Spotlight on local filmmaker David Brewer [Movies]

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I don’t think there are very many people who at some point in their lives didn’t want to make movies, or at least be in one. The silver screen is a magical realm where anything can happen, and the god-like power of being the one to make it happen is a very tempting dream. The ones who actually follow through are the special ones. Filmmaking is a vast undertaking compared to many other artistic mediums – a writer needs only a pen and paper; a painter needs only paint and canvas; a musician needs only a musical instrument. A filmmaker, however, needs a camera and sound equipment and locations and editing equipment and other people to be in his or her film. I was very excited to be able to sit down with one of the newest additions to our city’s independent film scene, David Brewer, who is presenting a free screening of his first film “Nothing in the Flowers” at Headliners Music Hall on Thursday, the 29th.

When asked what his film is about, David replies that “it takes place in a small town where two girls have gone missing… A local sheriff is drawn in to that case, and uncovers some things that have been going on for longer than he was aware of.” It is an intentionally vague response; David is consistently careful not to give too much away. (The original title was actually “Lost But Not Found,” but he felt that he needed something more ambiguous.) The plot contains many surprises and revelations (he hesitates to use the term “twist”) and he wants the viewer to get the full effect of the film, which, when pressed, he categorizes as a psychological thriller.

“Nothing in the Flowers” is David’s first completed effort in film, which sets him apart from most filmmakers who have a background in making at least short films or home movies. Prior to “Flowers” there was one aborted project: a documentary entitled “Coexist” which was to be about members of different religions and how we all live and interact together despite opposing worldviews. Unfortunately, obtaining willing participants proved a significant challenge, and so the idea was scrapped.

A few months later, a friend of David’s had completed a film for the Fright Night Film Festival. Faced with the idea of fiction, he thought, “I can do that.” The original idea was to make a thirty-minute long supernatural-type horror film with the aim of submitting it to festivals.

The initial idea came from a dream he had about three years ago: “I [was] standing at a bus stop and it was nighttime, or pre-dawn, and I remember this school bus coming around the corner. There was no sound, there were no lights on inside or outside the bus, and I just remember this bus pulling up in front of me and there was nobody on it; it was pitch black. The doors opened… and [the sound] echoed through the trees.” This dream stuck in his head as a particularly creepy image, and it became the inspiration for the initial script intended for Fright Night.

 As writing progressed it evolved into a more realistic scenario, and eventually the supernatural aspect was dropped. Meanwhile, the film began to stretch beyond its intended time limit. “I wanted to get deeper and deeper into the characters,” he says. “I wanted to make it a more full-bodied film.” Before long he realized he had a 78-minute long feature on his hands.