In Newport Beach during the evening of April 21, stars and festival attendees alike came trickling into town with excitement about the opening night of the Newport Beach Film Festival. Meeting at the Island Hotel in Newport, a small gathering was held for those in attendance where they would later make their way down the street to the Big Newport Theater for the world premiere of the film, “After the Reality” directed by David Anderson. The stars took on a windy Thursday night to talk with press about the film as well as what they are currently working on.
Lined up outside the Big Newport where ticketholders of the opening night film who awaited their entry to the theater. As the time finally came, the Newport Beach Film Festival volunteers and staff ushered everyone in to watch the film on the big screen. Within no time the theaters filled with the smell of buttered popcorn and excited chatter from those sitting in the movie theater seats.
Introducing the film was Newport Beach Film Festival’s Executive Director, Gregg Schwenk, who later brought along director of the film, David Anderson and the star, Matthew Morrison. Announcing their desire for the audience to enjoy the film and have a good night, they soon left in time for the lights to dim and the previews to begin.
The immediate opening of “After the Reality” consisted of a somewhat mockery of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” television show, which plays a vital role in the film and the character’s progressions. Morrison’s character, Scottie is seen as a contestant on the show who later had to leave due to the death of his father. With the loss of his father, Scottie agrees to meet with and help his sister, Kate and her boyfriend, Fitz pack up his father’s old cabin. Commenting on his time as a reality star contestant on the bachelorette-type show, his sister comes to notice that something is noticeably wrong his Scottie as his reaction changes when the show is mentioned. Throughout the film, clips are shown from the reality show, “Young Bucks” which show his immediate connection with the bachelorette herself, Kelly, making his departure of the show to take care of his father’s death all that much more difficult.
With the help of Kate’s boyfriend, Scottie ventures off into town leaving Kate and Fitz to do the majority of the house work. Coming back usually around evening or late night, he and Kate go through their childhood memories of their father. Still leaving behind a mystery as to what happened during his time on the reality show, never giving an explanation for his injured hand and not opening up to his sister about what is happening in his life, Scottie’s character leaves the audience perplexed yet intrigued as to why he is so shut off when it comes to speaking about his personal life.
As the film draws to a close, despite arguments, unplanned events, even threats to call police, it is clear to see the growth of independance and love for each other that is shown through Scottie and Kelly’s characters. Kelly gets rid of negative memories from her past to make way for new ones as Scottie surprises her by showing up to help her with his future cleared of his reality television past.
Director and writer of “After the Reality”, David Anderson did a terrific job incorporating clips from the reality show as well as telling the story outside of the show. It was an interesting transition due to how often the show was brought into play throughout the film, but the flow of the storyline was still easily accessible to those watching.
Anderson said that the film idea came from his experience after losing his father when he did not know how to necessarily grieve the loss. He began watching ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and began to feel bad for the men on the show as they were falling in love on such a fabricated and heavily edited show. Incorporating the two worlds of reality show and reality in the movie was a challenging emotion for the characters as they had to challenge both worlds as there were multiple ways to grieve on and off television.
When it came to casting, Anderson explained that Matthew Morrison was on his mind when overlooking the script which then led to Sarah Chalke encapsulating the role of Kate. For an actor like Morrison, “After the Reality” explored his acting range as he encapsulated sorrow and sadness in a somewhat deeper character than most are used to seeing him portrayed. Filming in two locations helped bring the characters to life even more than the actors themselves. The cabin scenes were filmed in Minnesota with only one camera whereas the reality show portion was filmed in Malibu with two cameras giving it a real television look.
David Anderson has hopes to be in production with a new thriller film having to do with the American school system.