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An Interview with Lauren Parker, Producer of Wash Club

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2016

Lauren Parker on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming movie Wash Club - in a few words, what is it about?


Wash Club is the strange but true story of one man’s struggle to uncover a secret society of students who get into tumble driers for fun. Doug is an undergrad journalist who sees this strange subculture as an opportunity to kickstart his career - so he investigates. But the deeper he digs, the bigger the mystery becomes. Before long, Doug finds himself at the centre of the very cult he was supposed to be investigating. Doug has to decide just how far he is willing to go for the sake of a good story.


How did the project fall together in the first place, and to what extent can you relate to Wash Club's rather eccentric subject matter even?


Wash Club was originally a podcast by the poet Ross Sutherland a couple of years ago in which Ross retold the true story of how he accidentally became the leader of a death cult.  When Simon heard the podcast he instantly knew he wanted to make a film out of it. So Simon did a little investigating and tracked Ross down. Luckily Ross is also a screenwriter so he came on board to write the script and the project was born! 

I can't relate to accidentally starting a death cult but I think everyone can relate to telling a lie that gets a little out of hand. At what point do you own up to the truth even if it makes you look bad - I think the very human aspect of Wash Club is something that makes the film relatable to everyone. As soon as you hear the story, you wonder what you would do in that situation? Would you go as far to climb into a tumble drier to keep your secret?


What can you tell us about your writer Ross Sutherland and director Simon Dymond, and what's your collaboration with them like?


Ross and Simon are both great, I feel privileged they're trusting me with this project. Ross is a poet and his writing is some of the best I've ever read. He's a great writer always taking on people's notes, he's not overly protective over the script which makes this a great collaborative project. Even though this is based on a true story he's still been open to input from those involved with the project.

I've collaborated with Simon a lot in the last 18 months, from music videos and commercials to short films. So we have a great relationship, we're always in production on something together so we just have a very easy working relationship. We know who's going to do what on each project and just crack on. So far we've always had similar visions for projects and I trust him whole heartedly to give Wash Club the treatment it deserves.


Where do you see the major challenges on Wash Club from a producer's side of view, and how hands-on or hands-off will you be on this project?


In a producer's logistical point of view, it's going to be hard to secure the perfect laundrette. We need a really big one for the film that can house the on screen Wash Club and the crew, but it also needs to look and feel right. As always casting is crucial, it isn't necessarily a challenge but it is so important that we get Doug's character just right in the casting process.

I'll be very hands-on in this project, that's how me and Simon work together. I've been attached to the project from Simon's first contact with Ross, and this is the most excited I'm about a project in a long time so I want to be there every step of the way. 


What can you tell us about the key cast and crew of Wash Club, and how much of a say did you have in those departments?


Again all choices are made between myself and Simon, we'll never make a decision without consulting each other. As we've been working on some many projects together recently, we've built a crew that we use regularly. Our DOP Karl Poyzer has worked with us on all our joint projects so he's been attached since the beginning, as has our production sound mixer Adam Fletcher. We like to use a lot of the same faces, as you all get used to the way each other works and it just makes the set run smoothly. We're still in the process of casting and crewing up but it'll be a lot of our core team.


As far as I know, Wash Club is still in its fundraising stages - so do talk about your campaign a bit!


We are extremely lucky to have already been granted £5000 from Creative England and BFI as part of their iShorts scheme. But we have turned to crowdfunding to bump up that budget as we really want to give Wash Club the treatment it deserves and the resources we need to do that aren't cheap! However we have plenty of rewards on offer if anyone wants to help us make this film. You can become an official member of Wash Club with an actual certificate of membership, we have t-shirts and laundry bags, a download of the film, the chance to appear in the actual film and many more laundry related rewards. Hopefully we have something for everyone.

The first rule of Wash Club is talk about Wash Club so even if you can't donate any shares or tweets about the campaign is still helping us recruit new members.


Once the budget's in place, what's the schedule ... and any idea when the film might be released onto the general public yet (and yes, I realize it's waaay too early to ask)?


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We are looking to shoot in late summer, maybe the beginning of August with the film completed by October. Backers will be able to view the film first this winter, with the general public having to wait until the festival run is over.


Any future projects beyond Wash Club?


I'm attached to a couple of projects at the moment but nothing that is really set in stone until the funding is confirmed. So Wash Club is the main focus at the moment.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, Crowdfunder, whatever else?



Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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Michael Haberfelner


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