Spirits, Suicide, and Starbucks

By Jay Hoppe, Staff Writer

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An unfaithful young man regrets his promise to never leave his girlfriend.

In a Starbucks coffeehouse, scriptwriter and adapter, Mig Windows, came together with her friend, Rory Owens, to discuss the making of the short film “I Never Can”. Inspired by the story “The Reconciliation” by Lafcardio Hearn, a writer best known for his books about Japanese legends and ghost stories. A fan of folktales and Japanese culture herself, Windows was motivated to create an 8-page and nearly 8 minute long modern adaptation with the help of Owens.

The short film features Jon Cates as Matt, a man with commitment issues to his girlfriend Jenny (Windows), who becomes suicidal due to his many affairs. The film is greatly focused on suicide as this played a big role in Windows’ life, in addition to horror, which is used to captivate the audience, “I wanted to emphasize scenarios of suicide, not just for those committing it, but also those it may affect and to have the audience think about the source of blame.”

 The idea for “I Never Can” begun about 10 years ago, when a young Mig acted in the play Rashomon as a medium who contacted the ghosts and spirits around her. Windows’ love for adapting, script writing, and acting led her years later to study Theater at Southern Oregon University (SOU), where she met the current members of the short film.

Windows first encountered Jon Cates when she directed a play he was in, and was impressed by his dedication as an actor. Jon also had expressed an interest in doing a film with Mig, and therefore led him to receive the male lead of “I Never Can”, “Jon remained in character even when practice was over. If we asked him questions, he’d answer them back in character.”

Connor Chaney, had been available around the time of filming and so was casted as, Sean, the best friend of Matt (Cates). Kalindi Garsia also made an appearance as one of the many women Matt had an affair with.

The film finished shooting in a week and premiered in February 2015 on Vimeo and Youtube.

After receiving high appraisal from their first film, Windows and Owens were encouraged to make a sequel, which they named “I Never Will” and is currently in production. This too will be a modern adaptation of work done by Lafcardio Hearn. Jon Cates will be returning along with Connor Chaney and Mig Windows as Jenny. Leah Zimmer is a new addition and will be making her first debut as Kim, Matt’s new love interest.

The plot of the second film is based off of the story “Of a Promise Broken” where a man promises his wife he will never love again even after she dies. However, after breaking this promise the man’s new lover is haunted by the spirit of his deceased wife.

The film is likely to be another psychological thriller, this time with a slightly larger cast, better equipment, and higher hopes for success.
“I Never Did” is the title of the anticipated third film, making the series of short films a trilogy. Unlike the previous two films, the third film will not be an adaptation, but would be “revolutionary” compared to the other films. Current cast members are anticipated to return, including supporting roles such as Kalindi Garsia. There is also a possibility that these films will be entered in a film contest in the near future, Windows says, “It will very much be its own story. There will be many twists and turns, leaving the audience questioning what is real and what is illusion.”

 

Vimeo URL: https://vimeo.com/121087498

Youtube URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEaBWbAiyzE

Also here is the url to the trailer: https://vimeo.com/121083148

 

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