Madison De La Garza Takes Directing Duty for Max Marlow's Zoom Mystery Thriller

'Surprise', which features a group of TikTok stars, centers on an online party which turns tense when the guests appear to know something the birthday girl doesn't.

AceShowbiz - Former child star Madison De La Garza has stepped behind the camera to direct a Zoom mystery thriller with a group of TikTok actors.

The "Desperate Housewives" actress, who is Demi Lovato's half-sister, has directed "Surprise", which centres on an online party which turns tense when the guests appear to know something the birthday girl doesn't, reports Variety.

The short film, written and produced by Brit Max Marlow, features U.S. social media stars Laurel Toupal and Zach Cowan, Inka Magnaye from the Philippines, South Africa's Jason van Tonder, and Paige Evans from Canada - all professional actors who found fame online.

"It's the first time anyone has assembled a cast of trained actors from TikTok to star in an exclusively POV [point of view]-style film, as allowed by the Zoom layout on which it is set, similar to last year's Internet favourite Host," Marlow explained, revealing he was inspired by Rob Savage’s movie about a group of friends who host a seance over Zoom.

"The project promises strength in encapsulating three of new media's biggest evolutions - the rise of short-form, the found-footage genre migrating to mobile and the star power of talent on social media."

He added, "As with the feel of a TikTok POV video, the film at hand is short-form, captured in the familiar style of addressing a webcam, and promotes multiple viewings through the clues the audience will pick up along the way to figure out the surprise. It's essentially a film made by the internet generation of filmmakers for the internet generation of film fans."

"Surprise" is De La Garza's second directing credit - she also recently worked on a short project called "Pink Elephant".

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