Zena Grey, an actual actress (when she’s not editing together passion projects, animating or doing whatever other mysterious things she does in her spare time), who in reality is NOTHING like the Borderline Personality manic pixie she portrays in this. Her performance weirdly grows in magnitudes if you’ve ever actually met her.

Hadrian Belove, not a performer of any kind, but rather the raconteur behind Los Angeles’ wonderful Cinefamily theater.

Russell Henson and Maggie Levin, people I barely knew at all, and am now, three years later, quite fond of; I asked them to be in a movie, randomly, and they said yes. I believe this was our first time hanging out.

Anna DeHaan, an actress from Chronicle, who did her role with less than thirty minutes notice as we walked around the Hollywoodland Estates.

The film was edited by Kim Kruse, who edited Death and Return, and then again years later by Andy Holton, my regular production partner from Animal Battles, The Slap, etc. The effects were all the handiwork of the spectacular Mike Diva, a great director in his own right who was gracious enough to give his time and ideas to this weird little thing.

And of course Evan Goldman, who wrote the film’s cute little end ditty.

Enjoy, and share if you enjoyed.

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