Interviewed by: Ena M. White
Editor-in-chief: Romane Orlando Robb
LAPSE is a dream-like journey through a relentless reality. A man loses his grip on the world around him as his dreams and nightmares collide in a downward spiral of substance abuse, anger and regret. He falls down the rabbit hole with only his memories to lead him back to the light.
1). ROBBENT.COM: Let’s get right into it. Can you give us a synopsis of Lapse?
Lapse is the story of a man who must go to the darkest of places to find the light. The film follows a man through one day of his life as the world around him unravels, his memories and demons clash in a downward spiral of substance abuse and insanity, taking him to a place where the darkness first took root.
2). ROBBENT.COM: What inspired you to make Lapse?
Some intense spiritual, emotional and physical challenges in my life brought me to the doorstep of Lapse. I was ready to leave the wishing and dreaming behind and start doing, making, committing and believing. I wanted to make a film and I did. I was also surrounded by some seriously grounded and inspiring individuals that helped lead me to a place of possibilities.
3). ROBBENT.COM: What sparks your creativity?
Music, the sky and stars and natural world, the beauty of a simple graceful moment, artists working purely and humbly, the darkness of my most primal fears... These are some of the things that inspire my creativity.
4). ROBBENT.COM: Who are some of the filmmakers (past and present) that you draw inspiration from, and why?
I am deeply inspired by filmmakers like Terrence Malick, Darren Aronofsky, Steve McQueen, David Lynch, John Cassavetes, Jacques Audiard, Steven Spielberg, François Truffaut, Stanley Kubrick, to name just a few. Each one genuinely nurtures, conjures, exposes, examines, antagonizes, and celebrates what makes the human experience so magnificent and so banal. These filmmakers - artists - each have impacted my life and the way I see the world in profound ways.
5). ROBBENT.COM: What was it like working with Peter Ganim?
Working with Peter Gamin is like working with the other half of my brain. He and I share some significant personal connections that made us coming together to make Lapse all the more meaningful. Pete can in one moment expound on the deeper historical and philosophical subtext of a line or beat, and in the next be cursing like a sailor making everyone double-over in laughter. Peter Ganim is by far the most insightful, intelligent, instinctive actor I have had the pleasure of working with. He completely devoted himself to Lapse and trusted my direction utterly, which is the highest compliment any director could hope for. Peter’s performance in Lapse is Lapse - Peter is this film, totally.
6). ROBBENT.COM: What are three of your favorite films of all time, and why?
It is almost impossible to name my “3 favorite films of all time”, they continually change. If I had to pick three off the top of my head I’d say... The Tree of Life, The Fountain, and E.T. I chose these three because they represent different stages in my filmmaking psyche. My love of the movies began with Steven Spielberg, seeing E.T. as a child and being inspired to make home movies with friends and family, showing them at school. The Fountain... I hated the first time I saw it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, until I realized that I hadn’t seen a film, I’d seen, heard, and felt a poem as film - this blew me away. Then there’s The Tree of Life... I can’t describe how that film inspired me in words. It was released the spring Lapse was in preproduction and I connected with it deeply - it inspired me to keep working. I had the actors and my amazing DP, Christopher Camp, watch the film before we started, simply telling them, “when you see ‘The Tree of Life’ you’ll see what I’d like to strive for”.
7). ROBBENT.COM: What was it like working with Therese Plummer?
Therese Plummer and I have been close friends for many years and we have seen each other go through some very difficult and very empowering times. Therese embodies a subtle grace and vulnerability that she can summon in astounding ways in front of the camera. Her powerful emotional control and versatility continued to surprise and invigorate me, Peter, and the entire crew as we worked. Therese is also one of the most spontaneous and honest people I have ever known, which is evident in her performance. She was able to communicate so much in a role that was essentially silent, that is a real artist at work.
8). ROBBENT.COM: What are some of your hobbies besides making movies?
Besides making movies I enjoy writing music, drawing, hiking, and reading. Building stuff is fun too. I also journal, which doesn’t really count as a hobby, but it is something I have done for decades that has been a part of how I communicate as an artist. I’ve been flirting with running which I am stunned that I love. I always said I would only run when chased... Perhaps I am chasing something.
9). ROBBENT.COM: What other projects do you currently have in the pipeline?
Other projects I have cooking are a series of short documentaries about people who devote themselves to the well-being of others, both human & animal. And also a feature-length psychological horror/love story about overcoming the real and imagined demons of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, I’m looking at the possibility of expanding Lapse into a full-length feature. Basically, I’m trying to keep enough going so that something catches sooner or later and I can continue to make film art with a purpose.
10). ROBBENT.COM: And last but not least; why should people watch Lapse?
Why should people watch Lapse? I am going to quote a wonderful review of Lapse by Talking About Film blog: “‘Lapse’ has a potential to strike a note in nearly every one of us...‘Lapse’ is a powerful reminder that our lives belong to us and it is imperative that we face our demons, remove the shackles of our frailty and break the cycle once and for all.”
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