I recently had the unique pleasure of watching the screening of Will Carnes latest film, Pneuma.
A psychological film about a man that is incarcerated for committing a horrific crime. There’s only one problem, he can’t remember doing it. As the psychologist attempts to peel away the layers, she may be asking for more than she is prepared to handle.
As I watched this film, I quickly realized that all the scenes take place in one room. There have been a few movies in the past that lend to the same theme. The Panic Room, Phone Booth, Devil, Open Water and Reservoir Dogs are all fine examples of thinking outside the box within the box.
The inciting incident is the crime. The mystery is why. This film relies on the dialogue and the chemistry between the characters to move the story forward. This is successful due to the talent behind the characters. Will expresses the dedication the actors had invested into their performances. Allyson Grant, known for roles in iZombie, Midnight Sun plays Dr. Erin Sandstone. Jason Beaudoin, known for roles in 100, Legends Of Tomorrow plays the role of Jonathan Hale, the incarcerated man.
Jessie Crabbe plays the role of his wife Melissa Hale and knocks it out of the park. Lucas Rubkiewicz performs as the Corrections Officer.
The natural chemistry and flawless performance between Jason and Allyson paint an intimate atmosphere. The interaction between the two, immerse you into the story while you are given hints of the B story along the way. That being, is the accused man lying about his memory loss to deflect the truth about his inner monster?
This is the first feature that Will Carnes has directed. He felt so much more invested in this film due to writing it. He originally wrote the film ten years ago as a stage play. Upon rewriting it, he felt a film version would be more rewarding. He finished the script in 1-2 weeks. Will was inspired by the psychology of humanity and wanted to explore it further. The antagonist in the story is internal. It is man vs himself. The inner conflict is the third man in the room.
Will Carnes has produced two other features. Valley Of The Rats and Nutshells.
“There is a lot of science revealed about the psychology imbedded in this film. How did you go about your homework on the subject?”
“I did a lot of reading and spoke to six doctors in the field of psychology. In addition, I had two friends that recently earned their degrees that I leaned on for accurate information on the subject.”
Will explains that he filmed the story in the style of TV episodes. He wanted to give the audience something new every eleven minutes to keep them engaged. Filming in a single location can present its problems but Will keeps the shots interesting and the framing crisp.
To capture the footage, he used a Panasonic Lumix DMC GH4. He enjoys the 4K quality of the film. The images are crystal clear.
Certainly sound is just as important as the images. Karina Pry composed an amazing score and Will’s talented DOP was Sasha Popove. Will financed the film out of pocket and finished shooting in four days. The crew of eleven performed like a Swiss watch. He found his location ironically enough, inside of a church. He admits that it made for a unique atmosphere.
Pneuma has begun the process of submissions into film festivals. It was nominated for The Mavericks Movie Award and is knocking at the doors of Sundance, Slamdance, Tribeca and South By Southwest.
Will Carne intends to produce another psychological drama next. He intends to use the psychology he’s acquired from his research, into delving once again, into the minds eye.
If you’d like to view a trailer, please go here