“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” This quote by His Airness, Michael Jordan, along with an ode to corn remained constant throughout the short film, “Seth.” After viewing this glorious yet, dark romp of a movie, I had the pleasure of interviewing Zach Lasry, one of the directors and screenwriters of the short. Seth, who is described as a “manic man-child”, goes on a quest to accomplish his goals. Zach was kind enough to share some thoughts on just who Seth is.
Sarah: Tell me about yourself. How did you get into film?
Zach: I’ve always loved movies. I grew up watching cartoons, like “Hey, Arnold” and “Rugrats” and all those Nickelodeon kind of things. Movies really didn’t become a thing until College. I got introduced to film making by the directors who taught me. I thought it would be a lot more fun to be the director than being directed.
Sarah: Did you do much acting before you became a director at all?
Zach: I did a little bit of acting freshmen and sophomore year of college. I had a few small parts in movies, TV and student films.
Sarah: Sounds really cool. So, let’s talk about Seth. What kind of person is Seth?
Zach: Seth is a very earnest person who just desperately, desperately wants to be loved and needs approval. He feels very confused. He’s just doesn’t really completely understand the world around him so he’s trying to connect with everyone and he’s trying to be himself but he realizes himself is turning people off.
So than he tries to tries to be a version of what he thinks people will like and that turns them off even more. By the end of the movie, Seth is like, “Well you know what? I’m just myself so here we go. It’s what I’ve got. And that’s what makes his dad happy.
Sarah: And about his Dad, It’s just Seth and his father through the film. There is no mother in the film. Is there a reason for that?
Zach: We added a mother character and it just really seemed to take away from the father and son relationship. We wanted to film to be completely focused on father and son.
Sarah: So throughout the film, there are a lot of funny points like the music montage and when he vomits up the corn, but would you call “Seth” a comedy?
Zach: It would probably fall under dark comedy. Every really good comedy is a very serious movie. I definitely wrote it for people to laugh, but it doesn’t take away from the serious intentions behind it.
Sarah: What are the serious intentions?
Zach: I think it’s because he is having an existential crisis in his room. The seriousness behind it came from me sitting in my room in New York doing all these random things and I’m not talking to anyone and I’m trying to accomplish all these things that I think are really important but I’m not connecting with anyone.
Sarah: Ah ok, I see. All right, now lets talk about the corn. Was there anything meaningful to the corn at all?
Zach: It was just a metaphor for anything that is important and needs to be accomplished. You obsess yourself with things almost as a distraction from the important things.
Sarah: If you could describe Seth’s message in one word, what would it be?
Sarah: What do you hope people feel after they see your movies?
Zach: I hope that if anyone feels like their not connecting with people as much as they want to, that the movie help them register that. And if you can register that and identify that than you can go out and try to do something differently about it and feel better.