Manning Productions’ senior editor Chris McKay is preparing to direct his second feature. Production of suspense thriller, “Light,” is scheduled for summer, with a budget of “under a million dollars—way under,” McKay said.
He is courting investors along with producers Nicole Bernardi-Reis, and Scott Linderberger of Wayfarer Films, but McKay expects to self-finance the bulk of the project.
“Light” stars local writer-director-actor Robert Teetsov as a man having visions about a crime that occurred in his childhood neighborhood.
Mike Gillio plays the brother of Teetsov’s character, skeptical of his brother’s abilities and facing a growing suspicion that he may have been involved in the crime.
Gillio starred in McKay’s previous film, “2 wks, 1 yr.” McKay, in turn, edited Gillio’s feature directorial debut, “Kwik Stop.”
“I’ve always loved Hitchcock movies, they’re part of the reason I got into filmmaking,” McKay said. “?Light’ will be a classic suspense film where you’re questioning the main character’s intentions and motives. I want to play with memory tricks, point of view, perspective.”
He envisions “Light” as a mixed-format film, working primarily in HD, with DV for flashbacks. “After I screened ?2 wks’ at Chicago Community Cinema, the guys at Fletcher got me interested in HD as a means to keep costs down while keeping the quality up,” McKay said.
HD also will allow McKay us to use prime lenses to get really crisp images. “I want to shoot a lot with a telephoto lens to compress backgrounds, since the guy can see into the future, we can give a sense of the way the character feels through what he is seeing.”
McKay sees “Light” as a “more scripted, plot-heavy” film than the largely improvised relationship study “2 wks.” “?Light’ should really take you on a ride, but it still deals with the memory and time issues that interested me in ?2 wks.’ I can play with those ideas a lot as an editor.”
At Manning Productions, McKay has edited spots for Intel, Eli Lily, and the American Bar Association. He was a co-founder of Brand X Productions, where he cut features including “Stricken,” “35 Miles from Normal,” and “Bullet on a Wire,” before the shop closed in 1998.
For more see www.holtproductions.com.