The last time I interviewed California playwright Silvia Gonzalez-S. for LatinoLA was in 2004, so I had some catching up to do. She is currently working on putting her play THE SHRINKING WIFE on the big screen. I was especially interested in how she was funding the full-feature film. They will begin filming next month.
K: Kat Avila for LatinoLA
S: Silvia Gonzalez-S.
K: ANA BANANA is the screenplay adaptation of your play THE SHRINKING WIFE. That play has received two stage readings to date. Could you say a little bit about where and when the readings were, and how they were received?
S: The first reading was done in Chicago with my brother as the director. We did it at Chicago Dramatists where I was a member playwright (and first Latina playwright in residence there). The second reading was in NYC at New Dramatists where I was also a resident playwright member. This reading was directed by Melanie White. Both readings were received very well and directed very differently.
The play requires one of the characters to shrink to nothing. Challenging for a director. The play discusses when a person discovers when he or she is old. Also, how one partner does not reciprocate care to the other partner. The stage play suggests elder abuse. The film shows elder neglect and abuse.
The audiences at the readings were very engaged, and even my agent at the time, who was in her 80s, divulged that she didn't think about herself being old until recently.
K: What made you decide to turn THE SHRINKING WIFE into a film and to use the name ANA BANANA for the film?
S: My brother Jerry and I have talked about doing a film for some time. It wasn't until our actress niece convinced us to do it did we finally decide to look through my repertoire of scripts. We found THE SHRINKING WIFE was a good script to put all our talents to work. Then I spent a year reworking the script into a film.
My brother's a talented film guy and musician. He had worked on numerous commercials and industrials. He knows the trade, has the skills, and is extremely artistic. My job was to refine the script. His job is to put it together.
K: KICKSTARTER.COM does seem a lot better than a bake sale to fund creative projects. People can pledge anywhere from $1 to $5000 or more, but their credit cards aren't charged by Amazon Payments if the funding goal is not reached by the project deadline. How did you discover KICKSTARTER?
S: One of the actors suggested it, and I thought it would be worth trying. Now I'm sold on the concept and think every artist should give it a try.
Screen tests for ANA BANANA can be reviewed at Bullface Films at www.bullface.net. To support the making of ANA BANANA, please surf over to KICKSTARTER.COM.