The un-romantic comedy “In Stereo” will world premiere at this year’s Dances With Films Festival on Saturday, May 30 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood.
The film centers on David (Micah Hauptman) and Brenda (Beau Garrett), who are perfect for each other and everyone knows it… except David and Brenda. After they break-up, their lives spiral out of control. David self-destructs as an artist while dating an immature woman who sleeps with his best friend. Brenda endures a failing acting career, an eviction notice, and a boyfriend who just doesn’t do it for her. And then chance brings Brenda and David back together on the streets of New York … at the worst possible time.
With an innovative structure and bold performances, it offers an unflinching look at the complexity of modern relationships. Music is also an integral part of the film, with songs by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band, and Budos.
“In Stereo” stars Beau Garrett (“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”), Micah Hauptman (PARKER), Aimee Mullins (YOUNG ONES), Mario Cantone (“Sex and the City”), and newcomers Maggie Geha (WINTER’S TALE), and Melissa Bolona. Written and directed by Mel Rodriguez III. Producers are Danny Roth and Damiano Tucci. Cinematography by Bryan Koss and Costume Design by Melissa Vargas with Dan Wilcox serving as Music Supervisor.
The film will open July 3, 2015 in the following cities: New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco and Miami. It will also be available via VOD on July 3.
Mel Rodriguez III recently answered a few questions about the film:
Q: What was your inspiration for IN STEREO?
A: The script for IN STEREO was written during a transformative time in my life. I was in a rocky relationship at the time and I was trying to figure out what kind of artist I wanted to be – that combination does not often make for peaceful thoughts or pleasant interactions with others. I had also just come off a writing job where I had a 3-act structure hammered into me by the producers. By the end of the day, I knew traditional structure forward and back. I was itching to make a film but I wanted to do something different. With no real idea for a plot, I looked around me at what was going on with various people in my life and I fashioned a movie out of some of the more interesting things I observed in them and in myself.
Q: Tell us a bit about your characters, what are they like?
A: Our characters each have their own issues but they’re all ultimately struggling with the same thing – identity. Trying to find a way to be comfortable in our own skin, find happiness, do our own thing in a world that is constantly trying to put a label on you.
Q: What is your ultimate purpose of telling this story?
A: I wanted to tell a story about people in their 30’s going through some kind of major life change and watch what happens…30s are a time that really sets the foundation for the rest of your life. But I wanted to tell that simple story in a highly stylized way. The “stereo” element of the title is a motif throughout the film both visually (wide lenses, symmetrical shots, split screens, etc.) and aurally (great music, sound design). I also wanted to play with structure and devise a way to tell the story in a more immersive way.
Q: What has inspired you as a filmmaker?
A: I was inspired, and have always wanted to make a film in the tradition of the great American 70s films and filmmakers. These filmmakers pioneered new methods of storytelling, great use of music and personal stories to make some of the most revered films in history. A large portion of the movie-going audience is becoming disenchanted with the bulk of films coming from the major studios today – films that are being made for and being marketed only to teens for the most part. I hope we can continue to see challenging, thought-provoking, engaging work get made and distributed for the audiences that crave it. I think we will, but it’s just so much harder when it should and really could be just a little easier.