These days, we vow to get our point across in a short, sweet and timely manner. We strive to get more succinct with our expressive side—whether it be a writing a love note, creating a self titled art piece, ‘curating’ a selfie (you know what we’re talking about) or gifting the world with our artistic statement—we hunt for ways to add relevance in an age of attention deficit our culture has acquired. Long-form everything can strike, then we’re stuck trimming the fat, sometimes for hours, questioning if people would perceive it the way we intended.
For the sake of simplicity, Director Lauren Graham has just succeeded in methods of short and sweet, succinct and expressive. In the release of her one minute film “Goodbye” starring actress Sara Mohr, the director pokes at our emotional bandwidth, setting herself apart in a quickie category that breeds big bang to our thought process and how rapidly we process information. Perhaps the director set out to pay homage to our evolving brainwaves in this day and age—who knew we could crush hard on emotional baggage?
On a recent afternoon in LA, we walked the streets with the director and her actress muse to discuss camera culture, the film’s inspiration and what advice they would give themselves ten years ago—while photographer Koury Angelo captured moments and stylist Wilford Lenov created looks for the gals that tout the film’s concept. Here’s to good things that come in small packages:
LA CANVAS: What was the concept behind your 1 minute film, ‘Goodbye’?
LAUREN GRAHAM: I literally just wanted to make a really short, intensely emotional film. There were ideas and childhood memories that were sort of swarming my memory anyways, so I thought I’d get it out. I perpetually felt wanting to relive those summer moments as a small child. Zero responsibility. Unlimited snacks. I also wanted to make something for people to watch alone on their device. Its not really a group watch. If its Wednesday and you’re a little (or a lot) hungover, you’re the target audience.
LAC: It’s one minute of viewing that turns into a really personal emotion. Were there any situations from your real lives that went into this collaboration?
LG: Well, yes my grandmother did pass away last summer. It was unexpected and that week I didn’t call her. I was sick or something stupid. A few days later she was gone. I feel pretty bad about that. She gave me my first loan to produce my first short film. It wasn’t like me to not call either & I knew at the time I’d made a mistake. It still haunts me. With all of that said, I couldn’t have done this without our extremely talented cast & crew who all donated their time to make this come together.
SARA MOHR: It was actually very easy for me to relate to the pain Lauren wrote about. The loss of a family member is one of the easiest and most painful experiences to pull from, unfortunately. Lauren and I are a lot alike in the way that we have a lot of real resentments from not being there to say goodbye for whatever reason, we were being young dumb punk-rock kids.
LAC: In one sentence, what do you want your audience to take away from the film?
SM: Leave this to Lauren. I was just lucky enough to be available for her.
LG: I don’t know…. to take time to be with the ones you love. Or call, write, do anything to remind people of what they mean to you. It’s more about seeing if they’ll pay attention long enough to go deep on a feeling they’ve perhaps pushed away or a feeling they’d like to avoid. Like, If you don’t want to feel super sad….call your peeps.
LAC: How long have you been doing ‘what you do’?
LG: I’ve be making films since I was 18 ish. So, like over 10 years.
SM: I modeled for many years leaving me super unhappy and unfulfilled. Around 4 years ago, someone close to me pushed me into taking some classes getting a coach and focusing on acting instead of modeling because of how uninhibited I am… Which I never knew could be a productive personality trait until now… Haha. I wouldn’t say acting is what I do. I’d rather say “reacting” is what I do. In every area of my life. I haven’t gotten it down quite yet.
LAC: Now that you’re fully on our radar, what can we look forward to? Anything you’re currently working on? We’re so turned on by creative working gals…
SM: Last year, I was very happy with a project I was involved in by a musician called James Vincent Mcmorrow, it was a three part short film and music video called “red dust” It was released earlier this year and I am still super proud of that one. We had a write up in rolling stone magazine that same month. And it was very, very cool. Loved that whole concept and would love to continue to be apart of films like that and “goodbye”. Right up my alley.
LG: I’m doing a feature documentary on the band Metric!
LAC: We had a pretty amazing time doing a photo shoot with you ladies. You both are so natural in front of the camera. What are some of the things you love about camera culture these days?
LG: That photo shoot was actually awkward for me. hahaha. I don’t mind getting shots taken as thats what I do, take shots. But sometimes its a huge difference when going from behind to in front of the lens. Its hard not to feel stupid. But as a director its good to be comfortable on both sides. At least to make a fool of myself so that someone as talented as Sara can sort of get the idea I’m fabricating then make it a million times better. I didn’t answer the question. I have my own love / hate relationship with the internet. But alas, we are living in a digital world, and we are digital girls. Get your pose down.
SM: Camera culture is so different then ten years ago when I started. I love films, old, new, just want to be a part of more films.
LAC: How does social media effect your careers as talented, creative women?
SM: At this point in my career I haven’t seen a dramatic change in it due to social media, good or bad. I believe this is because I do not believe in using social media as a catalyst to make myself famous or for self promotion. I’m a romantic I’d still like to think there is real talent still left in the media without the use of Facebook or Instagram.
LG: Well, I feel like no one would see my work at all without social media. So thanks, Everything on my phone….. It’s nice to promote the people on your creative team as well and give people credit where its due.
Who doesn’t like, “likes??”
LAC: Lauren, favorite actress, Sara, favorite director. No playing favorites!
LG: Hmmm I’ve honestly never thought about who would be my favorite actress. I love to watch Juliette Lewis. And Meryl Streep is someone to want to be like, thats for sure. And I mean Angie. But duh.
SM: Sophia Coppola & Tarantino. I am a fan of realism in movies, original stories. Sophia tells those.
And I’m a HUGE fan of campy action movies. Old and new. Can’t get enough.
LAC: Right now, what would you say to your ten-year-ago self?
SM: “Don’t sell drugs at school…You get arrested. A list of things I totally screwed up. What do I say…I was a good kid. I wanna tell myself shit when I was 14….. Got a whole list for that crazy B. Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
LG: Ummm, I’d say, “Don’t feel so bad / guilty about stuff, GOONIES Never say die, and, moisturize.”
Follow these outspoken babes on Instagram for a zoomed in experience: Lauren Graham @lgfilms | Sara Mohr @beastinlaperla