DIRECTED by: Tori Pope
A mossy tale of competitive love, disease, rejection, and acceptance…all told against the backdrop of a vintage swamp setting.
What was a unique challenge you faced in making this film?
Although it was just a two-day shoot with only ten actors, it took months to get everyone to settle on those same two days. Just when we’d have dates cemented, people would suddenly remember that they had to work, or go out of town, or do something else. I had to re-cast almost all of the parts at some point due to various circumstances. And we only got to have one rehearsal. So I’d say the biggest challenge was scheduling. We also got kicked out of our first location. Get permits!
Where did the inspiration for this film come from?
Kansas Bowling and Natasha Halevi (who are both actors and producers on the film) got ahold of me awhile back and said, “Tori! We just came up with a title for a movie: ‘Swamp Women Kissing Booth’. Do you want to write and direct it?” I said yes, and based on their title, I did my best to write an all-female episode of The Monkees, which is an obsession of mine and the Bowling sisters. So the inspiration basically came from their title and The Monkees.
Who are your top influences?
The Monkees, Mike White, Ricky Gervais, Lukas Moodysson, Matt Groening, Milos Forman, Dave Chappelle, Catherine Breillat, almost every Saturday Night Live cast member ever, Bill Owens, Mr. Tarantino, Alan Arkin, Joan Crawford, P.T. Anderson, Woody Allen. Many authors, and anything from the 1960s.
What do you hope people take away from this film?
I just hope that they have fun watching it and appreciate that it’s an ode to 1960s TV humor.
What’s your personal takeaway from this production?
Joy! Watching it makes me really happy. Because of Douglas Burgdorff, it looks so beautiful, and working with Kathleen Hughes was an honor. And the actors—who are also my friends—are so funny in it. The energy and style it has makes me proud that we made it.