October 14, 2019 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Getting in Synch with “Synchronicity”

To celebrate the completion of an all-female cast LGBTQ+ short film, The Abbey is hosting a wrap party for “Synchronicity.”
 
The event is taking place at the Chapel @ The Abbey in West Hollywood from 7:30–9:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday May 1. The Pride L.A. spoke with the producer, director and cast of “Synchronicity” to get the scoop. Check out the interviews below.  For more information about “Synchronicity,” visit the website.

Allison Graham – Producer

What is this film in one sentence? 

‘Synchronicity’ is the story about 2 women who believe in the power of manifesting love into their lives with such force that when one moves next door to the other,  those energies will finally come together.  

Tell us a little more about the premise?

The premise of the film is to show a snapshot of what manifesting love looks like in practical practice.  When we see these two women, one moving in next door to the other, have a bump in, and cut briefly into their apartments setting the table for 2, expressing positive love statements about what they deserve, and making room in their closets for that love, we know that their manifestations will be answered as the Universe brings them even closer together. 

Where did the idea for the film come from? 

Both Stephanie and myself believe in the power of manifestation, whether it is for love, success, friendships or attracting the people in your life you want to be surrounded with – we practice what we preach.

Stephanie wrote the script in a half-hour, said, “we should do this next week”.  I was like, “Okay”. Luckily, we have the knowledge and experience to put all of the pre-pro, production and post elements together between the two of us, and although we kinda did the impossible with just 2 people in 7 days including the 1 1/2 day shoot -, we were able to do in days what usually takes a typical short/show 2-4 weeks to prep but we LOVE a challenge!! And through our own manifestation – we got the best Cast in the business and still cannot believe it!

We overcame some really bizarre moments too. For example, we locked an apartment on a favor-trade and at 5:15PM the night before production, the homeowner sent me this toxic and acerbic email about how he came across our sound person request saying ‘females preferred.’ he went into this unbelievable diatribe about how we would feel if we read a post that said, “white-males only!” which turned into an almost Trumpian rant! 

Not only did we not say the word ‘only’ I had to give it a beat before I gave my best Southernly response.  Post’s don’t have to say white-men only because that’s been the 5,000 + year implication (I refrained from making this actual statement). The whole exchange is a story in and of itself really. Accusing us of having an ‘agenda’ accusing us of not being for equality and promoting a platform of hate for people who share this same mythical agenda! 

So basically, the entire opposite of who we are, agenda free and promoting and encouraging the empowerment of women/lesbians – no man haters among us. Plus, the set was a great mix of gay, straight and transitioning people it was beyond shocking to receive such an insecure email but that’s what it was at it’s core. 

We also had a different male individual tell US that he had read the script and was going to tell US what equipment we need and not what we asked for!! HOLY HECK! So yeah, THAT HAPPENED! “Pat, Pat, now I’m gonna’ tell you little ladies whatcha need!” That was SUPER offensive because we already know everything about everyone’s equipment (I have been a Line Producer, UPM, Prod. Sup & Prod. Coord) so to hear that was a BIG surprise to me at least.  And slightly unbelievable as that’s never happened to me before – of course this is the first Short Film I have co-EP and Produced (and 1st AD’d, etc). 

Luckily, Stephanie and I are experienced enough to predict before mentioned apartment ditch might be coming – suspecting their purposeful late response might cause us to sink the shoot. We had already started looking at apartments earlier in the day and locking it with the most amazing guy with an even better look for the project. Manifestation in action! Negative energy 0, Positive Energy 1!

What do you hope to achieve with the film? (Any messages, themes, entertainment value, queer representation, etc.)

Ideally, we want to sell this as an episodic Television show. I see this short as the last few minutes of season 1 with the idea to develop additional interwoven story lines, develop the incredible character/cast further and adding some twists and turns along the way. Something lesbians can identify with because it will be a reflection of our lives in 100% relatable scenarios. 

I hope the subject matter combined with us creating an all female/queer crew and cast helps support the equality-for-all-movement. That we can make a statement that women, & queer crews (+ cast) have the same knowledge, work twice as hard, and bring 110% because we’ve had too! 

When I started in this industry 20 years ago I literally WAS the only female AD on a set of 60 + men. And I hope, in an infinitesimal way that having to work without errors and earn respect through hard work helped in some way to make it that much more acceptable for lesbians and women to follow strongly in my footsteps. I’m extremely proud of how many lesbians and women in general have grown into the Industry, and although changes are slow in the making – that we are making them and supporting one another to give a hand-up – makes me very proud to be surrounded by such an amazing community with Pride. 

What was a particularly hard scene to write/direct? 

The scene that was particularly hard to manage was the walk & talk on a busy street and poor Rudi who did the first few takes running all the way down the block before I saw that and was like, “oh no! Let’s have her run into here!”. She’s such a trooper!

What do you hope the audience takes away from this film?

I hope the audience takes away a reminder or refresher about how important it is to manifest what one wants in the world. Could be love, success, or anything positive but most importantly to believe in believing. 

Who should watch this movie? 

All lesbian, bisexual, queer women everywhere for sure!  But, in the spirit of normalizing who we all are as people it will resonate to all audiences looking for love and to be loved in return. It just so happens that these characters are lesbians, but isn’t manifestation something that applies to a better humanity? I’d like to believe we can be the change we want to see in our lives. 

