By Jerry Del Priore
Viral Beauty is a take on modern day society, described by director David Tyson Lam, a software developer by day. as a romantic-tech comedy.
Utilizing their tech backgrounds, Lam and his sister Elizabeth, who wrote the script, use today’s social media fast paced world and fame-obsessed society to help portray a modern day, yet classic rags-to-riches story, with a twist.
Viral Beauty’s main character, Marsha Day (Casey Killoran), a Staten Island resident, posts a brazen video on an online dating website, stating exactly what she wants in a potential mate.
Unbeknownst to Marsha at the time, her video goes viral when popular video blogger Perez Hilton shares it with his loyal following.
The video creates a wicked troll backlash as people lambast and body shame Marsha because of the few extra pounds she carries, as well as her unrealistic request, in their opinions.
Marsha does have her fans, however, and she gains a groundswell of support, leading to notoriety and success.
What follows is a celebrity status Marsha never dreamed of, as she is picked up by a bigtime talent manager, who helps Marsha develop her own online show, and negotiates mega sponsorship deals.
Killoran, 29, who dazzles as Marsha, admits to bringing elements of her greener years into her character in order to maximize her role.
“There was a lot of me bringing myself into this role,” said Killoran, who was 27 at the time of completion of the film. “However, I brought a lot of my younger self into the role, when I was in my early twenties.”
Meanwhile, Marsha moves from her working-class neighborhood to swanky digs in Manhattan. Plus, the naïve millennial finally lands the relationship she has always envisioned as she meets Will Durham (Mark Junek), a handsome, Ivy League educated fitness entrepreneur.
“We wanted to show her journey from Staten Island to Manhattan,” said Lam, whose Viral Beauty is his first feature film. “From very little to a lot.”
Lam does a great job of weaving the online world with the real world, with Gotham looming in the backdrop, to tell a cautionary tale.
“We really wanted New York City to be in the background,” he explained. “We, although it was set online, wanted Marsha to be pictured in the real world. It wouldn’t have worked in a smaller city. She had to be situated in the right environment. She needed to be in the right place to show larger, material things.”
Viral Beauty, although not delving into an entirely new subject, reminds us of how society builds people up with very little talent, or none at all, into instant stars. Just to tear them down even quicker, rendering them into helpless heaps of their former selves.
About Winter Film Awards Indie Film Festival
Winter Film Awards Is New York City. Like the city itself, we showcase the eclectic diversity and excitement of the independent arts world. Winter Film Awards is proudly one of the Top 10 Best Reviewed Festivals on FilmFreeway.
The rapidly growing Winter Film Awards Indie Film Festival, now in its sixth year, is a dynamic and exciting event in the heart of the City. Winter Film Awards showcases films from emerging filmmakers from around the world in all genres with a special emphasis on highlighting the work of women and minority filmmakers. The Festival runs February 23-March 4 2017 in New York City.
Among the 88 Official Selections to be screened at Cinema Village in the heart of Greenwich Village (22 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003), is a diverse mixture of 11 Animated films, 8 Documentaries, 11 Feature narratives, 10 Horror films, 12 Music Videos, 24 Narrative shorts and 7 Web series, including 12 student films and 33 first-time filmmakers. Filmmakers come from 30 countries; 42% of the films were created by women, 45% were created by people of color. Visit www.WinterFilmAwards.com for schedules, tickets and details!