Director Alison Roberto “GIRLS NIGHT IN is a satirical horror short based on the Bechdel test. The test is a way of evaluating whether or not a film or other work of fiction portrays women in a way that is sexist or characterised by gender stereotyping.”

Girls Night In directed by Alison Roberto and produced by Landon LaRue is a satirical horror short based on the Bechdel test. The film is a comedic take on pushing that concept to the extreme and creating a ridiculous take on how women are normally portrayed in TV and film. This cleverly elevated short will screen at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.

I would like to begin by congratulating you both on getting into the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival.

Landon: Thank you so much! It has been such a dream to be represented at Tribeca, a festival I once volunteered at as a college student.

Alison: Thank you! It is the ultimate honour to be an official selection at Tribeca this year and a dream Landon and I have shared since the beginning of production on the film.

This is quite an interesting film, what was the inspiration behind it?

Landon: I came up with the idea of “Girls Night In” when I was on the dating apps and my first question was “are you a serial killer” in conversations but realized it may have not been a complete deal-breaker. It was a dark time in my dating life.

I came up with the idea of “Girls Night In” when I was on the dating apps and my first question was “are you a serial killer” in conversations but realized it may have not been a complete deal-breaker

Alison: GIRLS NIGHT IN is a satirical horror short based on the Bechdel test. The test is a way of evaluating whether or not a film or other work of fiction portrays women in a way that is sexist or characterized by gender stereotyping. To pass the Bechdel test a work must feature at least two women, who talk to each other about something other than a man. Which of course begs the question, where is the most ridiculous place two women could be fighting over some dude? Well… what if he was there to kill them? Our film is a comedic take on pushing that concept to the extreme and creating a ridiculous take on how women are normally portrayed and written for in TV and film.

To pass the Bechdel test a work must feature at least two women, who talk to each other about something other than a man

Alison, can you tell us a bit more about the cast?

Becca is played by Jess Adams and Delaney is played by Skylar Benton. When we auditioned them we originally had their roles reversed. In their audition, I asked them to switch roles. They hadn’t prepared for that but they each fit into their new roles perfectly. At that point, we knew we had our Becca and Delaney.

Landon, what drew you to this film?

My abysmal dating life.

Is there any chance this satirical horror could be made into a feature film?

Landon: Yes, I’m currently working on a feature version of this story.

I’m currently working on a feature version of this story

Alison: Absolutely, Landon is currently writing the feature version.

Landon is currently writing the feature version

Was there anything particularly difficult to film?

Landon: Filming the death scene in a small, cramped bathroom and only ONE shot to get THE shot was definitely the most difficult part. Had we not gotten that shot, we would have had to reset everything from hair washing to floor mopping. 

Filming the death scene in a small, cramped bathroom and only ONE shot to get THE shot was definitely the most difficult part

Alison: The second half of the film takes place in a very narrow bathroom. There are only so many angles that can be shot. Keeping the camera moves and compositions engaging while working in the confines of such a small, mirrored space is challenging. There was also quite a bit of action in that location that needed to be covered as well,

Keeping the camera moves and compositions engaging while working in the confines of such a small, mirrored space is challenging

How did you both get into filmmaking?

Landon: I’ve always been interested in entertainment but for my family, that wasn’t an option; they all have a military/civil servant career. I still told stories and wrote my first “book” when I was seven but right up until I applied for undergrad, I was torn between two worlds: one where I would pursue a career in law/politics and another where I would be a filmmaker. To help with the decision, I interned at the Council on Foreign Relations and the United Nations in New York City, the home of Broadway and independent theatres. I quickly realized that movies had a faster and bigger effect on the public than policy did which sealed the deal – I was going to pursue film at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Alison: I grew up on the east coast in a working-class family. From a very young age I was obsessed with drawing, painting, and writing stories. I lost my father at a young age to cancer and my mother raised us and supported us on her own. She nurtured my love of art and got me into advanced art classes. When I was 11, we had a school project where we had to write a letter to our future selves. My letter said I would work for MTV in the art field and work with music and bands. And 10 years later MTV hired me before I graduated from SVA, and my dream was fulfilled. I spent almost a decade as a Creative Director at MTV directing shoots, concepting campaigns for the VMA’s, and working on some of the most beloved shows from Punk’d to The Hills. When I ultimately decided to move to Los Angeles, I began working a lot with Netflix creating and directing original content for their shows (Glow, 13 Reasons Why, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and my fate was sealed. I knew I wanted to direct full time.

What is next for you both?

Landon: I’d like to direct one of my other shorts and continue writing my young adult spy novel.

Alison: I am currently working on a feature and a new short. But I hope that the feature version of Girls Night In is next.

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