SXSW 2012: Jonathan Lisecki, 'Gayby'


Jenn Harris, Jonathan Lisecki and Matthew Wilkas of Gayby

Jonathan Lisecki's movie Gayby is making its world premiere at SXSW; it's a feature that expands the story from his short film of the same name. Lisecki's past work includes the 2008 Spirit of Slamdance Award-winning Woman in Burka, and you might remember him as the coach in Clay Liford's film Wuss from SXSW 2011. Austin filmmaker Liford was Director of Photography on Gayby, so you know it's going to look good; when you read the premise, you can be pretty sure it's one of the more memorable plots in an already edgy fest lineup.

Slackerwood: Describe your film for us in a couple of sentences.
Jonathan Lisecki: Gayby is an outrageous comedy about a straight girl and her gay best friend trying to have a baby. Insanely awkward sex scenes and vast complications ensue.

What’s one thing about the film that is going to make it impossible for people to resist seeing it?
Who doesn't love weird and silly sex, and we have that for sure. A woman I know who programs for another festival saw an early cut and said it had the funniest sex scene she had seen all year. This is someone who watches hundreds of films, so she knows of what she speaks. But after the aforementioned insanely awkward sex scene there is another one that takes it to a whole different level. Come for the sex, stay for the laughs. That's how most of my relationships have gone, now that I think of it.  

Is there anything the audience should know about Gayby before seeing it?
They should know it's a fast, sometimes goofy, always funny comedy. It's filled with witty, intelligent oddballs who talk everything out. There's not a lot of long silences or super seriousness happening here. That's not to say there isn't emotion behind the laughs or parts of the story that have depth, but nothing will make you need to take a nap.  

What are the recognizable Austin/Texas connections people might recognize?
The film was shot in NYC, but during the sound mix we realized we needed one line of dialogue re-recorded. Cast member Anna Margaret Hollyman was in Austin shooting a bumper for SXSW, directed by Gayby crew member Lauren Wolkstein and shot by our DP Clay Liford. So they recorded our final necessary bit in Austin. Also, Nick Derington, who is an amazing local artist, drew all the comic book art used in the film.
Who from the film will be in attendance at the screenings?
Our leads, Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas, will be at the first screening. Matt has to rush back to be in Spider-Man on Broadway where he plays the bully Flash Thompson. Jenn is staying for the second screening and then also has to go back on Wednesday to be in her play Silence the Musical. It's a Silence of the Lambs parody and she plays Clarice and is awesome! Supporting cast who are planning to come include Anna Margaret Hollyman, Mike Doyle, Alycia Delmore (Humpday), Jack Ferver, Alex Karpovsky (Lovers of Hate, Beeswax). And a whole bunch of our crew will be here, including myself and our DP and local dude Clay Liford (Earthling).  

Where can people go to learn more about the film? (website, twitter, facebook, etc.)
Our website leads you to all the places we are web whoring the film out on, like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

You can watch the Gayby trailer here:

Screenings for Gayby on SXSW Schedule:

  • Monday, March 12, 1:15pm, at Stateside Theatre
  • Tuesday, March 13, 1:45pm, at Alamo Drafthouse Lamar A
  • Thursday, March 15, 5:00pm, at Stateside

[Photo credit: "Jenn Harris, Jonathan Lisecki and Matthew Wilkas" by Alex Ross. Used with permission.]