Filmmaker Jason Torrance helps Kaitlyn Donovan rehearse for her role as Dorothy, one of the main characters in Torrance’s new film, “A Promise Made of Wax.”
PLATTSBURGH — A local filmmaker is seeking a few good actors and actresses to be a part of his newest independent film, “A Promise Made of Wax.”
Jason Torrance, who wrote the script and will also direct and star in the film, said there are still three lead and several supporting roles open, and that he needs both men and women in their 20s and 30s to fill them.
He will be holding an open audition Saturday, Jan. 5 at ROTA Gallery in Plattsburgh from 1-4 p.m., and filming will take place throughout January.
The movie is about three couples—one who just had a baby and is now breaking up, another who just met and are dealing with their own personal demons, and an emotionally toxic relationship between two cousins—whose lives are intertwined.
The plot sounds like a soap opera drama, but Torrance explained that, at its core, it is really an ensemble piece about betrayal.
“It’s a concerted series of sucker punches,” Torrance said.”Wax feels firm, but you apply a little pressure and it crumbles.”
“A Promise Made of Wax” will be Torrance’s third film, behind “Melodrama” and “Easter Sunday Can Never Be Lent,” both of which he plans on submitting to independent film festivals in the near future.
Torrance, who was homeschooled, got into filmmaking because he loved watching movies as a child.
Sometimes, he said, he would see eight movies in one day.
Once he discovered his love for motion pictures, Torrance started watching movies from every genre that had received good reviews, and then systematically began seeking out directors whose work he enjoyed.
“I started realizing that you have to go with your own tastes,” Torrance said. “A good rating doesn’t necessarily mean a good movie.”
Now, years later, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch have emerged as two of his favorite directors.
“If mainstream Hollywood is like fast food, Kubrick and Lynch are like gourmet meals,” Torrance said. “Sometimes you can be challenged with something you don’t like to eat, and then you come to appreciate it. Eventually you discover the richness and nutrition of it and you find yourself drawn to it more than less nourishing fare.”
Torrance, who is on the ROTA board of directors, has used ROTA Gallery as a way to make connections, and has met some of his cast at the non-profit art cooperative.
“Two years ago I was thinking of leaving the area because I didn’t see much of a future as a writer and an artist here,” Torrance said. “This place (ROTA) has been my salvation. Plattsburgh is big enough to have a larger art community, and ROTA is an invaluable venue and community resource.”
For his latest project Torrance cast Kaitlyn Donovan, whom he met at ROTA, as Dorothy, a lead character involved in one of the film’s several tumultuous relationships.
As a photographer, Donovan is more accustomed to being behind the camera, but she has wanted to act since she was young.
She worked with Torrance on a previous project, and agreed to take on the role without reading the script.
“He’s already explained the weird, outlandish parts to me,” Donovan said. “I’m preparing mentally for it, and it will be an interesting role to play. I trust Jason. He’ll make it work.”
Also involved in the film is Corey Bourgeois, who said he sees the project as a way to gain practical experience in filmmaking.
Bourgeois would ultimately like to direct, but in the meantime he is enjoying being involved in any capacity needed to complete the movie.
“I’m just looking for any experience I can get, and this is a good way to do it,” Bourgeois said. “If he (Torrance) needs me to run a camera, I’ll run a camera, if he needs me to set something up, I’ll set something up.”
Anyone interested in trying out for the film can attend the open audition at ROTA Gallery on 50 Margaret St. in Plattsburgh on Saturday, Jan. 5 from 1-4 p.m.