Stephanie Neroes – Writer/Director

What is this film in one sentence? 
This film is a love story between two women though they have yet to meet.

 Tell us a little more about the premise?  

Two women, each in their own way, practice forms of manifestation in hopes of attaining the love they both desire.  In the end, the Universe brings them together when one moves into an apartment next door to the other.

Where did the idea for the film come from? 

The idea of manifesting our wants and desires has grown exponentially since the release of the book – The Secret.  So, I wanted to explore the notion that one can manifest love into their lives not only because it’s a practice many people participate in today but it’s also something that I, personally, have experienced.  Therefore, I know that it works and wanted to tell the story of two women who experience the same result.

 What do you hope to achieve with the film? (Any messages, themes, entertainment value, queer representation, etc.)  

Overall, I hope that Synchronicity is a film that resonates for everyone.  And, I don’t mean just within the desire to manifest love but desires to any and all things one may want for themselves.  More specifically, however, I want to express that love knows no bounds and that all anyone wants in life is to love and be loved.  Whether your queer or straight, a POC or white, male or female, everyone deserves to be loved and should be loved.  As for the evolution of the short, it would be amazing to see this turned into a series where we can go back in time and learn more about the characters as well as what has motivated them to go through the motions of manifesting love.

 What was a particularly hard scene to write/direct?  

I think the most challenging scene was the opening scene.  Trying to portray a connection between two people that really doesn’t exist it very difficult, and to be honest, not having edited the film yet, I’m not sure I was able to pull it off.

What do you hope the audience takes away from this film? 

 Again, that love knows no bounds and that if you put your mind and heart into something, no matter what it is, it will come to be.  You just have to be patient.

Who should watch this movie?  Everyone

Mandahla Rose – Actress

How did you hear about this film? 

I was reached out to via Instagram and asked if I would be interested in reading the script and being a part of an all female cast and crew. 

Why did you want to be a part of it?

As soon as lgbtq and an all female cast and crew was mentioned, I was most definitely interested. And then I had the chance to read the script and from that moment, I definitely wanted to be a part of it. 

Do you like your character? Is she relatable? 

Yes. I like Taylor. Absolutely relatable! 

What was one particularly challenging scene to film?

To be completely honest, there was no challenging scene. Every single thing about this shoot was a breeze. From the moment of first contact to wrapping my shoot day, Stephanie and Allison made every part of this journey an absolute pleasure. 

What was your favorite scene to film? 

I really loved shooting with Mav. We instantly connected and just like in the film, we became instant mates. I enjoyed every part of bringing this film to life, including all the scenes we shot. 

What is unique about these characters? 

We are our own unique fingerprint and because of that, every single individual is unique but what brings people together are the relatable circumstances that the characters find themselves in. 

What do you hope the audience takes away from this film?

What you think, you can create. With that in mind, go manifest your hearts desire. Definitely easier said than done. But not impossible. 

Who should watch this movie?

People who are open to the idea that love is possible. Which makes me want to say everyone but sadly not everyone’s hearts are that open. 

Mav Viola – Actress

How did you hear about this film?

Writer/Director Stephanie Neroes and Producer Allison Graham reached out to me on Instagram, of all places! But it worked. They told me a little about the film and I was on board from the jump. 

Why did you want to be a part of it?

Two reasons: First, the team was kind professional and inclusive from the jump.  I immediately felt comfortable and supportive of their vision and wanted to work with them.  Second, the material was great.  It has genuine substance. 

Do you like your character? Is she relatable? 

Absolutely. She’s very relatable. She reminds me of myself before I met “the one” – a likable player. Not out to break anyone’s heart, but could definitely use a little growing up.  

What was one particularly challenging scene to film?

Honestly? Setting down a moving box, ha. No dialogue, just walking into a bedroom and setting a box down.  The smallest of scenes can be the most difficult because the urge is to perform the shit out of it, when really you need to stop acting and just be a normal human doing a normal human thing. That can be hard. 

What was your favorite scene to film? 

Walking down the block with Mandahla’s character. She’s a great actress and we instantly clicked, as actors and characters. I could have run that scene a dozen times, it was fun every take. 

What is unique about these characters? 

What’s unique is how simple and relatable they are. They’re not overdone.  And they’re connected in ways they haven’t yet discovered. 

What do you hope the audience takes away from this film?

A refreshed since of intention in their life. Trust that if you’re setting your intention, daily, the universe will silently conspire to make it happen. 

Who should watch this movie? 

Everyone. Duh. But definitely lesbians 😉

Rudi Aliza – Actress

How did you hear about this film? 

Though an old friend Jim Durkin!! 

Why did you want to be a part of it? 

So many things but, I really loved the fact that is was an all female cast and crew. It was such an amazing experience. 

Do you like your character? Is she relatable? 

Yes I loved her! Especially since I felt like she was so much like me 🙂 

What was one particularly challenging scene to film? 

It was all pretty smooth sailing for me! Maybe the scene where I had to run back and forth because I was a little out of shape 😉 

What was your favorite scene to film?

Definitely the scene where I got to sing and play my original song! 

What do you hope the audience takes away from this film? 

Manifestation is a real thing!!! 

Who should watch this movie? 

Literally everyone and their dogs. 

For more information about “Synchronicity,” visit the website.

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