Traumatized by the death of his father from an opioid overdose, a young teen confronts his best friend after discovering his emerging alcoholism.

Imagine suddenly waking up covered in sweat, face pulsing from a black eye. Despair looms as your heart yearns for a lost hope. This is Ethan, our young protagonist. The sweat that covers him is nothing new. It began a few years ago, when as a boy, he discovered his lifeless father, dead from an accidental opioid overdose. The black eye, on the other hand, is something new. It’s not just painful, but a fresh reminder that he is about to lose his best friend…
This is the opening scene of Ruin Falls; a short film about loss and friendship. It follows two Texan boys at the precipice of adolescence: Ethan and Kyle. They have been friends since they can remember, but after Ethan loses his father, they became inseparable. Aimless summer days hide the signs of a fading friendship until one of them makes a discovery that will test their bond.

Why the Film is Relevant
At its heart, Ruin Falls is a lamentation on the loss of family. The opening scene shows a young man's bruised face; a face that shows the consequences of a shattered family life, and how young people deal with it in the absence of guidance. The aim of our story is to remind audiences about the importance of family and friendship.

Our Artistic Vision
Ruin Falls will be the third short film on which I've collaborated with Lance Childers. As filmmakers, Lance and I have a singular goal: seek truth-revealing beauty in our films. We intend to paint every frame with delivered strokes that show beauty in the best and worst of human experiences.
The visual style of Ruin Falls will be a progression from two films: The Gold Line, an experimental short film about skateboarding; and Sky, a short film about a young pianist who struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The narrative of The Gold Line was driven by visuals of young people skateboarding through the urban landscape of downtown Houston. The contrast between urban architecture and the warmth of friendship was highlighted by the alternate use of a handheld camera that invited the audience to experience skateboarding up-close and personal, as well as aerial “drone” shots that showed the immensity of their surroundings. While the urban setting in the The Gold Line took precedent, the mind of our protagonist took center stage in Sky through a beautifully shot dream sequence. In both short films, visuals played a critical role in telling the story. Ruins Falls will build on this style by adding long takes that invite the audience to experience the story through the young eyes of Ethan and Kyle. With myself as the director and Lance as my cinematographer, we are confident that our shared expertise and experience will impart unique and striking visuals in Ruin Falls.
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