“Maybe Shower” is an official selection and winner of the Best Feature Length Comedy Screenplay award at the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Spring 2017.
Synopsis: Three 20-something women find out they might be pregnant on the same night. As their collective anxiety grows, they band together to face their fears, confront the potential fathers, play stupid party games, and egg a car or two –– all part of the world’s first ‘maybe shower.’
We caught up with screenwriter Lex Lybrand for a quick update about this screenplay.
Q1: Why did you think that your screenplay was a good fit for the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival?
A1: It’s shockingly hard to find a comedy-focused film festival that has a feature screenplay category. Austin Comedy Short Film Festival was exactly what i was looking for (along with the Houston and Portland festivals that I submitted to).
Q2: What inspired you to write this screenplay?
A2: I conceived (pun intended) the idea for the film at my first grad school residency –– all based on me mishearing a friend when she said she was going to a baby shower over the weekend. I was like, “Did you just say Maybe shower?” and she was like “No.” About a year after that, I was sitting on campus for my first semester of grad school and that moment popped into my head. Almost immediately, I had this kernel of an idea come to life.
Q3: What was your inspiration for some of the characters in your screenplay?
A3: The film opens with a pretty heavy piece of dialogue from a child in a grocery store: “If you weren’t my mom, you’d be on the ground right now.” Believe it or not, I actually witnessed this happen in real life at a Target in Austin. It kind of scarred me. There are a handful of other elements like this that are 1:1 reflections of things that have happened in my life, but most of the characters are collages of several people I know. I tried my best to represent as many perspectives as possible, so that included harvesting thoughts & opinions from my friends as well as interviewing relative strangers about how they would handle themselves in the context of the film.
Q4: In your mind, where do you see this story taking place and why?
A4: In a way, “Maybe Shower” plays as a bit of a real-time period piece. We live in a time where people can grab their phone and say “Hey, Siri” or “Okay, Google” or “‘Sup Alexa” or whatever… and right now that’s totally normal, right? But it didn’t exist 5 years ago, and it won’t exist 5 years from now. So, I wasn’t trying to make a 2017 time capsule, but by including even just a handful of micro-era-specific elements like that, I’ve created something that I think will feel like a snapshot of this time between times… and I kind of love that. It’s set in Austin – written to take place at the Spider House Ballroom for about half of the film, and because of some well placed connections with the fine people in management at Spider House, it’s gotta take place there! 🙂
Q5: Do you have plans to fund the production of this film independently? If so, where are you at, in the process?
A5: I self-funded the film and shot it this summer in Austin. We shot roughly 100 pages in 14 days for an absurdly low budget.
Q6: Has creating this screenplay helped your writing career in any way?
A6: Not so much this screenplay, but the fact that I’ve been writing more in general has helped a great deal. I used to be laser focused on one project at a time, but I’ve been forcing myself to be more prolific. This allows me to take an awkward conversation with a producer that’s not interested in my next project and turn it into a positive encounter when I say, “I’m also working on ______.” It seems so simple, but that’s not something I’ve ever had in my back pocket before.
Q7: What were some of the creative challenges that you encountered while writing this screenplay?
A7: I wrote this screenplay as the sole deliverable for my first semester in grad school at VCFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts). I’ve never written so many drafts of a script before. Not a lot changed in terms of basic plot or structure, but I forced myself to spend more time developing characters – and *caring* about characters, really – than I have in the past. This is also the first screenplay I’ve ever written to ever win an award… So, I think the extra work paid off!
Q8: How do you promote your screenplay on social media or other online websites.
A8: I registered the domain name for MaybeShower.com almost immediately after deciding it would be my next project. I also snagged the vanity URLs for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I don’t expect the audience to be huge for any of those channels out of the gate, obviously, but they’ll be very important when we start promoting the film during festival season next year.
Q9: Did you have any funny or weird ideas that popped into your head while writing this screenplay, that didn’t make the final draft?
A9: “Maybe Shower” has what you might call an ‘open ending.’ No, it’s not there to set up a sequel. It’s just that I thought the journey was more important than the destination, you know? A good portion of the people who were kind enough to read early drafts weren’t too happy about the loose threads, so I started joking early on about doing a post-credits scene where I set up a scene that would apparently answer this big question… and then cut to black just before it gets answered. That didn’t make the script, and we didn’t shoot it during principal photography… but we’re going to shoot it in September, and you’ll see a very similar scene in the finished version of the film.
Q10: Can you list any awards, nominations or official selections for this screenplay?
A10: Official selection at the Houston and Portland Comedy Film Festivals, and while we can’t officially announce which festival(s) we’re showing at next year until they announce it themselves, I can confidently say that we’ll be easily seen on a screen near you in early 2018. 🙂