Woods Hole Film Festival / LA ShortsFest – The Games We Play
An innocent game among friends forever alters the course of a relationship.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Annika Marks
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I was inspired to write this movie after I heard a hysterical story from a friend backstage at a play we were doing about a hypothetical game ending in a breakup. I thought it was a great concept and had it kicking around in my head for years. I’ve been working on building confidence as a content creator – not just an actor. I’ve been writing in secret for a long time.
After I created “Stay Filthy, Cali” with some friends (a raunchy, comedic PSA series for the CA drought) I had even more enthusiasm for putting my own ideas out there and that’s how this short was born. I took it to my husband, Rich Newey, who’s a director and asked him to direct it for me. He said he wouldn’t direct if for me, but he would direct it with me, and by doing so he’s helped me empower myself. We reached out to some of our all-time favorite collaborators to help bring it to life on a shoe string budget and it was a dream come true experience.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It’s as divisive as it is entertaining. It feels like a realistic light comedy, until it’s over. That’s when debates break out. We’ve loved watching audiences react. Watch it with your loved ones and we guarantee you’ll have a great conversation over drinks after!
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
“The Games We Play” is about the red flags we recognize early on in relationships and often do nothing about, knowing in the long run they’ll catch up to us. It’s about trusting your instincts and going with your gut – and about the things we say, without saying them directly, that reveal the truth.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
I wrote and re-wrote up until the day before production began. And then our amazing cast picked it up and we let them play as much as they wanted. We really wanted the cast to feel like they’d been friends since childhood so we had a rehearsal the night before we shot and gave everyone permission to explore and improvise. Then we asked our incredible DP Jessica Young to keep moving and make the camera act as a 7th friend at the bar. It was a real team effort to get the look and feel right. In the end Rich did a genius editing job and managed to get exactly the tone I had always envisioned. It’s realistic and ridiculous at the same time.
Continue reading at We Are Moving Stories…