Kathy Sarpi, Director of Habits
I’ve always been drawn to self-improvement stories, tales about people looking within, analyzing their issues and figuring out how to overcome them. It can feel incredibly motivating, even if for only a moment, to glimpse a life without burdens or pain.
Habits is a film about uncertainty, hesitation and, ultimately, failure. In a world full of infinite possibilities and so many avenues of success, I believe it is quite easy, even normal, to feel incredibly inadequate. Peg (the protagonist) embodies what I believe is a satire of everybody’s procrastination-prone selves. She wants it all, but in her obsession to get to her perfect existence she sinks a lot of time into planning the journey and never actually makes any progress.
My process in creating this film was very improvised. I had a sense of how I wanted the film to turn out, but found the scripting and story boarding to be quite limiting. So I let the ideas for scenes pour out one after the other. I would think of new skits on the go and figure out ways to incorporate them into the uncertain plot. The hand-drawn, wavy-line look of the film was used to reference Peg's obsessive writing in her journal. I wanted the film to feel dense and intricate, like Peg's plans for success. I wanted it to be fun, unpredictable and tragic, just like Peg. I wanted to draw attention to darker themes, such as self-sabotage and the feeling of inadequacy, but juxtapose that with comedy for reassurance.
Habits is mostly a bit of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed making it and hope those who watch will feel sad but still laugh.