Photo courtesy of Sunny Davis. Senior, Sunny Davis works alongside her peers to direct her film “You Are the Reason.”
On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Sunny Davis, a senior film major, will premiere “You Are The Reason,” a short film she directed this semester and has been in production since last July.
“You Are The Reason” follows two characters on a short journey soon after graduating from college. The main character Nancy has just graduated from college and moved into an apartment. Her mother dropped her off and did not help her unpack. Instead of setting up her apartment, Nancy immediately heads to the library to find self-help books. There, she meets Jean, who graduated from college a year ago but is unhappy with her life. The two girls get to know each other and form a relationship.
“They end up making a night of it,” Davis said. “They go and get pizza, they head back to Nancy’s apartment and get to know each other. The film goes up to the first week that they meet and then the film jumps to a month later.”
Davis modeled the film after an episode of “Black Mirror,” a science-fiction series that explores a twisted, highly-technological future. The episode she used was “San Junipero,” because she was inspired by the relationship between the two main characters and the style of the set.
“Sunny brought this idea to me and I was really excited to work on it,” James Frederick, director of photography, said. “What’s really important from it is the interactions and developments between the characters and how they gain each other’s trust and gain some sense of safety in this new realm as a post-graduate.”
Davis began writing the script in July while completing her internship in Jerusalem, Israel. In the film, the main characters discuss their fears about the future, a topic that she found engaging and inspiring.
“I went for a walk one day and I ended up in a park and I ended up lying beneath some palm trees,” Davis said. “At that point, I didn’t know what my future was going to hold. I was thinking about other people I was on the trip with and how two to three days prior to that we were doing a little workshop, and everyone was going around the circle talking about their fears in life and what everyone was most afraid of. It was kind of nice to hear that everyone has similar fears and that’s where I drew the inspiration from.”
Filming took an entire weekend, during which she and her crew spent 22 hours between the URI library and an apartment in Westerly, Rhode Island. Davis said she chose this specific apartment because it looked like something a student directly out of college could afford. There were holes in the walls, as well as left-over command strips giving a run-down effect.
As for editing, Davis spent three hours syncing all of the components and 12 hours editing footage. She still has much left to do before its premiere next week.
“The film has come a long way,” she said. ‘“It was definitely a solid week at least working on it. I’ve become very attached to this film. I go frame-by-frame to make sure every single thing is perfect.”
Davis produced the film as part of her senior thesis project for FLM 445, an advanced class focused on narrative production. The film will be screened in Edwards Auditorium at 6 p.m. along with other students’ films.