Creator+ charms with romantic comedy Diamond in the Rough
WHO says romantic comedies are dead?
In all honesty, it’s the most versatile genre in moviemaking and a great go-to choice to have a laugh at one’s life circumstances, or even learn a lesson or two.
Without rom-coms we wouldn’t get classics like My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), There’s Something About Mary (1998), You’ve Got Mail (1998), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), Maid in Manhattan (2002), Easy A (2010) and the like.
Introducing the latest in the genre to reach adoring fans is Diamond in the Rough, the first feature film from Creator+ – of which PETRA Group is a leading investor – starring Griffin Johnson, Samantha Boscarino, Rizwan Manji, Caitlin Carver, Jeannette Godoy, Natasha Behnam, Kirstin Leigh and Pat Finn.
* After the death of her parents, Ariana Alvarez (Samantha Boscarino) is lost and can’t hold down a 9-5 job no matter how hard she tries, which isn’t that hard. To help her navigate post-college life, her doting Tío Jorge (Carlos Lacámara) gets her a seasonal membership at his swanky country club and challenges her to make some friends, complete with a hopelessly hot caddy (Griffin Johnson). But Ariana soon learns that life among the wealthy and golf-obsessed is a lot like being back in high school: cliques abound, mean girls everywhere, and only the richest kids get to call the shots. Will the country club change Ariana – or will it be the other way around?
The Vibes Culture & Lifestyle chats with fun duo Natasha Benham and Kirstin Leigh to discover the excitement that went down on set.
The Vibes: Hi girls! Firstly, congratulations on the movie. It looks like a lot of fun. Would you be able to share to our readers briefly what the film is about?
Kirsten Leigh: Thanks! So, Diamond in the Rough is a super cute coming of age story about Ariana, who is at a crossroads in her life after losing her parents. She joined a country club to make friends and that is when all the fun happens.
Natasha Benham: It is an easy watch too. I feel like everyone loves a good rom com to watch with friends because there is so much happening in the world right now you know. In terms of what people can expect apart from the film being easy-breezy; Sam and Griffin who both play the leads have awesome chemistry on set and it’s a delight to watch their characters fall in love. Also, Kirsten’s character in the movie is so funny I’m not joking.
TV: Having said that, did any relationships develop outside of the production?
NB: Saucyyyy… haha well, we all got lucky because we had so much fun together. I mean, usually you would go on set and it’s all about work, that’s cool too but for this film, everyone just wanted to make friends and have fun. Think that’s about the kind of relationship that got developed. Whenever any of us weren’t shooting scenes, we just became really good buddies – dancing, playing music in hair and makeup, etc.
KL: It was chaos, we got into some trouble actually. But the kind like always getting prompts about timing and punctuality because we were having too much fun.
NB: Oh yeah, it’s only because us girls would be talking non-stop and forgot about going on set haha!
KL: As Natasha was saying, it is kind of rare to go on a production and everybody genuinely developed friendships on and off set. I mean, we still have our ‘diamond’ group chat. Before it used to be all about the production work. Now we have this thing called the ‘Wayne Report’ – who is managed by our co-star who plays the manager in the movie and is the cutest in real life. He would just send us updates of other jobs that we were doing to show support.
NB: We get notifications of the kind once a week of someone on the cast making any appearance on TV and he watches it, so he is very supportive of the cast members outside of this film.
TV: That’s sweet. Now, how does it feel being part of a female driven comedy?
NB: Women are the funniest creatures in the world and I think all movies should have women as their leads (including trans women). I don’t think it’s that different in the expectations.
KL: I have the utmost respect for comedians. Natasha in real life is hilarious and in this movie, the character she portrays comes across so natural.
NB: We are both to some degree comedians and love to make people love. And I feel like we look up to a lot of powerful female comedians and movies they are in. Bridesmaids is so iconic, and all the women spearheading that really helped open doors for other productions of the the kind.
TV: What do you love most about your characters and do you fell that the role could have been developed more?
KL: So Jenny is super carefree and does not care what people think about her. I think everyone should be more like that now that social media brings certain pressures to put out a certain façade. I don’t think I would like to ask for more because Jenny is just Jenny. You can leave her like that and she is good.
NB: My character Christina is a no nonsense type and is there to get things done. She is considered the anchor of the group. If you watch the movie, she knows jiu-jitsu so for my character, I took some classes. Kirsten joined me in on some and I personally feel it is a very beautiful artform and an incredible skill to have. I would have love to see Christina’s life more, like understanding how she got into self-defense, her family background, her life experiences that allowed her to be who she is in the movie.
TV: Filming for TV or feature film, which is more demanding?
KL: A movie set is definitely more demanding. I have been on one big TV show set, and it took eight days to shoot one episode. But for this film in particular, we got it done in less than two weeks.
NB: For me, my prep between movies and TV have not been that different. I think it depends on the type of project and the role you carry. How I get ready for shoots that I am needed is by working with the character portrayal according to the scenes as filming progresses, kind of just to let it flow.
TV: Do you girls remember what the last day of filming Diamond in the Rough was like?
KL: It was the golf course scene and I remember I was crying. I was quite the hot mess. I mean, we were working together in such a short period of time but we were so close in the end that when production wrapped, it was hard to get over.
NB: And it was a long day too. I also had to catch a flight that night so everything completed so fast. Where Creator+ is concerned, being our producers, they were super involved, awesome and so kind. You could really see the passion from people behind-the-scenes.
KL: Yes, it heped that they were hands on and believed in the project and the cast supporting it.
Diamond in the Rough is a modern-day spin on comedy classics like Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore. The film is directed by Jeannette Godoy, and produced by Creator+ Head of Studio Adam Wescott, along with Nick Phillips, McKenna Marshall, Rebecca Stone, Jeannette Godoy and Griffin Johnson.
PETRA Group is one of the leading investors for Creator+, a studio and distribution platform that produces feature-length films in partnership with digital creators and monetises through their existing audience and beyond across mobile, web and connected TV.
The Content Studio develops and pairs Creators with the right script/story, provides financing and builds a bespoke team and resources for each film. In addition to streaming feature films through a paygate, the Creator+ platform provides a new user experience for engaging with content, commerce, creators and community in one place.
Viewers can download the iOS and Android apps to immerse themselves into the world of the films they are watching – as if they are in the film as a silent character. When events unfold on screen, the app updates the content to match the story.
source – The Vibes