Introducing She Watches Blindly
My homegrown feature film premiers next month at Atlanta Film Festival, 2023
Back in 2021 I directed my first full length film. I am very excited to say that She Watches Blindly is now arriving at the Atlanta Film Festival where it will get to be seen for the first time. In many ways it is a relief for me. It is frustrating to speak about your own work; much better to simply share it in the form it is intended. It’s also a bit of much deserved recognition for the small but dedicated team of friends who braved the winter of 2021 with me to make this happen.
Beth Abrams believes she has a unique ability. She can know the thoughts of others, only it is not a gift, it is an illness, and it is destroying her life and relationships. Every hour she is tormented by the secret thoughts of friends, family, and the cries of her new infant. After a night of nightmares, a mysterious doctor arrives to investigate the circumstances and help Beth piece together what remains of her life, but doing so will require facing the most uncomfortable truths, a journey that may cost her everything.
I had Rick Andosca in mind to play Dr. Abbott, that mysterious doctor mentioned above, from the very beginning. Rick teaches the Meisner technique approach to acting here in Atlanta and I attended his class for two years. In life Rick is boisterous and jovial, a constant stream of wise cracks, in class he is utterly focused. His love of the craft constantly overflowing with a rarely matched intensity.
It wasn’t my idea to take his class, but the suggestion of Emily Dunlop, the co-lead of this film, who suggested this to me for all it might benefit for my ability to work with actors. In fact, everyone in the cast has taken class with Rick Andosca at one point or another. The manner in which he incisively peels back layers of your social masks and pretensions in class made a great impression on me. Had I never witnessed this, the film would likely have been very different.
For me a first-time feature film is not a moment to try something new. It is a time to draw on all that the years prior have built up to. It is the culmination of all your previous efforts, every cinematic trick you’ve ever learned, drawn from the tightest circles of collaborators.
This was equally true behind the camera. The core of our small team consisted, hilariously, of directors, each of us doubling for many roles of a traditional crew. It is not a way I would suggest everyone work, but it was oddly appropriate for the unique circumstances of our production. I plan to return the favor when the time comes for each of their own films to be made.
Many more came through and helped for a day or two, wherever possible, wherever needed. In twenty one shooting days, over seven weeks, we had a film.
I started writing SWB in 2019. We filmed in 2021. It’s arriving at its first festival in 2023. In some sense, the film you might see was made by a different person than the one who is writing this today. Even a small film takes a long time to make. Where will it go next, and when? It’s hard for me to say, but I am grateful to have made it this far and with these fine people.
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I’ll be sure to share updates when the screening date and location is official and when tickets are on sale!
I am honored to have been in your first feature, Bryan. It has been a joy to be your friend and colleague on this project, to learn how one another works & grow as collaborators. I hope we get to do it again some day!
SWB sounds like an amazing collaboration of very talented individuals. I plan to see it at the film festival.