Oblivion

posted in: Films | 2

Two burglars attempt to rob a wealthy house, but when a woman unexpectedly arrives home, she recognizes one of the criminals and now the two partners are pitted against each other.

Oblivion was a project that seemingly came out of the blue. In early 2011, my producing partner, Caleb Negassa, and I began developing a feature film project. The project has had a lengthy development process and the writing on it continues to this day. In the midst of that, I felt the need to get out of development and direct. I wanted something that was dramatic, thrilling, and performance-based. I began working around the idea of a hostage situation and slowly tried to expand on that idea to involve deeper thematic elements. It was then when I came upon the dissociate fugue disorder – a rare psychological disorder where a person loses any indentifying characteristics of individuality and can establish new identities for months at a time. I found it immensely fascinating and began researching more. The more I learned, the more I came to realize what a powerful character study I could create within the context of this “hostage situation”, especially if it was one of the hostage takers. This also gave me the freedom to experiment the narrative structure and blend a very realistic situation with a very surreal type of storytelling. The glue that would hold the entire story together would be the lead performance and I was able to find a great actor and collaborator in Neil Hopkins (LOST, True Blood). Neil and I met on several occasions to discuss not only character and disorder, but the varying themes playing throughout the drama – personal identity, grief, and redemption. The rest of the cast quickly fell into place once Neil was on board and we shot the film over the course of two days at a home in Newport Beach, CA. This was easily the fastest shoot I’ve been a part of as my team was able to accomplish over 100 set-ups within the two days. Working in a small space, with a small cast and crew, gave me the opportunity as a director to work more intimately with the actors and it also provided a great challenge to keep such a small space visually interesting. Post-production on the film was an additional six weeks of editing, sound, and scoring that flew by. From inception to completion, this is the fastest I’ve had a project turn-around and has been one of the most fulfilling.

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