Kiernan Shipka plays Telulah Farrow, a pop-punk loving, Glamour Kills-wearing high school student who needs to create a project for her film class but would obvi rather spend her time editing together a birthday tribute video for her fave rockstar/man crush, All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. Her goal is that her video will go viral, Alex will see it, acknowledge her existence, and then maybe, you know, fall in love with her.
Hmm… Did they write this movie about me? It kind of sounds like my life, tbh.
Gaskarth and director Paul Jarrett talked to MTV News about the band's involvement and what inspired the concept -- here's what you can expect from the movie:
The movie features All Time Low, but it's not about them.
If you've been to an All Time Low show, or have watched their concert doc, "Straight To DVD", you know they can get a lil' raunchy and inapropro at times -- a stage presence that would probably not rate friendly enough to be approved for an ABC Family flick.
"I don’t want to give too much away, but obviously we are in the movie. The movie is based around our band but it’s not about our band. It’s about this girl, her mom [played by Meg Ryan], her friends and her experience in high school," Gaskarth explained. "We don't want to mislead people into thinking it is going to be an hour and half of just All Time Low."
It was inspired by a true fan girl story.Tumblr
"When the movie was pitched to us it was explained to us that the character Telulah was based upon the writer, Gina O'Brien's, daughter who was an actual fan of our band," Gaskarth said. "I thought it was really cool that it came from a real place, something that actually inspired the script and the concept."
Hustlers -- All Time Low fans -- will appreciate the movie because it not only tells a cute story but it serves as a huge, well-deserved promo for the band. From the interior of Telulah's locker (spotted: a Hopeless Records sticker) to the name of her stuffed animal (won't spoil this here, but listen for it when you watch), fans will LOL at the props used in the movie, which pay tribute to All Time Low's career as well as various aspects of the pop-punk scene.
"Before we had even seen anything they had filmed, they sent us the script and all of those little Easter eggs, I guess you could call them, were already in there, which I think comes from the fact that they used actual fans for research. Some things won’t make a difference to the casual movie-watcherm but for the people who are big All Time Low fans that know our history, it’ll be fun to see the little extra things that are thrown in there," Gaskarth noted.
Besides the cool memorabilia and merch that is scattered through out the movie, the entire soundtrack consists of new and old songs by All Time Low, New Found Glory, The Wonder Years, Neck Deep, Not Half Bad, and an acoustic cover of Man Overboard's "Love Your Friends, Die Laughing" performed by Telulah's dreamy school crush Charlie, played by Pico Alexander.
Kiernan Shipka plays the role we all live IRL, basically.Tumblr
We've seen Kiernan Shipka rocking the '60s mod look in "Mad Men" and slaying the red carpet, as she does. But for this role she had to trade in her pearls and gowns for Doc Martens and "Defend Pop Punk" tees. Her character Telulah freaks out about Warped Tour tickets going on sale, stresses out over losing her camera's SD card, and just really wants to see and meet her favorite band.
"Kiernan is amazing. She’s really, really talented and super mature for a young actress -- on top of her game. For the most part she’s done a lot of serious drama and that’s a lot for a younger actor. I think it’s fun to see her step into a more casual, light-hearted role and she nailed it," Gaskarth said.
"They were all really incredible people," Alex added about working with the cast and crew, "Joshua Boone [who plays Darvan, Telulah's film class partner] definitely shined. There’s a few moments where he kind of steals the scene for sure."
(Alex Gaskarth confirmed that he is open to more acting roles but nothing is planned, as of right now. He's going to stick with the music thing for now -- it's working for him.)
It's not making fun of the fan girl culture.Tumblr
Certain aspects of the film may seem a little far-fetched and silly, but those who consider themselves fan girls should in no way be offended or feel falsely represented in the movie's depiction.
"It’s not supposed to be taken that seriously," Gaskarth said. "It’s a fun movie. I put it in the same vein as a "Mean Girls" or something like that. I think it makes a lot of funny points and kind of almost pokes fun at the scene and the whole idea of it, which is what my favorite aspect of the movie was. There's a little more brains to it than what meets the eye at first."
The movie's creators drew their inspiration from millennials who have turned their devotion into a creative and positive outlet.
"There are all these fans making their own art and doing their own thing because of how much they love this musician or this band and because of social media we experience all of this in a whole new way," director Paul Jarrett added. "When Kiernan Shipka and Kara Hayward came on board, they both told me that they really liked how the characters in the movie talked like their friends. That language, especially on social media, is so specific now. It was nice to hear that it resonated with them."
Social media is everything.Tumblr
In the movie, two of the main social media networks the characters use are Cartwheel and Instee -- known in our world as Tumblr and Instagram. Social media is a powerful tool in the hands of a fan girl, as they use it to productively promote bands, interact with artists, connect with other fans and create unique content. At the beginning of All Time Low's career, the band used the internet to create their brand, market themselves and reach a wider audience to get more people to listen.
"I think we were one of the first bands to kind of have a MySpace music profile when they became available. From an early age we realized that it was a great way to reach out to people that we hadn't been able to play for in person yet. As that evolved we saw it getting bigger and bigger and more and more of our fans getting into it and sort of moving between different platforms - you know, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all those. We figured that it was the best thing for us to do. At this point everyone’s embraced it. There was really no fighting it. It’s been a huge resource for us and a huge part of what made our band what it is now."
As for fan girls getting recognized on the internet, Gaskarth says it's pretty possible he'll see your stuff:
"I definitely creep. I creep pretty hard. I look at my Twitter the most I would say, the replies and things. It’s always fun to look through pictures that you’re tagged in every now and then on Instagram, especially after shows. I really love seeing pictures and videos from the crowd's perspective. I’m not much of a Tumblr creeper, to be honest. I found way too many fan fictions and then I had to bail on it. It’s all really cool though. At the end of the day it’s bringing our fans together - that’s the best thing about it."