The story begins with the character Mitch [Sean], who is clearly up to something and not mentally intact. For the first nine minutes of the film, the camera follows him as he goes out to the middle of the lake. He later sees a man draped over some debris from a small engine float plane - Kelly, seriously injured and unconscious.
To help the injured man, Mitch attempts to reach the shore, but he invariably runs out of gas. Once Kelly wakes, the pair are in constant conflict, with Kelly eventually finding out that Mitch had intended to commit suicide in Lake Michigan. The plot then develops into a mutual co-dependent relationship, wherein Kelly has to stay alive to keep Mitch alive and Mitch has to stay alive to keep Kelly alive.
In essence, they each become each other’s guardian angels. Gendelman says the story is ultimately about hope, the plaguing yet moving realization that “even on the darkest of days there’s light."Sean was Gendelman's first choice for portraying Mitch, and Cates has known Sean for many years. (Cates's father, Gilbert Cates, directed Sean's mother, Patty Duke, in several films, including "Call Me Anna.")
The Surface is due to begin filming in Milwaukee, WI and Lake Michigan later this month.
You can listen to the full interview here, but beware of significant spoilers!
|Storyboard from The Surface|