In Real Life

A coming of age comedy inspired by the films of John Hughes and Amy Heckerling, “In Real Life” is a love story about growing up and coming out. SAM and JEFFREY are best friends simply trying to navigate college together. When SAM falls in love with ELLA in an online forum, she enlists JEFFREY to play it straight and go on a date with ELLA in her place, posing as the face behind her screen name.

  • Rylee Jean Ebsen
    Resolution of two, Born Again, Literally Can't Even
  • Alyssa Lerner
  • Elliot Feld
    Killer Kate!, General Education
  • Alexandra Feld
    Killer Kate!
  • Esha Gupta
    Trevor and the Virgin, Behind the Curtain, Truth or Dare
  • Kevin Ferguson
    Trevor and the Virgin, Behind the Curtain, Truth or Dare
  • Belle Aykroyd
    Key Cast
  • Zoe Cipres
    Key Cast
  • Alex Vaughn
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Romance, Coming of Age, Comedy
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Alexa mini, 3.2K UHD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Hooked
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Rylee Jean Ebsen

Rylee Jean Ebsen is an award-winning comedy DGA director who has worked with numerous high-profile actors and comedians including Seth McFarland, Ben Schwartz, Tom Felton, Nicholas Braun, Dillon Francis, Brittany Snow, Emily Goldwyn, Sasha Spielberg, and Doris Burke.

She has directed short films, sketches, documentaries, commercials and branded content for some of the world’s largest brands, including Disney, Facebook, ESPN, State Farm, Kelloggs, Zillow and Snapchat. Her work has generated billions of views online.

This year, Rylee made Forbes 30 under 30, Class of 2020, for Marketing & Advertising. She’s a Shorty Awards 2020 judge for Best Comedy, Best Live Video, and Best Direct Response. Last year she made Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women of Influence list. She was previously a creative executive at Snapchat for seven years, directing hundreds of commercials and original content, starting when the company was less than a dozen people.

As a proud supporter or women in film & tech, and a producer of new media, Rylee is eager to share her knowledge. She’s been asked to speak at companies, conferences, and schools all over the world including Disney, Facebook, Promax, NYU, USC, Brentwood High School and Crossroads High school.

Storytelling is in her DNA, she’s the granddaughter of Hollywood actor Buddy Ebsen and comedian & advertising creative director Stan Freberg.

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Director Statement

IRL is a coming of age tale for everyone. Growing up, I always enjoyed quirky romantic dramedies that highlight dysfunctional yet loving relationships (Royal Tenenbaums, Sixteen Candles, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris Bueller's Day Off).

IRL is a thoughtful and deeply relatable script about finding love and being yourself. The stakes are perfect for a short film format, not too high or low, just right. It’s also a queer romance. Love is, of course, universal, but often the portrayal of it on the screen is very one-note. It feels important to show the universality of love in all its forms.

I leaned into the comedic beats, inspired by the filmmakers who shaped my funny bone, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, & John Hughes (of course). Hughes was not only a pioneer of comedy but he was also a philosopher of puberty, reminding us all that young adult problems are just as important and just as serious as adult issues. We care deeply because of the empathetic, vulnerable, heartbreaking, and hilarious performances by Belle Aykroyd, Alex Vaughn, and Zoe Cipres.

I think what makes a good film great is all about bold and specific choices. We built a bright and colorful world from scratch, executed by powerhouse production designer Sarah Lund. We created a unique camera language that draws the audience in and takes them on a journey. Working with our genius director of photography, Paola Trulin, was a truly incredible experience. Our production team was A+ (shoutout to Feld Films) and our Hooked partners were extremely supportive and wonderful (Esha and Kevin!). It was truly a team effort and a labor of love. I'm proud of this film and I hope you enjoy it!