A few days before Christmas, my close friends Ryan and BJ got a rare chance to just shut off our phones, pack up my Altima with snacks, and head a couple hundred miles inland into the deserts of California. Our destination - Joshua Tree. Known for its beautiful scenery, clear night skies, and a great place to trip on shrooms, Ryan and Aqueela (more about this below) knew that it would be the perfect place for the three of us to get away from everything and focus on breaking in a new story.
Several months ago, while BJ and I were prepping for our film An Electric Sleep, we had a late night idea session that turned into something that I just couldn’t shake. I’d bring it up randomly to BJ before shelving it again, but one day I mentioned it to Ryan over coffee. Soon afterwards, it wasn’t long before the three of us were getting together to do a bit of research for the story and watching films to get the juices flowing while we were in hiatus from shooting our feature.
Sicario. Collateral. No Country For Old Men. We soaked up these modern day classics, sprinkling in YouTube film essays that would bring more illumination to crafting the story. But it wasn’t until Aqueela (Ryan’s better half) had heard about our hangouts, and she wanted to gift us somewhere that we could take a break just to focus on it.
Living in LA, one of the toughest things I’ve found is to not let the hustle of life keep you constantly on your heels. Always having to be reactive to things around you can leave one with a feeling that they’re not making any forward progress. I’m so grateful Aqueela and Ryan believed in this idea and wanted to be intentional about providing a space that we could just get away and be creative.
Because it worked.
I don’t have anything to share yet, but once we do, I hope you’ll like it.
We had a blast getting to create it for you.