A Dark Comedy From Heather Spilkin
"Just End It!" Directed by Heather Spilkin is a dark comedy film that has screened at several film festivals. This film is an official selection of the Austin Micro Short Film Festival 2018. Just End It" also won the Best Dark Comedy Micro Short Film Award at the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Fall 2017. "
"Just End It" Synopsis
Does your messy home make you feel like a complete failure as a wife and mother? Well have no fear, because JUST END IT! is here! This new all-purpose cleaner guarantees permanent freedom from a dirty home. Just one use, and you're done with cleaning. Forever!
Director Biography - Heather Spilkin
Heather Spilkin enjoys writing dark comedies in the form of sketches, shorts, and features. Although JUST END IT! is her narrative directorial debut, she looks forward to putting more of her writing projects out into the world. Heather also directed the feature documentary Above Brooklyn, which has screened at Rooftop Films and Anthology Film Archives. By day Heather is an editor for film and television and has enjoyed working on award-winning independent features, well-received documentaries, and top-rated TV shows.
Director Statement - Heather Spilkin
“Just End It” is meant to parody those cleaning product commercials that show a beautiful smiling woman who for some reason seems deliriously happy to be cleaning up after the rest of her family. Why are these women smiling? And why are cleaning products still marketed primarily towards women, even though the majority of households are dual income? I wanted to make a different kind of product ad, one where a dark reality seeps into the fake commercial world of unattainable perfection and fixed gender roles.
Heather Spilkin Interview
- Why did you think that your film was a good fit for the Austin Comedy Short FF? “Just End It” clocks in at under two minutes, so I’m always appreciative of any festival that has a micro-shorts category. But the real reason I submitted was the potential of screening at the Alamo Drafthouse. I love this venue and the concept of dine-in movie theaters in general. Kudos to the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival for securing such a sweet venue.”
- What inspired you and your team to make this film and how did you come up with the title? “Just End It” is meant to parody those cleaning product commercials that show a beautiful smiling woman who for some reason seems deliriously happy to be cleaning up after the rest of her family. Why are these women smiling? And why are cleaning products still marketed primarily towards women, even though the majority of households are dual income? I wanted to make a different kind of product ad, one where a dark reality seeps into this fake commercial world of unattainable perfection and outdated fixed gender roles.”
- What made the actors interested in being a part of your film? “I had worked with Memo, Tawny Sorensen and Phil Chernyak in the past, and they all liked the script.”
- How were you able to get the locations for your film? “Locations were challenging for this project because we needed a house or apartment that looked large and suburban, which was difficult to find in New York City. A big shoutout to my friend Leslie, who let us use her fabulous apartment in Greenpoint. Having access to a big, beautiful kitchen was a huge help in making this look like a real commercial.”
- Can you talk about your sources of funding and favors that you received to complete this film? “Many of the cast and crew are filmmakers themselves, and since I had helped out on their projects, I was able to trade in some favors. And I have to give special thanks to my partner Chris Adams, who is not at all involved in the film industry, but was willing to work a long day lifting heavy film gear.”
- Has creating this short film helped the careers of the people involved in any way? “Cinematographer Grega Rupret got a job shooting the webseries “The Deported,” which should be premiering sometime this winter. It was a pleasure to work with him on “Just End It,” and I’m so glad that other people are noticing and appreciating his work.”
- What were some of the challenges that you encountered while making this film? “It was a challenge to make “Just End It” look like a real commercial on such small budget. The location, wardrobe and props had to be just right or it would distract from the joke. We also had to fabricate a realistic looking fake product, which really came to life thanks to graphic designer Jamie Dwyer who created the ‘Just End It’ label.”
- In what city and state was this film shot on location? If outside the US, what city and country? “Just End It” was filmed in an apartment in Brooklyn, NY.”
- Can you list any awards, nominations or official selections for this film? “Just End It” was an official selection at LA Femme Film Festival, Broad Humor Film Festival, and Austin Comedy Short Film Festival.