The Best Work You May Never See: Chris Wright Makes Directorial Debut With "The Way It Begins"
Chris Wright, an accomplished TV visual effects supervisor, makes his directorial debut with the romantic musical dance film The Way It Begins, which screens this week at the 2018 HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood. The romantic La La Land-esque 10-minute dance film echoes the golden age of musicals while packing an emotional punch as two strangers--portrayed by Robert Roldan (So You Think You Can Dance, La La Land) and Jessica Lee Keller (Adjustment Bureau, Now You See Me 2)--crossing paths on a train seize the moment to challenge a potentially missed connection as they flirt and dance through spring in New York City. Their dancing reflects stages of love-at-first-sight and what amazing things can happen if you just take a chance. This movie is not only a story about two people falling in love, but also a love letter to New York. The Way It Begins is conveyed through music and dance with only one line of dialogue in the entire film.
Wright’s credits as an effects supervisor include: CBS’ Jim Caviezel starrer, Person of Interest; Showtime’s The Affair and Californication; ABC’s Madoff, starring Richard Dreyfuss, The Punisher and Luke Cage; as well as the multi-award-winning series Mad Men (AMC) and Fringe (Fox).
On breaking out of visual effects and into filmmaking, Wright said, “I’ve always been a storyteller and an entertainer throughout my career. What I love most about this journey into directing is the chance to connect with people in a way that informs, instructs and inspires. The filmmaking process is a collective team goal of creating something that didn’t exist before--we get to share in the excitement of bringing a new vision to the world.”
The Way It Begins held its world premiere as an Official Selection at the 21st Annual Dances With Films Festival as part of the Downbeat: A Celebration of Music and Dance program.
The Way It Begins is presented by First Step Productions in association with Screaming Runner Productions, and was written, directed and produced by Wright. The film was produced by Jeremy Horn, Carlee Briglia and Steven Carbajal. The original score was composed by Alan Koshiyama and Jeremy Horn. The project was choreographed by Becca Sweitzer and filmed by cinematographer Rachael Levine.
Production Chris Wright, director, writer, producer Jeremy Horn Carlee Briglia, Steven Carbajal, producers; Amy Acker, Kristen horn, Alex Thiesen, Patty Brebner, executive producers; Rachael Levine, DP; Chrissy Bouchelle, costume designer; Becca Switzer, choreographer. Postproduction Joint Editorial Alex Thiesen, exec producer; Rebekah Koerbel, producer; Noah Woodburn, sound supervisor; Natalie Huizenga, sound editor; Noah Jahns, online editor. Color Harbor Picture Company Kevin Vale, director, picture post; Kevin Krout, colorist; Matt Hawkins, DI/dailies producer; Sheila Lobo, post coordinator. Visual Effects Chicken Bone Effects Johnny Renzulli, VFX supervisor; Arissa Blasingame, VFX producer; Seth Donald, VFX lead compositor; Christina Spring, VFX compositor; Disa Gran, VFX coordinator. Visual Effects by Tyler Nathan. Music Alan Koshiyama, Jeremy Horn, composers. Music Recorded at The Track Shack Tim Metz, studio jazz drummer; Matt Robinson, studio jazz bassist; Peter De Leon, studio engineer. Cast Robert Roldan, Jessica Lee Keller, Yan Pevzner, Rex Benincasa, Pat Swoboda; James Razzi, Linda E. Simon, David Major.