My Trip to Spain

EPISODE 1 (filmed)

Alexis (Theda Hammel), a successful trans woman, is heading to Spain to get some beautifying surgery. She has asked her embittered old friend Charlie (John Early) to house sit while she's away. During the handoff, he tries his best to convince her not to go through with it, while simultaneously pursuing a sexual liaison with her brooding gardener Bruno (Gordon Landenberger).

EPISODE 2 (unfilmed)

Bruno's husband Kendall (played, like Charlie, by John Early) is at home with Bunny, Bruno's newly trans niece, who's come to stay with them after being kicked out by her mom. At work (an ailing local nursery "Walden," run by the couple) Bruno and Kendall argue about Bunny, overheard by Maximo, their sole employee. Arriving at home later, Bruno finds Bunny in the arms of some old guy named "Marc," who she describes as "her patron." As we watch Marc head out across the street, we hear Bunny (who wants to act and model) demand to be introduced to the trans TV exec (Alexis) who lives down the street. Bruno reluctantly agrees.

EPISODE 3 (unfilmed)

Maximo’s stepson Enzo mans the food truck down the street from Walden. Rainy day. Alexis stops by and asks him to cater her boss’s birthday. An old woman calls up, screaming, wanting her short rib sandwich. He hangs up. She calls back sobbing, apologizes, and says she’ll give him $200 cash to drive it over. He pulls up to the woman's house. The woman begs his pardon for yelling, tells him her husband died earlier that week. Enzo wonders if she's lying. His mom calls to say she was in a car accident and needs a ride. As he drives away, he sees Bunny vaping on her uncle's porch and nearly runs over Bruno.

  • Theda Hammel
    Director
  • Theda Hammel
    Writer
  • John Early
    Producer
  • Allie Compton
    Producer
  • John Early
    Key Cast
    "Charlie"
    Search Party, Los Espookys, At Home with Amy Sedaris, I Think You Should Leave, Beatriz At Dinner, Late Night
  • Theda Hammel
    Key Cast
    "Alexis"
  • Gordon Landenberger
    Key Cast
    "Bruno"
  • Arlene Muller
    Director of Photography
    555, Hello Ahma, Mend, Epic Night,
  • Project Type:
    Short, Television
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 25, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Theda Hammel

Theda Hammel has a masters degree in Music Technology from NYU Steinhardt. For two seasons she edited and performed on the podcast "Nymphowars" with Macy Rodman. She's appeared occasionally onstage with Annie B. Parson's Big Dance Theater, and in a recent production of Wallace Shawn's Marie and Bruce. Her original music can be found at majortransceleb.bandcamp.com.

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Director Statement

This short film emerged out of a wish to do a camera/methodology test for a longer project. It was shot over the course of a weekend. Our main goals were to create a strong and stable sense of location (of the layout and geometry of this particular house), to explore the failure of communication between friends, the tensions between affluent people and their hired help, and the social ungainliness of people emerging from a year of quarantine.

The short was programmed at Sundance as part of the Indie Episodic session, which prompted us to expand on the premise and situate it as one of six half hour episodes exploring a loosely connected social hierarchy of people in a gentrified L.A. neighborhood.