Braden Duemmler ’07 learned quickly that, in Hollywood, agents and managers typically have three piles of scripts on their desks: one for clients, one for referrals of clients and one for interesting projects they hope to work on someday. “They barely get to the second pile, let alone the third and I was in the third pile, all the time,” the filmmaker says. After ten years of grinding out scripts to no avail, it was the advice of a friend that helped him get his first out of the pile and into production.
“What Lies Below” (originally titled “VISCOUS”) — written and directed by Duemmler and starring Mena Suvari — is scheduled to hit select U.S. theaters this December, followed by a digital/streaming release. Details about the film are being kept under wraps by its distributors for now, but what Duemmler can share is that it’s a mystery-thriller that turns the concept of a femme fatale on its head and follows a storyline about a mother (Suvari) who introduces her teenage daughter (Ema Horvath) to her new, unexpected fiancé (Trey Tucker). “There's this to-be-looked-at-ness from the fiancé that constantly feeds the film,” Duemmler says.
“There’s always been a want to see female protagonists, but the industry has refused to do it for some reason. Now, they're really buying into that and shooting female-driven films and I think this movie is feeding an audience that's always been hungry for it,” he adds.
Before “What Lies Below,” he says he was basically chasing a carrot on a stick to get his work in front of the right people. So, what did his friend say that turned things around? It was simple. Start small. Read the full story.