Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Filmmaker Cody Alexander Curtis and Wallace Douglas play siblings in “Damaged Petals.” Picture by Travis Harden

The trailer for Bathtub filmmaker Cody Alexander Curtis’ newest quick movie, “Damaged Petals” doesn’t say a phrase.

A synopsis of the movie notes it’s a couple of pair of grownup siblings (performed by Curtis and Boston-based actress Wallace Douglas) assembly on the Maine summer season cabin the place they suffered a childhood of abuse by the hands of their father, whose latest dying spurs the duo’s uneasy reunion. The trailer, echoing with composer and assistant cameraman Gabe Hirst’s delicate piano rating, suggests all that and extra with the siblings’ averted glances, Curtis’ ever-present bottle, and Douglas’ solitary wandering within the woods surrounding the cabin, all of the dappled Maine daylight and lapping lakeside waves deepening the sense that the story comprises a singular disappointment past the naked bones of the plot.

It’s an evocatively sparse teaser for a movie that, as Curtis states, sprung from some latest and profound familial ache. “This 12 months when it comes to tasks has been nice. When it comes to relationships with sure relations, it’s been a bit of bit tough.”

Because it’s what storytellers and filmmakers do, Curtis set to work in remodeling private expertise into artwork, gathering collectively the small group of Maine movie professionals and pals he’s been working with for the final a number of years. The ensuing 27-minute movie is now heading out into the world, as Curtis and firm put together to submit the quick to movie festivals throughout the nation. For Curtis, the prospect of sending such a deeply felt and private story out for public consumption and judgment isn’t that daunting. Possibly that’s as a result of the energetic and industrious Curtis doesn’t get daunted by a lot of something.

“‘Damaged Petals’ got here out of a dialog I had with my mom,” Curtis stated on our cellphone name, squeezing in an interview on a protracted drive to his subsequent filming location in Bangor. “To not get into an excessive amount of element, nevertheless it was a couple of very shut member of our household, someone I’d had an excellent relationship with rising up, however not so good any extra. Within the movie, my character Todd’s vices are a bit of bit totally different from this member of the family, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a dynamic primarily based on my life.”

For Curtis, “Damaged Petals” was additionally about rising his reference to the Maine filmmaking collaborators he’s grown to belief and depend on in his burgeoning profession. After making 2021’s wrenching relationship drama “Suffocation,” Curtis discovered his two-day shoot making the shorter however no much less intense “Damaged Petals” a comparative breeze, due to teamwork and a few good previous Maine generosity.

“I went onto Fb and principally despatched out a name for the form of location we wanted,” stated Curtis. “This nice man named Jerry Walker reached us about his camp in Standish, and we stated we’d like to test it out. We didn’t know what we had been anticipating, however the place had the whole lot – the cabin, trails out again, and it’s proper on Sebago Lake, with Jerry letting us movie on his dock proper on the lake. He’d been concerned with the humanities his complete profession and wished to present again, and so we received this totally cinematic location, all free of charge. I contemplate it an absolute blessing we received this place.”

After all, Maine’s received no scarcity of picturesque areas for filmmakers to arrange a tripod, however Curtis is emphatic that his two-day shoot in Standish was like a dream of fruitful collaboration and professionalism from his small however devoted younger forged and crew.

“We shot a web page and a half on Day 1,” he stated, “after which 13 pages in six hours on Day 2. It was very time- and attention-focused from everybody in all the varied departments. Everybody was very centered on what they had been imagined to be doing, so we had been capable of get the shoot executed in a really environment friendly and fast method. We’re all very pleased with that.”

For multitalented Curtis, who costars in addition to writes and directs this outing, “Damaged Petals” meant delegating and trusting his crew. “Our assistant administrators, Stephen Bennett and Maverick Keegan, are wonderful. They’re so organized, and capable of minimize issues that aren’t particularly essential to get the place we wanted to.”

That effectivity is the standard that may make or break a low-budget movie (“Damaged Petals” got here in at round $3,000), with Curtis equally praising sound mixer and editor Ronney Clement, gaffer Henry Riley (who additionally assembled the movie’s impressively skilled press package), the cinematography of Zach Wheaton, and Hirst’s rating. He’s particularly grateful to Bennett, who imparted some powerful love as regards to Curtis’ personal efficiency.

“On ‘Suffocation,’ it was such an enormous forged and crew with so many transferring items and I felt I wasn’t capable of focus up as a lot as I wished to. Right here, the forged and crew was so small comparatively, and everybody was so assured of their jobs that I received to utterly let go of the reins and never fear about something however performing and directing. As for Steve, we’ve identified one another since 2018, and I belief him so utterly that I knew I may belief him to look at over my efficiency. He informed me, ‘In case your efficiency doesn’t really feel actual and genuine, I’m going to start out over, even when there’s 10 seconds left within the take.’ ”

Now that this Maine-made story is testing the competition waters, Curtis is often optimistic that each one this tough work will join with audiences far and extensive.

“Whether or not it’s a private story like this one or any form of movie, there’s all the time a way of strain that it received’t hit individuals the way in which it ought to, or they’ll be greatly surprised by it and also you received’t get the kind of reception you’re in search of. However we had our forged and crew screening final week, and I’m not ashamed to say it introduced me to tears. Wallace Douglas is so wonderful within the movie, and even when individuals can’t relate to the Maine setting or sure components, I feel the core story – about household, about relationships – goes to impression individuals.”

For the busy Curtis, the subsequent few months will see him and his crew submitting “Damaged Petals” to varied movie fests, and using a pre-submission, location-based publicity press to drum up curiosity within the movie. He, Bennett and Keegan are additionally prepping for the third installment of their cheekily titled “(Expletive) within the Dust Movie Pageant,” a celebration of low- and no-budget filmmakers, which is able to display screen at Portland’s Apohadion Theater on Dec. 16.

For the busy Curtis, being a Maine filmmaker is all about hustle, teamwork and seemingly boundless vitality. As he says proudly of his personal filmmaking household, “This movie doesn’t really feel prefer it was made by a gaggle of individuals of their mid to early 20s. It appears to be like prefer it was made by a gaggle of execs.”

To study extra about Cody Alexander Curtis and “Damaged Petals,” try the filmmaker’s web site, codyalexandercurtis.com.


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