Krista Fatka and Jude Harris join CineVino in conversation at the 2022 South by Southwest Film Festival.
Claudia: How has your SX experiencing been going?
Krista Fatka: Exhausting. Fun. Hungover those are my three.
Jude Harris: It’s so good to be back with the filmmaking community, it just feels like 100 years so it’s great to be home.
How do you talk about dating a woman and a trans woman and make people feel like it’s OK? It’s OK to laugh and not be offensive. I’m talking candidly about someone I love very deeply. – Krista Fatka
Claudia: What inspired you to direct the film?
Jude: Well, really when Krista wrote it, professionally I am a producer, so I was just trying to find her like a great director that could do it and the more conversations I had about it, the more I got really jealous of somebody else going to get to make the film. So I think kind of as a certain people that I’m a huge fan of weren’t available it was like “OK, well then maybe I can do it.” I’m a big fan Krista.
Were there any movies from your childhood for either one of you that got you into the filmmaking process?
Krista: You have the good answer for.
Jude: For the filmmaking process?
Jude: Uh, what is it?
Jude: Oh, yeah, for sure. I think it’s not a childhood thing, but I think the way Mumblecore to some extent and Lynn Shelton did in Seattle, and Cassavetes, you know, got their family and friends together to make a movie. I think that was like my favorite way to do it so that’s definitely for this film of how we got there it was it was sort of like Cassavetes by way of like a Warner Brothers cartoon.
Krista: So these are kind of the three VHS tapes that I just wore from watching them so much. Not that it’s really related to this movie, but our film. But ‘So I Married an Ax Murderer’ was one of my favorite growing up, ‘Slacker’ the Linclater movie, which I feel like does kind of relate to this in that it’s, you know, it’s it’s a day in the life of Austin, Texas, really, that movie. And this is kind of just pulling from our life so heavily. And then oh ‘Natural Born Killers’ was another one that I watched a lot of.
Jude: As a kid?
Krista: In high school, I was a dark kid! (laughs)
So you guys highlighted some interesting spots in Los Angeles. What was that shooting process like there?
Krista: You found the location (to Jude)
Jude: I think what we decided to make the film, I kind of put the word out to the trans community in L.A. and, you know, I was like, I don’t know if we can make a show like, we don’t know anybody that can get a salon and Salon Folklore which is in Glassell Park in L.A. almost immediately got in touch with us and said that we could shoot there. And so we kind of build that place around. their salon and they gave us full access. And then there is a little bit in our backyard. Getting back to the family film, that’s you know my kid in our pool, in our backyard.
Claudia: So working together was that easier? Did you come across challenges?
Krista: We can’t say. (Everyone laughs) It’s still a soar subject. No, it was totally easy, and I don’t know, I think, Jude is just such a naturally very maternal and nurturing person so for me, I don’t know. I think I always kind of wanted to have a creative romantic relationship, but I never did, and I don’t think that was like at all the premise of like how we first connected but yeah, so delightfully creative it turns out, you know, it’s just one aspect of our relationship.
Jude: And Krista is so funny. It’s nice when you’re like making a small film and it’s like Oh, there was there was something wrong with that take and she’s immediately there to make it funnier so it was a real colaboration.
What was the rest of the casting process like?
Krista: So Merrill is also a standup comic and Mitchell who is the I guess receptionist you would call them. Um, he is also a standup comic so that’s the world that I come from, and I didn’t even really know Mitchell, Merrill I knew but Mitchell I just loved his look, and I was like, Oh yeah by the way, can you like self-tape? I had no clue if he could act or not and he was just like a delightful additive surprise. Like Merrill I expected could act because she takes acting classes and that sort of thing now on that sort of thing. But he was he was great.
Jude: And then Zach came from I did a show called Too Stupid to Die on TV, and it was a jack ass type show and he created everything . So I knew him from that and I just wanted to do something else with him and I particularly I wanted to do something where I did hurt him because most of his on camera rolls have been pretty risky. So it was just great to put him in something where he could be crazy but safe.
How did you bring any personal experiences into the film?
Krista: So the genesis of the movie was really that I had been anemic and my hair was thinning. So historically, my hair has been like a rather blunt fringe with like a top knot and my once ample bun was just becoming this flaccid, little wisp of a thing and so I was like, I’ll just cut it all off and start over. I want to make a funny video what they’ve got to me doing something on Instagram or Jude was like write a script we’ll like make it a thing. And I mean, initially, I was just like, Yeah, lets let Zach do whatever to my head and if I have to shave it at the end of the day, then that will be fine too, I don’t mind. But uh, yeah that and then I mean, really in the beginning I’m talking about, you know, losing the dick joke, in the reality is also that, you know, I am dating a woman for the first time in my comedy career and I do autobiographical comedy. And so I find it’s very easy to make fun of men because a) they’re ridiculous. and b) they’re not a protected class of person. People are automatically on board when you make fun of the guy. So as a comic, I just, you know, I really am dealing with the challenge of like, how do you talk about dating a woman and a trans woman and make people feel like it’s OK? It’s OK to laugh? Yeah, and not be offensive. I’m talking candidly about someone I love very deeply.
Jude: And I think it’s like there’s so many coming out stories that are told with like reverence for that. But there’s just so much about kind of like, OK, great came out now what. And it’s like, it is goofy and ridiculous and like, you know, you just don’t see that side of it so much, And there’s many wonderful, earnest films that have been made about, you know, those experiences. But I think it’s just like, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve had a different journey than Krista has cause I think that OK, well, how do I reintroduce myself to the world now. So many people go through that and it is silly. Yeah, I think that that’s what made me connect with the material.
Krista: Yeah, I had a very feminine look for most of my 30s, but my twenties. I was much more like short hair, androgynous and I don’t know it’s a funny thing because I had this straight passing privilege because I sort of look, I don’t know, I had like sort of a conventional look in some ways. I don’t know, I just feel like I can start ID’ng more as queer, and I should talk about that stuff on stage cause that’s my life!