SxSW 2020 Interview – WAFFLE writers Katie Marovitch & Karry Barker

“WAFFLE is an exciting horror-comedy that also holds up a mirror to society. The story follows Kerry at a sleepover with the socially awkward, mysteriously orphaned heiress Katie, who Kerry learns the hard way always gets what she wants. It warns us of a future in which we have grown so isolated that friendship and human connection must literally be paid for. The story also cautions us about the dangers of increasing income inequality and shows what life could be like for someone society has labeled low status.” Screenwriters Katie Marovitch & Karry Barker on WAFFLE which screens in the shorts section of SxSW 2020. 

Editor’s Note: While SxSW was officially cancelled on March 6th, 2020, the below interview was one of many that already took place prior to the festival. To respect the creators, all already performed interviews are presented in their unedited entirety below. All of the below works WILL make their way out into the world in one way or another, and we will update this article with updated information when we have it. — JW

Welcome to SxSW and congratulations! Are you planning to attend SxSW?

This is our first SxSW movie and yes we will be attending!

How did you first hear about the SxSW and wishing to send your project into the festival?

We live in LA so SxSW is very well known, and we’ve really enjoyed watching the incredible films that premiered there over the years. Getting in with our own film was always a distant dream, until one day we met and just decided to really go for it! We still can’t believe we made a movie that will premiere at SxSW. It’s such an honor. 

Tell me about the idea behind your project and getting it made!

We both love the horror genre but work in comedy, so we really wanted to combine the two. Waffle draws on themes we’re very interested in, including income inequality, social status, and female friendship. We imagined what a world with commercialized friendship would look like, and this is what we came up with.

Who are some of your main creative inspirations?

We are the world’s biggest Yorgos Lanthimos fans. WAFFLE was really our “take” on creating a strange world like he does so well. We especially drew inspiration from DOGTOOTH and THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER.

How did you put this together from a technical viewpoint? What sort of cameras/lenses did you use and/or did you have any creative challenges in making it?

We were extremely fortunate to work with incredibly talented people, like our director Carlyn Hudson and our cinematographer Rick Diaz, who can tell you about the cameras/lenses! As the writers/actors, it was a real challenge to limit the story to ten or eleven pages. The script changed probably forty times as we tried to figure out what we needed to include and what we could cut. There’s definitely more story to be told, and we’re now working on a longer form project of the same idea.

After SxSW, where is it going next? Anywhere you would love to show it?

We have some other festival acceptances we can’t announce quite yet, and waiting to hear back on a number of others.  We’re hoping we get to go to some California festivals so our family and friends can see WAFFLE on the big screen!

What would you suggest to theatres or even film festivals as a way to show more short films theatrically or make them more accessible to audiences across the country?

We don’t know how to fix this problem, unfortunately. But, it would be great if short films were treated with the same respect as feature films. They can be just as impactful, even if the story isn’t explored in as much depth. I’d love for Waffle to have a run at theaters all over so more people could see it. It was made for everyone to enjoy.

If you know of anyone around you wanting to become a filmmaker/creator, what would you suggest to get their start?

Make things on your own so you can tell the stories you really want to tell!

And finally, what is your favourite short film of all time?

One of our favorites is THE CUB by Riley Stearns (THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE), since it does horror and comedy so well in an economical way.

For more information on this film and to follow its progress into the festival world, point your browser to www.sxsw.com/film!

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