GHOSTED is a deaf ghost story involving two love stories. More information about its plot will be posted here at a later date as the movie nears final cut completion.
The vast majority of the movie was shot in October 2000. A weekend reshoot later in the spring of 2002 enabled us to come up with material for a much more dramatic ending.
The movie was shot at a beautiful summer cottage in Lakeside, Ohio. It was edited in New York City.
It was shot with two digital video (DV) cameras, namely a pair of Sony VX-2000s. With graphics imported from Photoshop, the movie was edited primarily in Final Cut Pro with some special effects handled in After Effects on a PowerMac G4 computer.
GHOSTED shows Monique Holt as a formidable major talent to reckon with as she plays three very different characters in the movie. I am also honored to have worked with Guthrie Nutter, Tim Chamberlain, Rodger Parsons, Lynett Grabau, and Tom Steele. Detailed bios of their backgrounds will be posted as the movie nears final cut completion.
After over a decade of serious film watching in which I watched a movie almost every night, and after keeping a close eye on the digital video revolution spurred on by Apple Computer's technical innovations in the industry, I knew it was time for me to make my own film.
As such, GHOSTED is a culmination of my feelings and reactions to how deaf characters have been portrayed in the movies I'd seen. The affordability of digital video enabled me to break many deafness-in-film conventions. Because hearing writers are usually the ones to write about deafness in films and on television, hearing audiences rarely get to see or hear what a deaf screenwriter feels about deafness.
For starters, I wasn't interested in even using deafness as a source of conflict.
I do not have a problem with my own deafness, so why should my deaf characters, let alone the hearing characters who interact with them? I went even further in envisioning my script for GHOSTED.
- There is only one line about ASL and speech in GHOSTED; nor is ASL ever an issue.
- There is no parental drama over speech versus sign. (Thank God--we've seen too many of those already.)
- The ASL used in the movie is much more closer to the way most deaf people talk. (The "poetic" signing style may be fine for stagework, but this is a movie where the camera is a good deal closer than the audience. Hearing directors seem to prefer "elevated" sign language since it looks prettier, forgetting that if the same principle was applied to spoken English, the hearing person would sound hoity-toity.)
- The signing styles between various characters were distinct and different from each other's; I wanted to see more of signing accents in the same way that many hearing films utilize spoken dialects to help define characters.
Finally, it is my feeling that Hollywood will never listen to us. Other than CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD and THE MIRACLE WORKER, films featuring deaf characters do not get much attention. I think I know why: Most screenwriters using deaf characters fail to see BEYOND the cliched view of it-must-be-so-dangerous-and-awful-to-be-deaf-therefore-that's-how-I-should-treat-my-deaf-characters. We are much more than the sum of our hands and ears, and it is totally up to us to take what Hollywood has been telling the world about ourselves and turn it all around so that the spotlight can illuminate the far more dramatic truth of our lives.
I got tired of waiting for that to happen, so I did the next best thing. I made a movie of my own. :-)