EXCLUSIVE: Winner of 24 awards, including Best Film at the New York Cinematography Awards and Best Original Screenplay at the Indie X Film Festival, Wives of The Skies is a romantic dramedy, set in 1965, starring two stewardesses, Fran and Marcy from Fine Air, a well-appointed airline. One evening after work, at their stewardess’ hotel, they befriend Derrick, a British photojournalist who wants to interview them as “subjects” for his “documentary film”.
The film is the brainchild of actress and filmmaker Honey Lauren who became fascinated with stewardesses from the era and decided to reconnoitre the allure to know more through film.
How long have you been making shorts for, Honey?
The first short I wrote, co-directed and starred in, DOT GOT SHOT, was in 2011. I made another, HAPPY HANDS with Tippi Hedren in 2014 and now WIVES OF THE SKIES in 2019. They all have done very well in festival. DOT GOT SHOT was an absolute festival darling, winning multiple awards, HAPPY HANDS, the same and qualified for an Academy Award and we just put WIVES OF THE SKIES out and it’s received 25 film awards since January 2020.
Your background, primarily, is as an actress I believe?
Yes, That’s correct. I have a pretty big body of work doing television, films and commercials.
And a lot of the films you’ve acted in – is it fair to say? – are very different to “Wives of the Skies”?
Some are different, I’ve worked on some very mainstream films and some horror and all different budgets, some studio, some independent… But I’ve done several genre like/ underground films as well. WIVES does seem to fall into this hyper real category that were not unlike the films I did with directors Tamara Hernandez or Paul McCarthy or even Doris Wishman.
So, what would you say, genre wise, you generally gravitate towards as an artist?
That’s a good question… I love working with interesting directors and wonderful stories or subject matters… And I seem to be in films that become “Cult” like, which you really cannot predict. I did a television Western that I loved… But overall anything “period” is my absolute favorite genre.
When did you know you wanted to make your own films?
A while back as I was at a festival with a film I starred in, working with a wonderful director, Tamara Hernandez, who I mentioned earlier, I became inspired to write my own films. I had written stage plays and directed stage, I even directed a play that my acting teacher, Michael Shurtleff wrote which was quite an honor. But when I first started writing, I wrote films I would be in and I wasn’t thinking about directing at that point. I had plenty of ideas, all different from each other, different genres and so with a lot of encouragement I wrote my first feature, which became a finalist at the prestigious Austin Screenplay Competition and really within six months of my writing, I had a deal on that first script.
And what appealed to you about telling this tale of flight attendants?
WIVES OF THE SKIES is a story about the male gaze…. And the projection we place upon the “good girl drawn bad”.
In telling a story, I’m not the “hit the hammer on the head”, type of writer… These “Good girls drawn bad”, these women in the story I’m telling happen to be Stewardesses.
Did you do much research into that world?
I was introduced to the “trend” of Vintage Stewardess uniforms that were highly collectable and were being bought and sold and bid on by mostly men… on ebay. I saw a pattern… and wherever there’s a pattern, there’s a story. At that point I did research on the origins of the commercial airline industry, specifically Stewardesses. It was fascinating… on so many levels. I can write a whole book on not only the history of Fashion for these Stewardess uniforms… but what it really took to “Serve and Smile”. In many ways we have come a long way for women in the workforce and what it is to survive as a woman in the world and in many ways… we are exactly the same.
Congrats on all the awards you’re winning for the film! How much do awards open doors for short films?
Gosh, thank you so much! We’re so grateful…. Doing shorts can certainly open doors for filmmakers. It’s a good way for prospective agents and managers to find new talent… sort of a calling card for filmmakers. Aside from the festivals, there’s VOD for shorts and many, many streaming platforms. It’s all about being “seen”… and the Internet certainly makes that possible. The now, is to do a feature!