The Reservoir

With high school freshly in the rearview mirror and college fast approaching, Aaron (Jared Gilman, MOONRISE KINGDOM) and his best friend Grant (Eli Bridges, MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN) have played in a rock band for years. When they’re approached by a washed up manager, Eddie Iverson (Allan Greenberg, WHEN THEY SEE US), they are offered a potentially life-changing opportunity as an opener on his upcoming cross-country tour. Hesitant to give up a life he’s promised his parents for years, Aaron is stuck between disappointing his bandmate and best friend for a comfortable life or risking it all to escape suburban mediocrity.

Director’s Statement

The hardest I’ve ever seen anyone laugh was during my freshman year of college, and at my expense. I was slouched in my best friend’s dorm, layering delay-drenched licks through a loop pedal on a sunburst Les Paul. While playing, I was telling him about a girl in my screenwriting class I had a crush on. He then dared me to text her on the spot.

Persuaded by his nonchalance, I sent a confident “Hey” to a number I’d received less than 24 hours before. I went back to noodling, with the weighing anxiety we’ve all had: Is she going to respond? One minute turned to two, then to five, then to ten. I was crawling out of my skin. When fifteen hit, I snapped.

Pacing across his linoleum floor, I proclaimed that I’d single-handedly ruined any romantic prospect I’d ever have in college. Cut to my friend on the couch, stone-faced. Then, on a dime, he heaved with the hearty, breathy laughter an uncle wails while watching The Three Stooges. It was so infectious that I, in the midst of feeling like my pants had been pulled down in public, couldn’t help but chuckle alongside him at the absurdity of it all.

Years later, with graduation in the rearview mirror, we look back at this as one of the foundation moments of our friendship. So much so, that it’s recreated in the opening scene of The Reservoir, and sets the tone for the events that follow.

This is a film driven by friendship. Aaron has always lived under the watch of his parents. Grant smoked his first joint at 13. And yet, the two have never had a better time in their lives than jamming together.

This film is a love letter in many respects. To the classic rock I’ve been playing, listening to, and inspired by since age six. To coming of age comedies like Almost Famous, Dazed and Confused, and Superbad that resonated so deeply with me as a teenager. To the laughs, banter, deep conversations, passionate arguments, fights, hugs, and memories close friends thrive on.

I’ve had this film inside me for many years, and writing, directing, and composing the original music, with a little help from my talented, driven, giving cast and crew, is an experience I’ll never forget.