“The Forgotten Ones” a Film that Questions Freedom of Religion and Freedom From It, Debuts Online!

The Forgotten Ones poster

The Forgotten Ones was the very first film I produced independently. It was originally entitled, Suicide Queens but that sounded a bit cliché. One day while on my break at work, I was sitting in the kitchen trying to figure out what I wanted my first project to be. I had just wrapped up a play and had made many friends in it, friends I would call on when it became time to produce the film. An idea then came to me – what if a woman is visited by two women from her past, still connected to her in some mysterious way and they threaten to destroy her entire life and career with a dark secret? That idea got me very excited for many reasons.

 

As I developed the story, I decided to work in much of what I had learned about interpersonal emotional work. I learned about the concept of psychological shadows and the works of Carl Jung from my father and an organization he co-founded called Inward Journey. It was there that I also got the opportunity to train in psychodrama, a process that uses elements of dramatization to help people gain insight and resolution into the parts of their lives that cause them distress.

I wondered what that could look like brought to life in film and that’s when I started to develop the idea.

I wanted power-house performances coupled with a strong story, not knowing that I was developing what would become my trademark style in my filmmaking. I wrote the story and immediately called on a college buddy named Eric Yang. Eric was an exceptionally talented filmmaker and cinematographer (he has two master degrees in film and won a Student Academy Award). Our friendship was cemented in one of our evening film classes when it was very late and he still was working on his production for finals. Eric, being the perfectionist that he is, ran over time and many of the students left. The assignment was due the next day and he didn’t have the option of postponing it. So I amongst a hand full of other students, chose to stay for the remainder of the night to help him finish. From then on, our friendship grew. We both knew it was this underlying loyalty that we both shared to the craft of filmmaking.

My cast and crew ended up being a combination of college, high school and acting mates I met throughout the years. Once I had everything in place, we hit the ground running, but not without adversity. My grandfather died when I first began writing the story and two months shy of my graduating college – something he had really tried to “hold out” for. The film was originally supposed to be shot at my home, but my home caught fire and was completely destroyed taking most of my personal belongings with it.

From that point, I stayed between my grandmother and a friend while my mother agreed to let me shoot at her house. The last thing I needed was a camera and spent my entire paycheck coupled with my tax refund on my very first professional camera. To say I was broke was an understatement. However, I was fortunate enough to be working in my field right out of college and was able to borrow the remainder of the equipment from my job.

Production had its ups and downs. I mostly edited at my job during my time off, but I had to share the computer with students and didn’t have the luxury of installing other types of software. I bought an external hard drive to store my footage, but quickly learned that external did not mean portable and lost three months worth of editing when my drive crashed one day due to it being moved around so often. That was one of the saddest days of my lives.

I then picked up a second job as a waitress and then as a camera operator at a news station to save money to build my own editing station. It would take me close to two years to edit the film due to the numerous setbacks. However, it was all worth it when it debuted to a sold out audience. The response was overwhelming. The Forgotten Ones went on to play at quite a few festivals, including one in New York City where it won an honorable mention.

The organization, Inward Journey, uses it as a training tool and the University of Denver added the film to their psychology department materials. Personally, I have had numerous people come up to me and tell me how deeply the film touched them and helped them to have courage to face their deepest fears.

The Forgotten Ones is a story which reminds us that just because we choose to forget about our past, does not mean our past forgets about us. Visit www.theforgottenonesmovie.com to watch the film.

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