ALTERED...to Make Different Without Changing into Something Else...
This week I was blessed to play a part in the movie "ALTERED". It is being shot around Chicago and Atlanta and is a Kely McClung film. He wrote, is directing and is one of the lead actors in the horror/suspense film. "Vampire Diaries" star, and McClung favorite, Robert Pralgo also stars in the film. McClung and Pralgo have that chemistry like Scorsese/ Deniro, and Soderbergh/ Damon. It is evident on the set and easy to see in their onscreen flow in "Blood Ties" and "Kerberos." Add to the mix Jessica Imoto Harney, the line producer and assistant director on the film and the trifecta bounce ideas like super balls, catch them in mid-air, slip them in their pockets then lay them on film flawlessly.
It was cool to be in those moments as both a spectator and player. The synergy between the triad is palpable. McClung sees everything. The air becomes a part of the shot and the world is in the scene. Nothing is taken for granted and overlooked. Yet nothing is contrived and set design-ish. I worked with Steven Soderbergh several days on "Contagion" and he is a gentle genius with a keen attention to detail. Kely is the same but he takes it to another level. He sees the world like a canvas and uses all of it. His senses for a scene, sound and light include taste and touch. Each moment captured is an experience, not a picture.
ALTERED is going to be a success. Period! It deals with balance, the hardest thing we have as humans to deal with. I know it's my Achilles heal. There's work and family, yes and no, this project or that, what's right and what's wrong, good or evil, get up or sleep the day away, use or stay clean. This film gets down to the true meat of the issues that trouble man and gets to the core of "what's it all about?"
As a recovering alcoholic/addict and depression sufferer who lived both functionally and in the streets homeless, hopeless and rudderless for 28 years the lines can be blurred. I did things then for survival that I now consider terribly wrong. My addiction was a loyal servant then a sadistic master. I thought God wanted me dead. I now see He had my back the whole time. I have done more for my fellow man in my few years of sobriety than my entire life as an addict. That's the way He wanted it.
A man who steals milk for kicks is a thief. A man who steals milk for his infant child is still a thief but the line becomes blurred. The balance shifts on the morality scale. A thief is a thief. I would never wish to kill a man but would do anything to protect my family. Anything. The part of balance I get now is that if I fall I get back up again. I don't have to stay down. I don't always have to fight. I can choose to stay in the center of the seesaw. Sometimes the best balance is not trying to figure it out and just being content with riding the beam.