CAST IN GRAY is an original screenplay written by I. Michael Toth. Conceived as a short film, the screenplay is being developed into a feature film. The short film was shot on location in Macomb, IL; Richmond, IL and Chicago in March and April 2004.
In this award-winning short film from writer-director I. Michael Toth, a disillusioned man’s chance encounter with a hitchhiker and his dog forces the man to reconsider the possibilities of his life.
Stuck in a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere, a man offers shelter in his broken down car to a hitchhiker and his dog. As the hours pass and the rain continues, the man wonders if his decision to let them in was one of a series of bad choices he made in his life – or is the chance encounter with this enigmatic stranger a godsend opportunity to solve his own problems.
By I. Michael Toth
CAST IN GRAY is a film inspired by a dream I had. Early one morning, when I was in the state between dreaming and waking, the image of a car in the rain on an empty road, passing by a hitchhiker with a dog, appeared to me. This image, as well as the characters that emerged, their encounter and the beginning of the story, seemed so unusual and intriguing, that I decided to write them down before they evaporated from my memory. Soon after, I felt that this dream could become the beginning of an interesting short film. The subsequent filmmaking process was my way of exploring the mystery, meaning and ambiguity of this dream.
For some time, I couldn’t find the right title for this story. The title CAST IN GRAY imposed itself after the writing process was finished. After reading the text, I realized how appropriate the color gray was for this film. It described the mood, feeling and visual elements. Gray also represented the multiple meanings this film could offer for possible interpretations.
In this film, GRAY is the space between extreme positions in which the story and the characters find themselves: life and death, dream and reality, decision and execution, acting and real life. It is the area of never knowing for sure what one’s life is all about. Gray is also an ambiguous place where the actual difference between something “real” and something “make-believe”, disappears.
Most of the story happens during a gray day and in endless pouring rain, which gives it a certain surreal, oneiric (dreamlike) quality. The story can be interpreted as fantasy - an imagined time that exists between life and death - or as a metaphorical fable with religious (essence) or philosophical (existence) connotations.
On the other hand, the narrative is presented realistically and could be read as is, as it is offered in the “space-time” reality of the film. In other words, it is something that could happen in the real world.
While deciding on why should I make this particular story into a film, I realized that I was intrigued by the prospect of exploring the duality and coexistence of two philosophically opposing views of the world. Also, I was interested in offering at least two (or more) different ways of interpreting the same narrative film.
The question is:
Is the film a “fixed” idea upon which viewers must labor to discover the single right meaning – or is it a slippery, mysterious gray contingency with endless multiple choices – like human existence?
CAST IN GRAY
WRITTEN, DIRECTED & EDITED BY
I. Michael Toth
Frank T. Herbert
I. Michael Toth
Natasha Vuchurovich Djukich
Copyright © 2004 Life is a Dream Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Timothy Burke Stephen Angus Bibo
CAST IN GRAY
Written, Directed and Edited by I. Michael Toth