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Christopher Glatis: Director, DOSE OF REALITY

February 19, 2013

glatis1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of DOSE OF REALITY, from concept to financing.

I have always been a fan of films that break new ground, push the envelope, and provoke and challenge me mentally and emotionally – those films that ask difficult questions, inspire discussions, and ultimately foster growth.Personally, I’m drawn to characters who are troubled and whose inner motivations are not easily understood – characters you would find in a John Cassavetes film. People are complex. As someone who practices Buddhist meditation, and has been a life-long student of psychology, human complexity is what interests me – whether it be the battle that rages inside the mind, or the stories we tell ourselves about reality, or the dysfunctional dynamics that too often suck the life out of us. These fascinations were the genesis of DOSE.My experience working as a bartender also fueled this idea forward. I became intrigued with the strange world I witnessed each evening from 10PM to 3AM. I’m not sure if it was the ‘darkness’ that seemed to permeate the late hours, or the clash of personalities, pheromones, music, alcohol and drugs…but all these elements seemed a ripe stew for an intense character-driven mystery drama.

Having the constraint of a limited budget also shaped the concept of the story. I crafted the story within an intimate setting, where there’s nowhere to run, three characters must battle each other, along with their inner demons in order to come to resolution. I soon realized, however, that what first appeared to be an independent filmmaker’s dream, inevitably brought up another level of problems and issues – from a production standpoint as well as an artistic one.

So I welcomed the challenge. Would I be able to pull off a slow-burn contained thriller that was dialogue intensive? Could I mix cinéma vérité, improvisation and noir with some of the more modern elements and techniques of storytelling? And ultimately, would the audience be drawn into this world, and stay invested?

I certainly knew what I was up against, but I believed the payoff for me and the audience would be worth the artistic risk.

Now that I have completed DOSE, I feel that my gamble paid off.

2Q: Cinequest is proud to host the World Premiere of DOSE OF REALITY. Explain to the audience how you feel about bringing this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

One part of me is very excited about our World Premiere.  However, another part of me is a bit fearful.  Someone once told me that fear is excitement, without breath.  So I’ll be doing a lot of deep breathing in San Jose.

I think I speak for most filmmakers when I say that you want people to love your film.  I believe it’s human nature to seek validation or approval on some level.

Ultimately, my hope is that the audience has some sort of reaction–No reaction is what frightens me.  DOSE is an intense emotional ride and very unpredictable.  My feeling is that the audience will really enjoy the ride. With that said, I’ve been doing this long enough to know you will never please everyone.  And sometimes a negative reaction to your film is not necessarily a bad thing. An audience member may be triggered, for one reason or another, and unless you know that person intimately, you don’t know if they simply hated your film OR if something deeper is going on.

If the audience comes out of DOSE analyzing and debating, I think I’ve done my job.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making DOSE OF REALITY?

The best experience was working with an extremely talented cast. The actors made my job so much easier, and I cannot forget to mention the amazing crew, that without their support, DOSE never would have happened.  The WORST experience would be learning our location was in jeopardy a few weeks before the shoot.  Since the entire film was shot inside a single location, a lounge, the ramifications of losing it would have been devastating.  The tenant of the lounge was seriously behind in his rent and was about to be evicted. Fortunately, my producers quickly put out that fire.4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

Albeit challenging, I believe DOSE is a gripping ride that says something about the human condition and the addiction to drama.  It is an emotionally raw film that I hope will provoke and inspire, creating conversation and debate.

5Q: The current market for independent films is fractured, to put it lightly, and existing distribution models grow more ineffective with each passing moment. What are your hopes or plans for distribution?

Fortunately we secured distribution about a month ago. The film will be released domestically on March 26, 2013.  We are presently seeking international distribution.

Buy tickets to see DOSE OF REALITY at Cinequest.

Watch the trailer!

From → Interviews

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