Behind the Scenes

We pull back the curtain from the set of UPSIDE to share with you:

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Behind the Scenes with Ken Horstmann
The Writer and Director of UPSIDE Shares His Vision for this Film

UPSIDE is the collision of two worlds that captivate me: cinema and visual perception. The idea started when I read about a visual metamorphopsia that resets the portion of the brain that flips images back over since what we see normally begins as an upside-down image on the back of the retina. The idea posed one very interesting question for me: "What must this be like?" Many stories are about a character's topsy-turvy world, so when the idea of coping with this visual disorder entered my brain, it just wouldn't leave. And so, the script was born.

Everyone we approached with the project related to the notion of a young lacrosse player losing everything and beginning a search for deeper meaning and ultimately redemption. A key element to the story is the spiritual aspects that Solomon finds and the challenge of a fearless blind girl who ignites his desire to become the man he longs to be.

Shooting the film was much like any production, with small exceptions made when we knew we would want to see through Solomon's eyes. Production went smoothly over the five-week shoot, with only the normal challenges brought on when the reality of shooting the written word crashes in on us all. We were very pleased with the nuance of performance delivered by all the actors.

To get the reversed images, we didn't flip the camera over during production, opting to create that in post-production. The edit was considerably longer with the amount of footage we had coupled with the ability to add Solomon's POV into a scene.

When we screened the film for the first time to an audience of more than 750 people, we had no idea how the humor, length, and overall story would play. With the help of hundreds of screening questionnaires, we fine-tuned the film, deleting more than 25 minutes of running time. When we rolled it out again, we received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Being my first feature-length film, UPSIDE taught me to trust the talents of others more, speak less, and pray without ceasing. I can't wait to make another film!

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