"That's Life" director's statement
In 2009 I joined the Army, and needless to say this added on to the many reasons I found myself dealing with my own personal demons on a daily basis. Once I came home from the Army is when I decided to become a filmmaker.
I became a filmmaker and a reason I enjoy films, is the escape it allows me to have. Whenever my mind feels overloaded with thoughts and and ideas, nothing feels better than turning them into a story or an idea, and then being part of the process that brings that idea to fruition.
I was sitting on the beach escaping the fast paced reality that is my life and job in Entertainment, It was then I realized I felt at peace and that to some this is all they want, a peaceful place to escape their demons. It was that day on that beach I wrote “That’s Life”
I always am trying to challenge myself as a filmmaker with new ideas and new ways to make myself a better storyteller. This by far was my most challenging, not due to a technical level of difficulty, but the emotional difficulty of filming a subject that within itself is very hard. Not only to myself, but to many viewers.
My goal with this was to make sure I was able to get across what battling your own demons and being depressed felt like, at least to me. I knew it would be a very personal project and I had to remember that this was my story to tell, so I tried not to let the idea of what others may think take away from my process. I wanted to show in a creative way what sometimes can go through my mind and I’m sure the minds of many others. I took a lot of inspiration from David Lynch. I enjoy his work because he reminds me when I’m watching anything he creates, that he did this because he wanted to, and people may not always understand it or relate to it, but they can still sit back an enjoy it. Which is exactly what wanted to do when making this short. I hope people will understand it, and if not, hopefully they have a hell of a ride at least watching.
Dealing with depression is something I don’t talk about to friends, family, or even discuss on social media, where lately it has been brought to light in many ways. So making “That’s Life” was my way of talking about it. Showing this Demon and the different ways it can get in the way of daily activities was my way of taking on a topic that has been part of my whole life.
I kept this production very small due to it’s nature and the fact I really wanted to focus on getting the story exactly how I wanted to portray it. I chose to share this experience with people who not only understood where I was coming from, but could appreciate my passion and approach towards it all. We filmed “That’s Life” in one night. I made sure I talked individually to every actor and crew on set and made sure they were comfortable with the subject matter. Making that connection with everyone not only helped us all be on the same page, but really helped with the process of filming something that can be hard for people to watch, let alone create. One thing I loved about this project is that every person who was part of it was there for the right reasons and believed in me and my story. This alone made it easy and actually fun to shoot.
My goal is to have audiences take away from this short what it means to them. I think many people will interpretive multiple things after watching and that was my intention. Although, I hope one thing all viewers will agree on is the message it’s intended to bring, which is that you are not alone, battling demons in any form can be terrifying, and most importantly there are people who are there to help, listen, and are battling their own demons too.
One of those people being myself.