I reunited with the filmmakers of Travail recently to work on their new project, Red Head Randy. It’s an exciting new narrative approach to tackling the growing issue of bullying. It’s a horror film, where the school bullies are haunted and taught (gory) lessons by the kid they tortured so much he killed himself. Heavy stuff.
What made the shoot a delight was gathering again with director Raymond Deane and producer Phill Hammond, as well as my Travail co-star Nick Dubanos. There was something like a summer-camp reunion feel to the whole process: hugs all around, catching up on stories, updates on families. What surprised me was how it made the work more comfortable. I was more willing to stand in a corner and get in my own head space, and just dig into the character of this desperate mom whose son is suffering so dearly. And when the director asked Nick and I to improv a fight, it came easily. We had enough history to banter, and to work off each other’s rhythms. The director was thrilled with the work from both of us.
It was also so incredible to see how the filmmakers have grown: they’ve upscaled their gear, with professional lights and dolly tracks to move the camera more smoothly. They’ve gotten tons of feedback on their first feature from professional filmmakers, and have gone back to watch classic films to study shot set-ups and how scenes open and unfold. Their awareness of their work is much richer, and they brought all these amazing new ideas and great energy to the project. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!!