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 In My Sleep articles

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PostSubject: In My Sleep articles   Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:59 am

http://www.suite101.com/content/in-my-sleep--allen-wolf--philip-winchester-keep-their-eyes-open-a231347

In My Sleep: Allen Wolf & Philip Winchester Keep Their Eyes Open

Apr 29, 2010 Deborah Neal

Actor Philip Winchester can recall his first encounter with the script for In My Sleep, a tense indie thriller with psychological twists and turns. He had just completed a publicity junket and was crashing at friend, colleague and filmmaker Allen Wolf’s L.A. apartment for a few weeks before he returned to London.

“I remember reading the script, and about 20 pages in I closed and locked the door,” Winchester said during the Los Angeles press day to promote the film’s theatrical release. “After 20 more pages, I closed all the windows--it was just terrifying! I thought, man, this is absolutely brilliant.”

Having a Bad Dream; Sleepwalking Homicide
Wolf was inspired to try his hand at a thriller after he came across documented murder cases in which the perpetrators suffered from a rare sleepwalking disorder and were actually in a state of REM while committing the crimes. Wolf was fully aware of Winchester’s acting chops and offered him the complex lead role of Marcus, a man who suffers from a major case of bad faith compounded with the fact that he may be a sleepwalking murderer. Winchester was thrilled to support his friend. “I thought it was one of the better things I had read,” Winchester enthused. “I mean, the characters are there, the story is hugely suspenseful and…we started on this journey.”

Wolf knew that a solid plot or lack thereof would make or break his new venture. “It was all about the script. When you’re a lower budget independent film you can’t throw money at people to be in your film so you try to throw, you know, a good story to them, a good script, and I also tried to get the best people involved with the movie that I could,” he explained.
The director is also an innovative fundraiser. “It took me five years to raise financing,” Wolf recalled. “I first had a series of parties in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dayton, Ohio, my hometown…I was totally pitching it.” He also started a board game company, Morning Star Games, and created five award-winning games to subsidize the film as well.

He ultimately put the acquired investors’ funds and faith in his film to good use. “We showed the film at the Marketplace at the Cannes Film Festival last May and The Hollywood Reporter saw it and gave us a great review,” Wolf said proudly. “That helped to open doors overseas,,,and then it also opened a door here in the U.S...when we landed distribution it was definitely a dream come true.”

In My Sleep is a Chilling Indie Thriller set in the Light of Day
It’s interesting that most of the action in a film entitled In My Sleep is set during the glaring light of day and yet retains a creepy, thriller vibe. “That was one of [Wolf’s] big things,” agreed Winchester. “We always see scary movies at night. But what would happen in your everyday life, if in your 9-to-5 job you knew you had done something last night and you had to deal with it? So again, it was just another twist to this maze of this story.”

“I tried to layer a lot into the movie because for me, when I watch a movie I want it to engage [me on] multiple levels--not just like viscerally, but also intellectually, spiritually. I wanted to go after that in this film,” Wolf further elaborated. He continued to pull out all the stops and created an additional dimension to Marcus’ trouble psyche.

“The sexual addiction that he suffers from, it’s really just an extension of his character. You would think that the journey is ‘Who did it?,’ but there are also other journeys that [Marcus] goes on in the film as well. There are deeper things going on than he realizes,” Wolf said. “[This] for me is fun to kind of explore as a writer and a director and I think [for] the audience to explore, too. So I tried to make a thriller that works on multiple levels.”
This technique completely immerses the audience in the lead character’s arc of self-discovery for the truth behind his nocturnal alter ego. “I wanted the audience to experience what Marcus was experiencing,” Wolf explained. “His journey is also their journey as well. And that helped me as a writer to craft the movie, because I would just think, what if I were that character, what would I be doing to find out the truth of this, what would I be experiencing? I would then try to take that and sort of formulate that into the story.”

Just as In My Sleep hits theaters in L.A. and New York to hopefully find its audience, Wolf has begun work to finance his next project. “My next film is going to be called Man Versus Life. It is a dramedy about a man who kidnaps an aging Western movie star to teach his terminally ill brother how to be a real man.”

Wolf plans to continue to write, direct and produce his own material. “That’s sort of my dream, (but) I would be completely open to something that I didn’t write,” he laughed. “I definitely don’t have the corner on fantastic stories!”

And thanks to In My Sleep, Winchester also has a unique new skill to add to his resume. “I can swim with a knife in my mouth!” he laughed.
In My Sleep is now playing limited engagements in Los Angeles and New York City.

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