Not Our Living Room (2015)
Brothers Jake & Chris are getting ready for their moms' anniversary dinner, but things take an ominous turn when they try to leave the livingroom.
(SPOILERS) The script was written by my co-producer, Kelsey Rauber, as a way to cope with her sister having an accident that landed her in the hospital. I was attracted to the script for two reasons: one because it portrayed male characters in a way not typically seen on screen; they're more vulnerable and relatable in a less stereotypically masculine way, and the other because I liked that it was a genre piece on the surface, but really an intimate drama at its core. It's about loss and an inability to let go. I liked the idea of balancing those two aspects visually.
As a director, I chose to ground the film more in reality initially to give the audience a sense of comfort before bringing in more surreal aspects and pulling the rug out. At the same time though, I wanted to allow the audience to be somewhat in on it before the characters are, for the audience to have context clues that lead them to a realization in the same way the characters have. What's bitter sweet about the film though is that the characters come to the wrong conclusion, and from a directing standpoint, I thought it'd be more engaging and emotional if the audience senses that before being flat out told it with the ending. Ultimately, it was a challenging piece to direct, and while it has a similarity to other revelation/twist-driven pieces other filmmakers make, I think there's a unique style to this film that makes it stand out, particularly in that it has character and heart in a nuanced way that genre films often do not. - Christina Raia
Screenings & Awards
2015 FirstGlance Film Festival