The world is a complicated place and stories are a good way to organize and make sense of what’s happening – KB
I sat down with Seattle filmmakers Lindy and Kris Boustedt to talk about their new film Bride to Be. After 15 years of filmmaking, they’ve made a genre blending film about marriage, love, and a haunted house. We talk about their film, working with Amazon, and horror films.
What is it like working with Amazon to distribute your film?
Lindy Boustedt: We’ve been filmmakers for 15 years now, since we made our first feature film in 2009 to now with our third feature film – it’s crazy how much has changed. It’s changing so quickly. When we first started the project, Amazon Direct wasn’t around so it wasn’t on our radar as a possibility. Our second feature was on Amazon Prime through an aggregator. We had to go through a middle-man to get it on there. Like Netflix, more and more people are using Amazon and it’s becoming the way people watch movies. It makes it easy for people to find our movies and watch them. A friend told me about Amazon Video Direct and I was excited when I saw how easy it was to upload and they give you clear guidelines about what materials you needed like images and synopsis. It’s very simple and straightforward. It makes it really easy to have your film on a legitimate platform.
Kris Boustedt: Back in the day you had to set up your own website, host it yourself, and nobody is every going to find it. There are three legitimate platforms – Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon.
What’s the best part about being a filmmaker?
LB: Telling stories that never get told and having an audience respond the same same way I do when they see representations onscreen. It’s being able to emotionally connect with an audience and give them something they aren’t finding in other places.
KB: The world is a complicated place and stories are a good way to organize and make sense of what’s happening. Films at their best can do that. Stories are instructions for life since we didn’t get one when we came out the womb. In The Incredible Jessica James she says, “You have one life, what do you want to say about it?” That’s art in a nutshell.
How did you come up the concept for Brides to Be? It felt like you mashed together two genres.
LB: Together Forever was a short film we did and people really responded to the two characters, Robin (Angela DiMarco) and Jenna (Carollani Sandberg). When we were deciding what to make next we thought about doing the next step in their story. We really wanted to have a love conquers all tale. If you’re going to have that, you need hate and fear to be the antagonist to the story. What’s better than having it be a haunted house instead of actual people?
KB: At the end of the day, we wanted to tell a story about love and the power that love has. You need some conflict to be there. Love stories work best against the specter of death. Having [the antagonist] be a non physical entity or something people don’t understand felt allegorical to what is happening now. It felt like the right choice. Genre bending movies are difficult to sell because which audience do you talk to? The idea of mixing two things was a really interesting idea.
LB: It’s also important for us to tell quality female queer stories, especially in the horror genre. Usually the lesbians are evil and crazy…
KB: Or they have to die…
LB: Or overly fetishized. We wanted to buck that trend and show that doesn’t have to be how these two genres come together.
Are you big fans of horror movies?
LB: I love the allegorical nature of horror films. Horror and sci-fi, even more now than ever, are such great storytelling tools. We really love Innkeepers. It’s about this friendship between these two people and it also has haunted elements in it. We also love Bergman’s Persona, it has psychological thriller undertones.
With Bride to Be, there’s fear involved with the marriage part of the film because they’re making a big commitment. When crazy things start happening, the characters aren’t sure if it’s the stress of getting married or something else.
LB: If they love each other is never in question. There are very real fears that we don’t get to talk about. We feel like it’s too taboo to or we’re afraid of losing who we are as an individual by becoming a couple. We wanted to ground the film in reality. The fear of marriage is hitting the queer community really hard now. Marriage equality may have never happened so people never had to think about it. Now, it’s like “Oh crap!”
KB: There’s also the idea that marriage is a hetero-normative procedure and is that something people really want to do.
I hadn’t considered what post marriage equality life would look like in cinema. Those stories have never been told. It’s no longer something in a sci-fi film, it’s a reality.
LB: We’ve done a few stories in the queer space and we’ve met a lot of amazing filmmakers in that space. We just don’t want “coming out” stories anymore; we want to talk about people in life and whatever that means to them. That’s what’s exciting about Brides to Be – How do we talk about the real fears many of us have about committing our life to another human being.
Check out Brides to Be streaming on Amazon.