VADGEVERTISING, 8min., USA, Comedy
Directed by Kate Peterson
Shortly after the release of his controversial “Healthy Boy Toothpaste” ad, Leo Mann gives Satirical News Magazine, Nitecap, an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview of his new intravaginal advertising agency, and shares his philosophy behind “Vadgevertising.”
Being a woman in America is hard. Although we make up over 50% of the population, we are underrepresented in tv and film. We have to constantly fight for our reproductive freedom. We make less money but our razors cost more, and the beauty standards applied to us require that we have no body hair. It’s a vicious cycle. On top of all that, we can’t watch a commercial, flip through a magazine, or pass a billboard without seeing sexist advertising.
One night after a performance, my writing partner (Caryn Ruby) and I were discussing the Tom Ford perfume ads. If you’re not familiar, a quick Google search of “Tom Ford perfume” will lead you to several photos of naked women with perfume between their breasts or between their legs. These might be the more extreme examples of women’s bodies being exploited to sell things, but the ads really drive home the idea that we are nothing more than decorations or sex dummies to some of these companies. “What’s next?” We laughed, “are they just gonna start shooting the ad inside her? There’s literally nowhere else to go!” The advertising industry is gross and needs to be parodied. So, we made Vadgevertising.
Vadgevertising is a short film staged as a tv newsmagazine (Nitecap) running an exposé on Leo Mann, as Leo is responsible for a wave of offensive new ads in which vaginas are used to sell mundane products. The film is silly and vulgar, and we had a blast shooting it. But besides just being something fun, we hope it gives a voice to the idea that sexualizing women in ads or using their body parts to sell things is….well, fucking ridiculous.
Get to know Writer/Producer/Star Caryn Ruby
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Kate (my co-writer) and I were so disgusted by Tom Ford's sexualized perfume ads, that we thought, "what could possibly be next?!" and we joked that they would have to advertise inside of vaginas to make it worse. So we laughed and then wrote it.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Just under a year.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
We had some issues in editing. Initially, we were only going to include the story about Vadgevertising, but we didn't have all the shots we needed to edit it how we wanted. Luckily, Kate and I had already written and shot the piece about the "Mom's For Maintaining Children Unaware of Naughty Toys" so it made a great companion piece to use for the fake news show "Nightcap"
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was super happy! Prior to this festival, the only feedback I had was from people I knew. Because of the pandemic, most of the festivals we got in were virtual, and I was unable to attend any of the in-person screenings.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I started getting serious about acting.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
It's probably a tie between "The Breakfast Club" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka"
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 think you're doing a great job! Maybe the only thing is I would have loved to be invited to the live screening.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
10. What is your favorite meal?
Just one? There are so many amazing vegan restaurants here in LA! Pura Vita, Shojin, El Cocinero..."
11. What is next for you? A new film?
We just released the 10-episode podcast, "Script Supervisors: Unsung Heroes of Film & TV," about the little-known but extremely important historically female department head on film sets, I'm polishing a couple of pilots, and in the early stages of a limited series sci-fi screwball comedy about an alien who comes to earth to feed her planet, for which I will produce and star.