Custom made for a 120-foot wide screen, Breaking In is a short movie about giving up your own prejudice and embracing your true self.
The piece follows a man who has fallen deep into a maze within himself. During his journey, he finds his true identity and sets free a mysterious woman who lives in his dreams.
The movie was developed over three months. While working on the storyboard, we visited the screening location many times to run tests on the unusual screen ratio of 11,520 x 947 pixels. This practice was key to understanding how the space influenced the perception of the audience member. Depending on where the audience member was standing in the room, the viewer might not be able to see the entire screen. That forced us to pay attention to every pixel of information to make sure that everyone in the room saw the important moments of the narrative--no matter where they were standing.
We wanted to play with the architecture of a maze as a metaphor for the dreamy experience of pursuing one's hidden desires. As we drew many possible storyboards, we decided to focus on issues of gender identity, portraying a man haunted by his feminine side.
Co-director Namira Abdulgani and I filmed and acted in prototype movies to test the effect of our original storyboard with moving images. We analyzed the emotions triggered by each scene and drew a graphic, which helped us understand how to improve timing and prepare for the final shooting. An unofficial version of the film was showcased for a small group of people and guest critics, followed by a Q&A session.
With a clear vision of our story and how to represent it visually, we worked with the actors Jonathan Raviv and Tatiana Grasso for the final version of the movie.
Big Screens (December 2015) at
InterActiveCorps' Building in New York
Expanded Cinema (August 2016), at Made in NY Media Center by IFP, in New York