|The Sensation of Sight Production Notes
When life becomes a second language ...
The Sensation of Sight, written and directed by Aaron J. Wiederspahn, was filmed over eighteen days in October/November 2005. The entire filming took place on location in Peterborough, New Hampshire, with key cast and crew coming from Los Angeles and New York. The supporting crew was brought in from the local New Hampshire and Boston, Massachusetts areas.
After forming a limited liability company in the summer/fall of 2004, either/or films co-founders Buzz McLaughlin and Aaron J. Wiederspahn set out to raise the necessary monies for the production of their first feature film. In hope of having creative freedom with their project, they sought the monies door-to-door, so to speak, without the aid of any third party involvementoften a far more difficult road. Needless to say, being complete newbies in the film industryBuzz having spent the wealth of his career as a playwright, professor of playwriting, and producing artistic director of a professional theatre in New Jersey; Aaron having spent the majority of his days in the independent music world based out of Orlando, Floridathey soon discovered themselves on board the ride of their lives and that, indeed, the learning curve in the road was sharp. However, embracing tenacity like a brother and with strong support from the New Hampshire film office, they pressed onward with several meetings with a great many individuals and the budget was at last secured entirely from sources of private equity.
Why the reason for such tenacity? Why the choosing of the difficult road? Why do many independent filmmakers endure this struggle? When actor David Strathairn signed on to do the film, saying of the story, “I loved it immediately ... it’s about the big and small banana peels we all slip on,” Buzz and Aaron knew that there must be others who would understand why one embraces such a journey. It comes down to the passion for the story. The Sensation of Sight is a discovery of hope amidst the wounded hearts of human beings coping with grief and despair. And in a world overwrought with cynicism, stories imbued with hope are simply in need of being told. It seems there is a lack of creation of cinema given over to the quiet places of one's heart. Yet these are the stories wanting to be told, where there is room for the audience to stand before a work of art in contemplation of how we should live and whythat which truly brings us together.
Buzz and Aaron’s journey began with high aspirations. They ask, “Haven’t common human threads always been birth, life, and death, and how we manage to traverse through the grind of it all?” And then go on to say, “We must create cinema where there is room for us to explore the beauty that is man, and the world in which he lives. It's who and where we are, after all.” So, to tell stories in original ways, with room for the audience to breathe, not infringing upon another's moral imagination, respecting the journey of human life, reminding us of who we are as a people, who we have been, and who we can become, these are the stories, the cinema that Buzz and Aaron long to create. And their reason for choosing the difficult road is clear to them, “When life becomes a second language, somebody has to search for the hope.
It all began with a dream: a man selling encyclopedias. Three times, in fact, the dream occurred, always leaving me with the same questions. Who was this man? Why was he selling encyclopedias? Why did he appear desperate, yet curiously not without hope? Why? Why?
Feeling left with no alternative, as a veritable “divine madness” takes hold, I set out in pursuit of the answers to these questions, but ultimately, as I have now realized, ultimately set out in effort to discover, to delve into the fabric of an intricate human tapestry. This man selling encyclopedias, for example, I soon learned was named Finn. Finn, through means seemingly absurd, was in search of an answer to a tragedy. While searching for an answer he soon encountered various other lives, lives also in search of answers to their own tragedies of sorts. He encountered characters such as Tripp and Drifter, Dylan and Alice and Ruthie, Tucker and Daisy, his wife Deanna, and Josh, his son, a whispered voice asking him to, “Wake up. Please, wake up.” Yes, these lives, these people were most definitely, as my days post-dream made obvious, colored so much like you and me: a human tapestry. These were human beings upon the stage of life, looking for hope, looking for redemption, looking for a break, looking for life, living their lives, always trying, always searching for light. And so I knew without reservation that I must make this film, explore their story, our story, and that I, like them, must too search for light, light which is certainly responsible for The Sensation of Sight.
For me, my vision is clear, at least as clear as may be for one who but sees through a glass dimly: I exist to create cinema that provokes the audience to engage with the providential mystery of grace. I exist to create cinema that cultivates the discovery of truth. I exist to create cinema that celebrates the wonder of mystery. I exist to create cinema that dives into the mire of man surfacing with a pearl of hope.
- Aaron J. Wiederspahn