The original concept for this film came from a short story that I wrote long ago called 'wasted youth’, which centered mostly around the same character of the film, Jordan, whom after being released from juvenile detention gets caught up back into a circle of violence and immoral behavior along with a couple of other misfits. All of this as a matter of fact made it into the final version of the film, as that became a good starting point to begin building a more unique story that was going to explore in greater depth the motivations and desires of this self-destructive young man.
Our main objective was and still is, to adapt it into a feature film. That’s why I wanted to give a full proof of concept experience to the viewer through an entire 29mins running time that could embody the essence of what the overall feature might feel like, instead that simply shooting an extract from the final script. I wanted to set the tone and atmosphere that could be the base on which to develop the entire film.
I’ve had the luck of working with an extremely passionate and talented group of people on this project, and trust me, this is not the cliché director’s quote made to simply look humble and give credits to the rest of the ship just because it is expected of him or her, this is a simple fact that transpires throughout every frame of the film. The commitment that some of them had in taking some scenes to a certain extent was remarkable, and the trust they gave to my vision I hope in the end will pay off for each and everyone of them in the eyes of the audience.
A special mention has to go also to my ‘helluva’ cinematographer Leo Zhang, whom I pushed to some physical limits, and whose sanity I consistently tested on various occasions with the, and I’m quoting him, ‘irritable’ large amount of demanding takes that I asked from him. But evidently, as one cannot help but see from the aesthetic of the film, his commitment and talent were keys to the realization of Acid Fantasy.
We began production around the beginning of October 2018 in Manhattan, Queens, Long Island City and Brooklyn; and wrapped in mid December for a total of 8 days of shoot. Post production took approximately three more months, but in all honesty it never actually really ended, since I’m still making some small adjustments here and there to this day (June 2019).
My main inspirations for the making of this film came from all over the place, and a sharp-eyed viewer could hopefully spot separated Hitchcock homages to Vertigo, Rear Window, Psycho, and The Birds, along with a more obvious Godard homage around the half of the film. I mostly work with surrealism, so I’m always carefully trying to follow the footsteps of David Lynch, whose school of thought I consider myself a student of.
The only suggestion that I’d like to give to audiences prior watching Acid Fantasy is to pay close attention to sounds. Me and sound designer Paul Mounsey, worked endlessly in a tiny little underground studio in Brooklyn for nights at the time in trying to build a side audio story to the visual one.
The element of violence in this film is abstract, implicit, and it surrounds Jordan. It is an approach to violence that’s very subjective to his POV and therefore the sound design built around it tries to serve the purpose of a more immersive experience.
In the end I’d like to add that the reason why I wanted to make this as a neo-noir it’s because of my love for this forgotten genre. A genre that has been somewhat abandoned form the time of its golden years (I’m referring to the original noir) and that it hasn't really been fully explored ever since. The neo-noir really is something of a rarity in today’s cinema, and it is a pretty shameful fact considering the possibilities that it allows to explore. Few films today falls in this neo-noiresque category, and do so by bringing to life wonderfully original stories. It is my true hope that we could in a future be able to present this story in a larger format to a wider audience.
Lorenzo Lanzillotti -