A woman listens to an old tape recording that warns of a merciless master. In the prison where his captives are held, a woman, a slave to anxiety tries to find normalcy, but cannot evade the grasp of the master.

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Director’s Vision for ‘Mastered’

After speaking with a client who opened up to me about his anxiety, I was inspired to create this film Mastered. After a workout session, he explained how he felt like a “slave” or “host” to his own thoughts. We began to discuss the involuntary nature of anxiety and how it transcends our thoughts and impedes our entire body. While watching this film, I want the viewers to find a piece of themselves and to accept the reality of what they experience so that they may begin to finally speak about it, as my client did.

My decision to explore the concept through dance and movement was inspired by my wife and the concept behind her dance company, W.A.Y.S. (with all your soul). Her approach and technique is a balance of mind, spirit, and body… she doesn’t allow her dancers to practice in a mirror, so they practice allowing their bodies to be a reflection of their soul. She focuses on the essence of the feeling rather than the physical appearance of the movement.

The concepts and approach for this film are unconventional, but working with my wife and my DP, Jay Holyfield was special because we all have a level of trust and respect for each other that pours into our work. We didn’t have a strong budget for this project, so we had less than two hours in the studio that we rented. This did make the process feel extremely rushed and we didn’t have much time for safeties and re-takes, but because we understood the vision and concepts, we were able to help each other really execute where needed.

This film will forever be special to me because it marks the start of a conversation that will serve an unknown number of individuals that may suffer in silence. Growing up, I experienced a rough battle with anxiety and I was one of the many who had to suffer alone, and I had no way of expressing it. Now I do, and now I can serve others with my vision.

I am looking forward to telling more stories and using conceptual media to provoke questioning and be the catalyst for conversations that are often ignored.