SMASH OR PASS, 5min., USA
Directed by Cory Reeder
Dating pool or cesspool? They both Stink! After being dumped by her long-term boyfriend, Ariel tries app dating for the very first time.
IG - @cory_reeder
FB - https://www.facebook.com/CoryReederPro
Twit - @CoryReeder
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Smash or Pass was made as part of the 2023 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge. An annual event that promotes equity for people with disabilities in film and television. The assigned genre this year was Romance, so I took that, along with my recent experiences in app dating, and wrote the script. After casting Joci Scott as the lead, jokes were reworked that complimented her humor & disability. With a tight script and a great actress, we were off to the races
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Five days. I took two days to craft and polish the script. Then we shot on a Friday, did post-production on a Saturday, and delivered the finished film Sunday afternoon. This version screened for the Festival of Romance has had a little extra polish to the edit, color, and sound, but for the most part, is the same film we delivered to the challenge. Which, by the way, earned nominations for Best Actor, Best Film, Best Director and took home the award for Best Editing. We're all so proud of how Smash or Pass is being received by audiences.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
We didn't find our restaurant location until the night before we were scheduled to shoot the scene. It was down to the wire, but luckily the team at Cheebo in Los Angeles believed in our concept and wanted to be a part of the cause.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It was great! I'm glad that the film resonates. Each person picked up on unique aspects I worked really hard to include in the story. Whether it was the futility of swiping on dating apps, the nervousness of meeting new people, the variety of personalities, or how in the end, Ariel speaks her truth and still gets her man.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I started making films when I was eight or nine. I always loved the idea of being whisked away to other worlds and wanted to provide that same magic for friends and family.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Hmmm, good question. Maybe, Star Wars? If not that, then probably some holiday classic like Elf or Scrooged.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I always love seeing films with an audience. I believe the theatrical experience is integral to movie magic. That said I love talking to audience members after they've seen one of my films. What did they like, or not, and why? Films, TV, or "content" is being watched more and more in solitary places, but what I always liked most was the group or community experience.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How have your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Seems great so far! Hell, we won an audience award! What's not to like?
10. What is your favorite meal?
Anything with bacon in it.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm nearly done writing a book I started in 2019. It's been a really heavy process, but so freaking rewarding! Of course, I would love to turn it into a film, but there's a lot of work to do before I get there. It is a memoir about the struggles people face as kids, and how I overcame mine. I've published early chapters online. If anyone is interested, they can visit my substack: https://coryreeder.substack.com/ - To water down the gravity of memoir writing, I also wax poetic about coffee - It's much less of a grind than the book. ;)