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CASTING EMILY BRIDGES (Cont.) 06/12/2012

Posted by landfallprods in Purple Mind.
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With Emily Bridges interested in reading the “Purple Mind”  script (at that early stage, still titled “Sandbox”), all I had to do was send it over and hope for a positive response.  That process took about six months.

At that early stage in November of 2009, the screenplay was complete, but as I was learning more and more about the Iraq war and that mysterious disorder called PTSD, the script was changing from week to week.

Emily’s first response was favorable.  She wrote that she was interested in playing the role of Jenna Matthews, wife of Roy, who is highly supportive of her husband finding a way past the demons which came back to haunt him from the Iraq war.

I’d always had the Matthews family finding their way to a cattle ranch out in the middle of nowhere, but had never been sold on how exactly Roy was to begin healing.

If you look into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder much, and the way soldiers deal with it, you’ll find a ton of behaviors and nearly as many approaches to healing, from spirit walks and Transcendental Meditation to service animals.  I was lucky to be talking with a director acquaintance of mine from back in the day at the American Film Institute (Jeremy Kagan) who suggested that I pick up a book by Dr. Ed Tick, “War and the Soul.”

Ed Tick, Ph.D. has been counseling soldiers suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries for thirty years and is very well known in his field.  Reading “War and the Soul” gave me a perspective I’d been lacking in my prior research in that PTSD is really more of an injury to the soul than to the physical mind.  Ed Tick’s work with soldiers from WWII and Viet Nam to the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars involves a number of practices, from taking trips to old battle grounds to participating in sweat lodges, but always with a central theme at the core – talking about the war experience.

And so, thanks to Ed tick, I was able to create the character of WEST, an older veteran who counsels soldiers returned from war in the little town close to Roy’s cattle ranch.

West brought the story together into a whole and gave it a ring of truth which resonated with not only Emily Bridges but with all the actors who would eventually come on board, all making a commitment to work for deferred pay, which became one of the keys to making “Purple Mind.”

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