Filmmaker's Name: Kendall Goldberg
Film Title: Gloria Talks Funny (Mississippi premiere)
In 50 words or less, what is your film about?
Gloria, a struggling voice actress, discovers her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remades and sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy. At it's core, this film deals with being a woman above 50 in the entertainment industry, and the universal theme of happiness and how to find it.
What was your motivation to make this film… why this film, and why now?
GLORIA TALKS FUNNY originally came from a place of frustration, not just in my own life, but from the lives of many females I have interacted with, specifically in the entertainment industry.
In 2014, I was hired to direct a short film starring Candi Milo, an accomplished voice actress in her early fifties. She had voiced some of my favorite cartoons, and I jumped at the chance to work with her. Her stories about the industry were both hilarious and disheartening. At first, I marvelled at her unique perspective as a female in the industry. However, I quickly realized that her stories were not all that unique; she was experiencing what so many other women face in her line of work. The stories of backlash and rejection based on her gender and age were endless.
After bonding with her during the short, I felt compelled to bring her stories and experiences to life in my senior thesis film at Chapman University. With her real life experiences fueling my fire, I wrote and directed GLORIA TALKS FUNNY, a short film about a voice actress losing the role she built her career on to a young internet personality with zero acting ability.
It's an important time in the entertainment industry where we're finally starting to see a necessary shift in voices. We can go to the movies and see a black superhero or we can watch TV made by female show runners. Things are finally starting to happen, and this story is a perfect example of why change is necessary.
Was there anything strange, funny, interesting, sad, scary, or otherwise unusual about making this film?
A funny story — one of our actors ended up getting sick just nights before the shoot, so I called up Jon Heder — he and I were prepping to shoot a feature together at the time, which became my first feature film — and asked him if he was free for a day. Luckily, he's a pretty cool dude, so he helped me out. I basically rewrote the role for him like a night before the shoot, and then he came on set and killed it!
Another crazy story — We finished this film May 2017. The summer that followed, Candi Milo (plays Gloria in the film) found out they were remaking a major cartoon (one of my childhood favorites) that she was the lead in. Almost word for word, she had the film play out for her in reality. Crazy, and it sucks a lot, but was also very telling that we created a story that is authentic and currently happening in this industry.
What is your connection to Mississippi? If you don’t have one, why did you choose to enter your film into a Mississippi festival?
I have no connection to Mississippi, but have heard this is a great festival, so that's why I submitted!
Anything else you’d like the audience to know about your film?
I think comedy comes from tragedy, and I hope that people can laugh with the film, but also gain some insight into what women — specifically, women above a certain age — have had to deal with. I hope this fun short helps spread awareness and sparks change.