"The Living" (2014) Official Selection of the Prestigious Austin Film Festival 2014

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The Living Film

“The Living” (2014) is a dramatic thriller structured as two separate but connected stories: one where the main character Teddy discovers he has severely beaten his wife, Molly after an alcohol induced blackout caused from a night of drinking. As he attempts to redeem himself to her; she must decide whether or not she will take him back while her mother, Angela, continuously expresses her disapproval. The second story is about Molly’s brother Gordon who gets in way over his head as he tries to hire an ex-com, Howard to kill Teddy. This film has an original perspective on domestic abuse and regret as it challenges the viewer to take a fresh look on this important social issue.

The Film “The Living was an official selection of the prestigious Austin Film Festival 2014 and got the attention of the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA).  The Professor and Associate Dean for Research School of Social Work at the University of TexasNoël Busch-Armendariz, PhD, LMSW, MPA also attended the screening.

Yenis Monterrey. - “What’s your feedback about the film “The Living” Professor Busch-Armendariz?”

Busch-Armendariz.- “I appreciate you covering this topic, it’s important to community. I think that the film is powerful and compelling because it sheds light that intimate partner violence impacts not just the victim but all family members and more importantly our resolution must be a community response. Second, it is compelling because the illustration was about a brother who did not have skills to address the violence except with violence.”

Yenis Monterrey.-“What advice would you give to any woman involved on a similar situation?”

Busch-Armendariz.- “My recommendations to victims and family members of victims are to provide resources. We are in a much better place now than we were 10 and 20 years ago, we have a lot of organizations that are dedicated to helping abusive partners and connect those that are living with abusive partners.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE

Director Jack Bryan Statement

 “I wanted to make a film that tackled real characters and relationships. As those relationships developed I would slowly introduce elements of suspense and terror, building to a climax that was exciting and shocking. I sought out to make a thriller that was beautiful, exciting, and incredibly affecting.”

Location

The shooting took place in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The production was based around a working class community that reflects the lives of the characters. Beautiful scenery mixed with suburban decay gives the town and surrounding areas a menacing feel.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

This revolutionary camera allowed the achievement of a visual quality previously unattainable at this budget level. Both graceful and raw the footage is poignant yet a visceral film experience. Director Jack Bryan and Director of Photography Aleksandar Kosutic set the film in earth tones with a dark and low key look to most scenes. This meant that the film included a number of low light and nighttime shots and also included some dramatic close up shots to convey intense emotion and action. 

The Crew

Director, writer, and producer Jack Bryan; Producer Laura DuBois, Producer John Snyder, Director of Photography Aleksandar Kosutic; Composers: The de Luca Brothers.

About Filmmaker Jack Bryan (Director):

Born in New York City, Jack began writing screenplays while in high school and in college he worked as a production assistant and received multiple options on scripts.  After shooting several short films, Jack produced and directed the documentary “Life After DarkThe Story of Siberia Bar.” After college Jack took a full time position with Vicart Entertainment, an independent production studio as head staff writer and director.  He also wrote and directed a low budget feature film “Struck,” and his latest film “The Living”  is directed and produced  by Bryan and has been screened in several circuit of film festivals It was the winner of the stubbornly Independent Award at Tallgrass Film Festival, best dramatic feature at Manhattan Film Festival, and was the Official Selection at the Austin Film Festival, and the Las Vegas Film Festival.  Jack Bryan is developing his next film, Private Kingdom and doing commercial work.

Yenis Monterrey. - “What can you tell me about yourself and how the team was created to make such a fabulous teamwork at Shooting Films Production?”

Jack Bryan “I grew up mainly in New York, I lived in Texas as a kid, and I also lived in Belgium, London. I have been always fan of the movies, and I wrote my first screenplay when I was in high school. I met Aleksandar Kosutic when we were working in a production company in NY and I met him three years ago when he was the creative director. I also met Laura DuBois at the company when she was working in business development and I was a head writer. We were all very close to each other and great coworkers while working at the independent production studio so we decided to create our own production company. I have known John Snyder since I was in college, afterwards he was working in politics and we got reconnected later on and he got involved with films.”

Yenis Monterrey.-“As a writer and director of the film what motivates you to write about this dramatic film “The Living”?”

