Mission StatementWe're telling the story of drama that lives in the cracks, approaching tragedy & tension in a way we rarely get to see on-screen. Our lead actors and director each have their own formative relationships with trauma and healing, and bring their lived experience and compassion to this film.
About The Project
Meet Edie and Charlie Maxwell. They're fun, young, in love, make each other laugh and can't keep their hands off each other. Then, an incident of shocking violence changes their lives and relationship. That's where our film picks up.
AFTER: A LOVE STORY explores the pain in what audiences don't usually get to see, and the bittersweetness of two souls who love each other but can't seem to find their old selves in time to make things work. Told in cuts between their first foray into trauma therapy and their previous carefree life, AFTER follows Edie and Charlie as they take tentative steps into healing.
Everyone in the world just lived through a global trauma. So we as filmmakers asked ourselves: what better time than now to tell a story of picking up the pieces? You don't have to have experienced the same incidents as Charlie and Edie or anyone else to viscerally understand what it feels like to stand on the edge of the cliff that is your way forward, and how insurmountable that plunge can look. But in the midst of all this, there is love, there is passion, there is fear, anger, frustration, and ultimately, hope.
AFTER: A LOVE STORY is told in a non-linear format, alternating between bright, quick, carefree scenes from Charlie & Edie's old lives and close-up, nearly claustrophobic long takes that starkly illustrate the sense of loss and desperation they feel as they embark on a first visit to a trauma therapist. Touch, body language, and breath are just as important as dialogue to telling this story of moving on, and the audience will get to live in those liminal spaces along with our characters.
Our team is currently hard at work in pre-production, fine-tuning current drafts of our script, getting very specific with our schedule and budget minutiae, and making sure we can make this film safely in the era of Covid--even though we are hoping to be much more out of the woods by our August production dates! We're on track to have a fully vaccinated cast and crew by then and will abide closely to SAG-AFTRA Covid safety protocols.
Our preproduction duties include location scouting, finalizing dates and rates for equipment rentals, searching for our perfect props & set dressing, cementing contracts with our cast and crew, beginning a tentative calendar for targeted festival submissions later in the year, continuing to examine specific elements of the script and polishing our tone & text to a shine, and yes: fundraising!
Our preparation & attention to detail matter a great deal so that when we get on set for our shoot, we can move as efficiently as possible while allowing our team room to fully, comfortably, and safely explore telling this story. Our intimacy coordinator will be on hand to choreograph and advise the actors' physical storytelling elements under our stellar director to facilitate free, safe, and brave performances, while our director of photography translates what happens in the room to a gorgeous, evocative visual narrative for the audience. A great sound engineer brings additional truth and reality to the material.
Once we wrap, the film goes into the editing process, scoring, sound mixing, and color grading. Post-production is every bit as important as the shoot to getting the story right, and it takes time and patience. After that, we get a picture lock and start submitting to festivals, getting our film one step closer to your living rooms!
This is an intimate story, so the design & photography will reflect that. Director Clare Cooney specializes in finding the story in an actor's face, and DP Jason Chiu is no stranger to the expert craft of mining mood, tension, and exposition with the camera. Clare & Jason previously worked together on the acclaimed festival short Runner:
and to help you see our vision for this film, we've created a mood board of shots from other projects that inspire us and share a vibe with our vision for After:
Thank you for your support & anticipation!
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About This Team
Award-winning filmmaker Clare Cooney (Runner, Dad Man Walking) brings her unique eye for character and finding the devastation in small moments to this production. Clare is also an actor, starring in such features as Rendezvous in Chicago and Relative, as well as on Chicago PD and Pop TV's Hot Date. Her experience behind and in front of the camera makes her an invaluable asset to our team.
Alyssa Thordarson makes her screenwriting debut with this film, and takes on the role of Edie. You may have seen her in an emotional turn as a top-of-show guest star on Chicago Med's 100th episode, "Ghosts of the Past;" Empire; the award-winning short film 30 Minutes; or in Feeding America's Hidden Hunger campaign.
Glenn Stanton stars as Charlie. A busy TV and film actor with a theatre background, Glenn appeared on stage at Chicago Shakespeare, The Goodman, The House Theatre, and many others, before being seen in such TV projects as The Son on AMC, 911 on Fox, Roswell, New Mexico on the CW--and he just wrapped three months of filming on another hit AMC show, to be announed soon.
Gaby Labotka brings her expertise as an intimacy coordinator and safety consultant to the production. As touch is one of After's central themes, it is important to the filmmakers to create a safe & honest way for the cast to explore the interacting physicalities of their characters. Gaby is a certified Intimacy Director with the Intimacy Directors & Coordinators Guild, and her credits cover dozens of theatrical productions and films.
Jason Chiu is a DP currently residing in Chicago. He most recently filmed the first season to a new Adult Swim series called Joe Pera Talks with You. It released in Spring 2018 to critical acclaim. He shot Stephen Cone's Henry Gamble's Birthday Party which screened at the BAMCinemaFest, Maryland International Film Festival and the Chicago International Film Festival. He has DPed commercial projects for brands like Nissan, Samsung, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Feeding America, and Everytown for Gun Safety.
This team is thrilled to employ Chicago filmmakers as both cast and crew, and will shoot under the SAG-AFTRA microbudget agreement in full support of union artists.
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