Originally published by The West Seattle Herald.
Lisa Coronado and Wonder Russell, lead actress and writer/director of the upcoming West Seattle-based short film, ‘See You On the Other Side.’ Photo by Amanda Knox.
West Seattle-based short film ‘See You On the Other Side’ by writer/director Wonder Russell seeks featured extras
By Amanda Knox
West Seattlite Wonder Russell’s new short film See You On the Other Side is about a depressed, reclusive, recently-widowed young woman who attempts to bring her dead husband back to this side of life by any means necessary.
Russell wrote the script in response to observing her mother after the death of her father. “It was world ending,” says Russell. “It was like living in an alternate reality that you don’t want so hard that you don’t want to be alive.”
Russell built a story featuring retreat, recreation, and redemption. The young widow retreats from the reality of life without her husband by altering that reality using living elements immediately around her. But at what expense? And are there better, more life-affirming alternatives to the young widow’s desperate and supernatural attempt to reshape life itself? These are the questions that the film promises to tackle.
Tackling the lead is Lisa Coronado. She’s West Seattle’s Zoey Deschanel, with bright blue eyes, pale complexion, dark hair, and overall perky pleasantness. Coronado will have to get in touch with a dark and desperate side of herself to play the part, but she says, “It’s written so well, it’s hard not to picture yourself as that person, experiencing that sense of loss.”
This is not Russell and Coronado’s first time working together. They bonded over the fact that they are both not only in the film industry, but also West Seattlites similar in age and family set-up. Both are moms—though Russell of two small, energetic, and affectionate dogs. They also both exhibit a bubbling-over passion and excitement for what they do. Coronado calls it, “crazy, awesome energy.” For example, when Russell finally envisioned the climactic scene of the story, which required a revamping of the entire script, instead of grumbling and shuffling papers she pounced on the opportunity and even called up Coronado to share in her enthusiasm.
For Russell, the outward expression of her innermost thoughts and feelings through storytelling is an experience of catharsis. It’s also this catharsis that she’s looking to portray in the film. “When writing, I just wanted it to be something to help people,” Russell says. “I want to portray how a tragedy makes you shut everyone out, but redemption turns your focus outward again.” So a resurrection story. Not of the deceased husband, but of the desperate widow.
Russell has scoped out a location near Alki beach and is poised to film the entire piece in three days, May 29th-31st. She has her male and female leads picked out, but is still in need of her featured extras. Featured meaning that each extra will have a significant close-up during the climactic scene of the film. She welcomes any West Seattlite who is interested in a part to contact her.
Besides that, the only other task Russell and Coronado need to wrap up before shooting is the crowdfunding effort that will pay for the film’s production. Russell is already about 85% of the way to her goal through the site Seed & Spark, and needs to earn another $1500 in less than 10 days. She hopes to make the final push at a “Join the Crowd” event hosted by the Northwest Film Forum on May 17th, where other filmmakers also undergoing crowdfunding efforts gather and present their projects to everyone’s cumulative supporters and investors.
No matter what, though, the film is going forward. Russell hopes to have it fully produced and ready by the fall, in time for submission to Sundance. Until then, you can search for Russell and Coronado’s previous collaborations, the short films Revelation and Ten Years Later, each featured at SIFF in the past years.
For more information and to offer support, visit Russell’s See You On the Other Side page at Seed & Spark here.