Jack Bryan .-“Most of our lives are narratives for me. Every time we have an emotion, feeling or reaction about something, we are building a narrative. We find the roles around us through narratives and I like playing with the story telling and find the culture and the stories to tell.”

Yenis Monterrey. - “How was the process of auditioning for the cast? What can you tell me about the cast?”

Jack Bryan.-“One of the main characters is Fran Kranz who played the character of Teddy. I have known Kranz’s work from the film “The Cabin in the Woods,” which is an excellent comedy. His acting in that movie was great. He was the first actor attached to the film; we offered him a serious role very different from the comedy roles he had in the past, and he liked it and he accepted. We also cast ourselves the stellar actress Joelle Carter who played Angela and is widely recognized as one of the stars in the popular TV Series “Justified” from the TV network FXFor the rest of the cast we hired a casting director Wayne Morse, who got us Chris Mulkey who played the hitman, Howard. Molly was played by Jocelin Donahue who was also in “The House of the Devil” an independent film that did very well in the box office.  Gordon was played by Kenny Wormald who was the star of the remake “Footloose” from Paramount PicturesThe cast is crucial for the success of the movie and we got very fortunate. I really enjoyed directing such an amazing cast, we had a lot of fun shooting the film.”

About Filmmaker John Snyder (Producer):

John is originally from Boston and grew up in New England. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree with concentrations in Political Science and Pre-Law from Capital University. John previously worked for Senatorial and Congressional campaigns in Connecticut. Additionally, John has been an asset to non-profit planning and development for organizations. John continues to use his skills of communication, negotiation, diplomacy, and tenacity to make his work as a producer successful and maximize the returns of the investment with each project at the production company Shooting Films. As a natural connector he excels at communicating and building networks. He feels he has been very fortunate on being working with BryanKosutic, and DuBois, a fabulous team.

Yenis Monterrey.-“Did you enjoy Austin Film Festival?”

John Snyder “We really enjoyed Austin Festival, and Austin BBQ. We are planning to go back to Austin Film Festival for our upcoming projects!”

About Aleksandar Kosutic

Yenis Monterrey. - “What can you tell about yourself?”

Aleksandar Kosutic, “I’m originally from Belgrade, Serbia. I moved to the States about 20 years ago, first to LA and then to South Carolina and I have been in NY for 9 years now. I went to the New York Film Academy in cinematography. I met Jack in 2009 when started working together, and we liked each other work so we decided to work in “The Living.”

Yenis Monterrey. - What can you tell me about the camera you use on the film “Black Magic Camera”?

Aleksandar Kosutic “The Black Magic camera just came out as soon as we starting shooting and I saw some samples of the camera online, and I showed Jack the wonderful things that we could do with the camera. We took the chance with the camera, even though it’s new to the market, and we got really great results.”

About Filmmaker Laura DuBois (Producer):

Laura is from NY. She pursued her career on filmmaking at The Strasberg Institute in New York She has been involved in numerous production including commercials, music videos, web based projects, short films and her latest project the feature film “The Living.”

There is a very strong link between instances of domestic violence and alcohol use and when people become angry and use alcohol to relax and alleviate their feelings of anger, they instead amplify these same feelings, making them worse. Blackouts from drinking alcohol are now being recognized as a serious medical condition worthy of treatment. Depression, anxiety, and chronic anger can have a devastating impact on relationships, even destroying them. Aggressive behavior can have a negative effect on communication, leading to further misunderstanding and angry feelings. When alcohol and/or drugs are added into the mix it becomes worse. People who have a tendency to become upset and further act out those feelings often become more aggressive when they consume alcohol or other substances.

The ultimate choice for people who face domestic violence is whether to stay or to leave, either temporarily or permanently. Ending an important relationship in your life is not easy. At times people involved on this type of relationship may be pressured by friends, family members and others to leave or stay in the relationship. Victims may feel undecided and confused, sometimes wanting nothing more than to get away and at other times wanting to cling to the relationship and preserve it. The film “The Living” is one of the most vivid film that represents a dramatic case of domestic violence with a devastating outcome. Be aware of the information about domestic violence. This is a great film to watch, keep it on your wish list as soon as is available in theaters, streaming or DVD.

 

 

 

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