Based on the short story by acclaimed author Katharine Weber, “Sleeping” is a coming-of-age tale about a young girl named Harriet who accepts a babysitting job, where the parents instruct her not to check on the baby. As the night unfolds, and Harriet fights her growing temptation to look in on the baby, she is brought to a cathartic moment of self-discovery.
From the Director
Those were the words that had me hooked, set my mind racing. Buried in the folds of a flash-fiction anthology, I happened upon Katharine Weber’s story, “Sleeping,” and by the final poignant lines, I had found my next project.
In early-to-mid-2007 I felt a nervous chill in the air, a celestial warning of the impending WGA strike. Suspecting I would be out of work by the end of the year, I wanted to squeeze in a short film; this time an adaptation. From there I embarked on a journey that’s probably quite familiar to most filmmakers, and once again highlights the reasons I do this: human experience in all its forms.
“Sleeping” is a story about compassion and responsibility. I have always been fascinated by these concepts and their apparent decreasing presence in our world. I have no doubt that these themes will surface in all my future work, in one way or another. In this case, the film serves as a counterpoint to poor spousing, poor parenting, and its resulting dispassionate, materialistic children. This story features the opposite of these. The conflict arises when a young girl and a mysterious couple are thrust into a sharp learning curve. Faced with a horrific revelation, the fate of a world-microcosm rests on a thirteen year-old girls’ capacity for empathy.
To create this microcosm I was graced with the finest cast and crew imaginable. All friends, old and new, each with their own adventure story as to how they landed on our production. Among our cast, it can certainly be agreed that our shining light was the discovery of Tory Freeth, in the role of Harriet. Her level of understanding and delicate interpretation of the story and character was beyond her years (thirteen years-old at time of filming). To support her, she had an incredible team of veterans: Brahman Salem, April Parker-Jones, and Diane Hudock. Each brought a level of talent and professionalism in front of and behind the camera that drew the best out of me, each other, and the crew (which includes, among others, the amazingly talented Emily Topper [cinematographer], Kathy Ross [production designer], George Dean [music], and Ryan Reeves [editor]).
With my gifted and conscientious producing partners Frank Metayer, Christina Nayve, George Dean, Paul Sun, and our entire production team, I believe we’ve crafted a powerful little film that will spark an audience to consider its themes in their own lives. In this small way, we will have succeeded.
Director | Co-Writer | Producer