Tears Of Santa Barbara

Lauren Avery's directing debut is a bittersweet autobiographical tale of bereavement and DIY horror movies set against the Hollywood Hills

Dazed proudly presents Lauren Avery’s debut film Tears of Santa Barbara. Starring, writing and directing all at the same time, movie auteur in the making Lauren plays a young woman attempts to overcome the loss of her grandmother by checking into the Four Seasons of Santa Barbara and recording a DIY horror movie, filmed by the waiter delivering her room service. Read our interview with Lauren below.

Your character’s name is Lauren, and you’ve written, directed and are starring in it - what parts of the film are autobiographical?
Pretty much all of it. Last summer was by far the hardest most tumultuous summer of my life. I was in a dark place and lot of terrible stuff was going on; then to top it all off, my grandma got sick and passed away. I was completely devastated, she was my best friend and when she died unexpectedly I went into some weird mania. I ran away to Santa Barbara and began filming this horror movie using the staff of the hotel I was staying at. Mostly I guess because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I have never dealt with loss so directly before but I hear it makes people do strange things. I still have the original footage from my iPhone but its super shitty quality and pretty depressing.   

What inspired the look of Tears Of Santa Barbara?
I don't think I had anything specifically referenced in my mind when I made the film. I just set out to recreate something very personal in a place that holds a lot of meaning to me. I also worked with two really talented people, Brook Linder who shot everything and Eugene Kotlyarenko who edited it. Oh yeah and my mom made the opening titles. Thanks mom.  

What’s it like to direct yourself?
Its chill, I let myself have a real beer during filming ;-).

What have you got planned for the rest of 2015? 
I have a few more movies I'd like to get made, one that I plan to film in Japan that I’m really excited about. Also I'm going to meet my gothic Australian online boyfriend for the first time in June. Wish me luck.