Life in Los Angeles is full of challenges. One of those L.A. challenges, an exercise in public story development called Shoot ’Em Up!, paid off in Tamar Levine’s short film Prude.
Levine’s visual artistry is cherished and celebrated on the Internet’s most prestigious platforms, including a collection of images and ideas on the Skeeve. It’s no coincidence that Prude is having its wide-web debut directly above the words you are reading right now.
Levine filmed Prude from a script by poet Lily Ladewig (The Silhouettes) that adapted a story by actress Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul). The process from story to screen lasted two months.
Prude’s amazingly hurried incubation period is a built-in stricture to Shoot ’Em Up!, which self-identifies as “the show where you see the evolution of a story to screenplay to film.”
Put on at various Los Angeles small stages by Moth producer Gary Buchler and Chicago-transplant Monte LaMonte, the three-event series starts with a night of spoken-word anecdotes, followed by a night of table-read scripts and capped off by an evening of finished films. The performances occur one month apart.
Tamar Levine was attached to the Lily Ladewig-Rhea Seehorn property by dint of her name being pulled out of a hat. So, in effect, Prude—a telling reflection on otherness, sexuality, identity, peer pressure, sisterhood—was produced through the luck of a draw.
That one small seed of good fortune, with each subsequent Prude viewing, opens the potential of sprouting a global vegetation cover of gladness that may one day grow into a vast rainforest of hope.
So do yourself and the world a favor: Return to the top of the post, and watch Prude again.