Through Diego Contreras’ lens, our eyes are being opened to the thoughts of an elderly man who struggles to adapt to his recent blindness.
The story was inspired by the idea that, when everything seams lost, when life feels unbearable, there’s something that lifts you up.
In Open your eyes, we meet a blind father who is struggling with a recent blindness, and a constant feeling of loneliness. His daughter returns home for his birthday and takes him on a journey to many of the places that marked his childhood. This experience helps him open up again and lets happiness back into his life. In a more metaphorical way, it brings him out of the shadows.
Narrated through a thank-you poem written by the father to his daughter, we’re left to see the world through his eyes, even as he can’t see for himself.
I enjoyed how the director played with the shadows and the light. I thought it was a superficial use of lens flare, yet the light only appeared once the daughter came into the picture and literally made light by removing the curtains.
The images, how we are introduced to the beauty of the region and the dynamic frames that present the old man just make you ask yourself “what’s this all about?”. His voice draws you into the story and keeps you on your toes, making you curiously expecting the next frames. Yet, the chosen music transforms the story from something sad into something filled with hope.
The movie was filmed in the Louisiana. It was actually a goal for Diego, as he was fascinated by the swampy lowlands.
“I try to write my stories in places that I’d love to go see, but haven’t been before.
That way, filming is a new experience and if I can capture that feeling, then other people will feel something similar, that sense of exploration,” says Diego.
Director: Diego Contreras
Cast: Lafair Hebert, Jessica Swopshire
Writer: Diego Contreras
Director Of Photography: Khalid Mohtaseb
Producer: Brendan Cochrane
Co-Producers: Diego Contreras, Khalid Mohtaseb
Production Designer: Joseph Sciacca
Location Manager: Julie Bordelon
Editor: Adam Rudd, Final Cut
Edit Assistant: Nicke Hupp
Edit Producer: Suzy Ramirez
Colorist: Diego Contreras
Sound Design & Mix: Defacto Sound
Original Score: Ryan Taubert
Gaffer / 2nd Unit DP: Daniel Stewart
1st AC: Jared Knecht
Steadycam Operator: Mike Wilson
Key Grip: Aaron “Otter” Moore
Prop Master: Madison Hatch
Art Assistant: Brooke Taylor
Aerial Photography: Aerial Imagery Works
Behind-the-scenes: David Gamboa
Key Grip: Aaron “Otter” Moore
Stylist: Saury Contreras-Armenta
Hair/Makeup: Diana Solano
Production Assistant: Robert Tarleton, Albert Dat Tim Johnson
Production Company: NYLAHD
Voiceover Writer: El Jefe
Voiceover Actor: William Bryan
Additional Cast: Michelle Jeanmard, Chubby Carrier, Jovan Williams, Gabriel Perrodin, Emmett Carson, Patricia Hebert, Ora Hebert, Rachel Bruno, Melena Naumann, John Naumann
Tech Sponsors: Red Digital Cinema, Glyph Hard Drives
visit the lincoln website and you will get a closer look on the steps taken in creating this amazing movie.
Looking over the official presentation of the project, I found out that Open your Eyes had more then 20 hours of footage and got trimmed down into 5 minutes. Dunno if I need to feel sorry, or to be grateful, that Diego edited the film in such a way that it didn’t lose its soul.
Diego Contreras is a Guatemalan director based in New York City. He’s created award-winning advertising film campaigns for brands including Google Glass, Microsoft, Converse, Budweiser, and Mini Cooper. Diego was recently selected as one of Shoot Magazine’s New Directors Showcase 2014. View more of his films and advertising work at thisisdiego.net