3 Women, 1 Corpse: An Interview With HARD BROADS Director, Mindy Bledsoe
We had a chance to interview Mindy Bledsoe, director of the short film Hard Broads, which is now streaming on Seed&Spark.
A few months ago, I signed up for a free trial of Seed&Spark’s streaming service, promising myself that I would take seriously the act of movie viewing. Of course, this didn’t happen. Instead, I let the weeks pass by without watching a single thing. This lasted until I noticed a charge on my account to the tune of ten dollars, which sparked (no pun intended) my renewed interest in the site.
One of the films that immediately caught my eye was Hard Broads, a film noir comedy about three best friends who come across a dead celebrity’s body. Maybe it was the cover art that drew me to it, or maybe it was the VHS aesthetic, but either way, I’m sure glad I gave this short a watch. Not to mention, Hard Broads was accepted to several film festivals, including Etheria Film Night, the mecca for indie flicks that are off the beaten path.
Remy works as an upscale escort for celebrity, Constance Clementine, who, as it turns out, dies during an orgasm. She enlists her two best friends to help her bring the body back to Constance’s house, in order to steal a whole heap of money and start new lives for themselves.
What they imagine will play out like A Weekend At Bernie’s actually ends up backfiring. Hard. In an effort to avoid any spoilers, let’s just say the girls get themselves into much more trouble than they could have imagined.
I was able to interview Mindy Bledsoe, director of Hard Broads, to pick her brain about her cinematic process.
Sophia Cowley for Film Inquiry: Where did the story’s inspiration come from? Are any of the characters based on people in your real life?
The inspiration for Hard Broads comes straight from my youthful obsession of USA’s Up All Night, which was a Friday and Saturday night (late night) program hosted by Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear. They would show B-movies, cult favorites, sexplotation flicks and occassionally offer commentary on how bad it all was. I loved it. The older I got, the more I missed the easiness of watching those movies. And thus, Hard Broads was born.
You co-founded the production company, Bledska Works, with your partner, Rob Senska. Where does Hard Broads fit in with your other projects?
Hard Broads is a natural fit within the canon of Bledska Works. We like laughing at death, or rather, finding the humor in death. You’ll see that in some form within all our short films.
Have you seen the film, Rough Night? Can you compare Hard Broads to films like this one? Or do you make no comparison at all?
Good question. Of course I saw it. I’ll see any female fronted movie, especially when it’s directed by a woman. I try to not make comparisons between studio and independent because that behavior tends to minimize smaller projects. Was I happy to see a R rated studio comedy about women, directed by a woman? Hell yeah. And I hope there will be more to come. I would love to throw my name into that hat please.
Hard Broads has the look of a seventies film, if all of the characters were modern day indie chicks. I love the makeup and hair; everything is colorful and just a little over the top. What was your process like, planning out a certain look for the film?
The 1970’s were a big influence on the hair, makeup and even wardrobe. The 70’s were such a sexy era for women. Big hair, being bra-less, the rise of feminism, plus that pulsing energy of the decade that promised change. It’s a perfect mirror to what we are currently experiencing as women. Why not mix the two decades?
What camera did you use to film Hard Broads? Tell us a little about the tech.
We shot it in 4K on the RED Scarlet because we needed to get into small spaces but needed a large dynamic range to mess with later. It’s funny to shoot 4K and then spend so much time destroying that image with grain and vintage filters in post. Plus we actually edited in 720 before uprezzing to 1080 to pixel it up even more! It was an experiment that maybe we’ll have mastered when we shoot the feature.
Did you get your film funded on Seed&Spark? What was the process like securing producer(s)?
A year before I made Hard Broads I made a short called #TheFutureIsCrowdFunded. That short won a grant through The Louisiana Film Prize, which is this bitchin’ short film festival in Shreveport, Louisiana. The winner gets $50,000. I didn’t win 50k, but I did win a grant which allowed me to make Hard Broads. My partner and I always produce our shorts, but we did bring on an additional producer to help with the finances.
How did you wind up connecting to S&S’s streaming service? What are your hopes for distribution?
S&S actually contacted me after Hard Broads played Etheria Film Night in Los Angeles. Etheria focuses on genre films made by women. I recommend Etheria to all genre filmmakers. They always find amazing films.
I was incredibly stoked that S&S reached out to me, because, honestly, I had not thought about distribution at all. Short films getting some kind of distribution is a newish model, at least to me. I’m diving into learning about all the different models of distribution for short, genre films. I feel like it went from sad and paltry to overwhelming in the last 5 years. However, I do have another short film called “Most Likely to Kill” which will be available on S&S very soon! Seed&Spark has been amazing to me.
What is next on the horizon for you?
I’m currently writing the feature version of Hard Broads, which will be my first feature film as a director. I’m also writing and developing a web series that I hope to shoot this fall.
Does Hard Broads sound like your kind of film? What other films have you found on Seed&Spark?
“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.” Read the Letter of Solidarity here. Make a donation to the legal fund here.