After making AWAKE in 2013, I set out to make a few films. Lost in a world of no direction, and an ever evolving social life, I became frustrated.
Making films began as a hobby–it was a means to communicate a thought or a feeling. Stanley Kubrick once said “A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.” That is how it was when making AWAKE.
Originally, a good friend of mine, Rob Talbert, came to me with a short story. To be honest, I don’t think it had a name, but it did have a vibe about it that struck my attention immediately. If I can recall correctly, it was about a Man who was lost in the heart of a family get-together. He was an alcoholic who didn’t fit in. The man eventually gets away from the gathering and stumbles across two unknown life-forms in the woods.
I had asked Rob if he was okay with me taking the heart of the story and letting it run free in my mind. Because of this, I was able to express my views on the wondering souls that lurk throughout our social circles. The ones who’ve changed, or left the circle because the circle changed. Sometimes people alienate themselves–they become self-aware of their own faults, and even worse, the faults of those around them. Instead of having a diatribe of social commentary between friends, the endless monologues play in ones head on a loop; broken records and broken dreams.
AWAKE was a great experience. It was the first time I had worked with Doc Gregory. His raw emotion and attention to detail was impressive, and he had a witty sense of humor. I knew I wanted to write him something deeper–something that would take him somewhere deep–maybe his own abyss.
A few films have come and gone since AWAKE. Some came to fruition and some faded away. The ones that faded, I like to think they helped mold what became In The Pines. One of these films was ASLEEP. It was a film that was a quasi-sequel to AWAKE. The story revolved around Greg D. Burton and his paranoia; followed by Men in Black (no, not Will Smith – check out what I am talking about here) and searching for answers. We began shooting some preliminary scenes, however, it never came to be. There were a lot of character and plot elements that eventually made it into In The Pines (sorry, no Men and black though).
Besides the films that never made it, there were the countless rewrites to In The Pines. It has been a project in the making for 3 years. It feels good to be moving forward with a new picture. Filmmaking is something I hold dear to my heart. I can’t wait to show you more.