Currently, Los Angeles’ population is closing in on four million people, and it’s no surprise that many arrive to fulfill their cinematic dreams. Shannon DiSalle, a director from Clarkston, MI began making films at age 10 and has not slowed down. A recent graduate of John Paul the Great Catholic University in Escondido, CA, DiSalle arrived in Los Angeles to make her small town dreams a reality. As director and writer of "After You,” DiSalle’s goal is to bring awareness of “true male masculinity,” and hopes audience goers will find the courage to speak up and not turn a blind eye on social issues.
"After You,” inspired by a photo of a young boy chasing a car,
Shannon DiSalle, right, on the set of "After You"
follows Ronny, an insecure gym employee who lives with regret following a life alternating incident that he witnessed. The story unfolds when Ronny Williams (Chris Bradley) shy and awkward, is out of his element when he finds himself at a club. His only comfort can be found in his best friend and love interest, Natalie (Andrea Fantauzzi), who tries coaxing him onto the dance floor.
Unfortunately, Ronny’s insecurity gets the best of him and another man steps in. Later that night, Natalie is drugged, and with a foggy memory, looks to Ronny to come clean about what he witnessed. "After You,” hopes to capture audiences who enjoyed Netflix’s "13 Reasons Why,” (2017); and the Brie Larson drama, "Room” (2015).
In today’s climate of women speaking their truths about abuse and assault, this film will surely resonate as audience goers will be reminded of a too often scenario of he said /she said, and right versus wrong. DiSalle reveals that as the Me Too movement grew and “survivors began to come forward and share their stories, Chris and I were saddened by the lack of true, authentic masculinity in our culture today. We wanted to tell a story that would spark conversation, support survivors and their stories, and encourage men to pursue true strength.”
DiSalle knows firsthand that indie filmmaking has its challenges, but advises aspiring filmmakers “don’t let money stop you from creating. Tell good quality stories with the equipment you have and fellow creatives, and the money will eventually come. Creating may be difficult, but not impossible.”
To make “After You,” DiSalle launched a successful crowdfunding campaign and was in charge of a crew of 30 dedicated people, all while attending college. Having a dedicated team is one of the must-haves in independent filmmaking, as many hats are being worn throughout the production day.
Filmmaking is such a creative process that the best skills to have are the ability to adapt, multitask, and solve problems without sacrificing the overall project. As a co-writer and director of the project, DiSalle was able to overcome the challenges of a tight budget by rewriting the script to accommodate locations and other production needs. DiSalle hopes to bring more awareness to “After You,” by touring in film festivals and raising the bar on what is acceptable behavior in society.
Now a certified Los Angeleno, DiSalle is working on her next script and searching for her next opportunity. She notes, “what I love most about LA are the opportunities and the challenges it has given me. It’s a city full of dreamers from all over the world, so every day I get to meet new artists who share stories like my own. Despite its vastness, it surprises me how our art brings everyone together.”
You can follow Shannon DiSalle’s content on You Tube, @ ShannonDiSalle.
DiSalle’s short film “After You” is one of the entrants in the 3rd Annual I See You Awards®. The official selections will be announced on or before July 14, 2019. Filmmakers who are interested in submitting their projects for consideration are invited to get more information and submit via FilmFreeway. Short films, feature films, documentaries and screenplays are eligible.
The Third Annual I See You Awards® will begin on Thursday, August 22 and conclude on Sunday, August 25, 2019. All events will be held at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan, just outside of Detroit.
Tickets to all events are available via FilmFreeway. Filmmakers whose projects are official selections will receive two complimentary tickets to Thursday’s film screenings and to Sunday’s Black Tie, Blue Carpet Awards ceremony. New this year, following the awards ceremony, we will be hosting an afterglow inside the Grille located just inside of the Emagine Theater. Attending filmmakers, their guests and ticket holders to the ceremony will be treated to popcorn, soda, light appetizers and entertainment! This is a one-of-a-kind event that you won’t want to miss!
Also new this year, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America – Michigan Chapter (SCDAAMI) is the official charity partner of the I See You Awards®. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold to Sunday’s awards ceremony will be donated to SCDAAMI. You can learn more about this very worthwhile organization on their website.
I See You Awards® Schedule of Events
Thursday, August 22
Full day of film screenings
(Screening Schedule TBA once the official selections are revealed)
Friday, August 23
Film industry seminar and networking
Saturday, August 24
Free Day to explore Metro Detroit
Sunday, August 25
Black Tie, Blue Carpet Awards Ceremony
The 3rd Annual I See You Awards® are sponsored by the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, Emagine Entertainment and WWJ Newsradio 950, with additional partners The Lee Group and ES Communications Agency.