<em>The Test</em>

Short films aren’t necessarily the place where you’d expect to find famous faces, but that’s what you get in this short film about a husband and wife who are in the midst of both separating and taking a pregnancy test. The faces are those of Patrick Fischler (Mad Men, Lost, etc.) and Lauren Bowles (Arrested Development, True Blood, etc.), who are the filmmakers and also happen to be husband-and-wife in real life. In addition to being well acted, it’s a slick and moving piece of open-ended dramedy, with little bits of humor and sadness along the way.

The couple recently answered a few questions via email.

How did this concept come up?

PF: The concept came to me out of the blue really. I just thought it would be an interesting idea for a short. To watch a couple at a crossroads take a pregnancy test — see these two people on what is possibly the greatest precipice of their lives. I told Lauren the idea and she loved it. Two days later she had written the script. The common thread I’d say that Lauren and I share with these characters is their love they have for each other.

LB: I wrote it pretty quickly and set the whole thing in the bathroom, never leaving it. I wanted the audience to have the feeling of how trapped in this moment they felt.

Why would two successful actors decide to make a short film on their own?

PF: So much of this business is out of our hands. It was nice for us to take charge a little bit. We don’t really get to do that at all. Here we created our own working experience. That was a really amazing feeling.

LB: Why would we NOT?! Unless you’re a big star you have so little control in this business and the dream for me has always been to create my own work.

Do you hope to grow into feature filmmakers and producers in the years to come?

PF: 100% yes. A feature is absolutely a goal of ours.

LB: That would be a yes. A yes. And a big fat YES!

What does coming from the actor’s perspective bring to the filmmaking process?

PF: I think actor’s have so much to offer. We spend so much time on set usually just waiting around. If you choose not to be lost in your iPad (like we actors usually are), you can learn a lot about everybody else’s job. You’re a silent observer. I was able to bring a lot of that to this film.

LB: I love this question. I truly believe that casting has so much to do whether a film works or not. And I know what great performances you can get from actors when they feel supported. Because believe me, I’ve worked on a lot of jobs when you’re not. We really knew how to set up the environment so we could get where we needed to go. Choosing Anthony as our director was a big part of that.

Why did you decide to bring this film to Santa Barbara?

PF: We attended the SBIFF last year to see Lauren’s sister’s short film. [Lauren’s sister is actress and Santa Barbara resident Julia Louis Dreyfus.] We had such a blast. I turned to her that night and said, “We can do this.” Cut to a year later and here we are.

LB: Sure, the hubby and I have the same answer here. We attended my sister Julia’s film Picture Paris and turned to each other when the lights came up saying, “Hey, let’s do this!”. So it was a total dream come true to be attending the next year. Patrick said he “Oprah’d” it. And you know, I think he did.

The Test screens as part of the Comedic Shorts collection on Wed., Jan. 30, 7:40 p.m., and Fri., Feb. 1, 10:10 p.m., both times at the Metro 4.


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