The project, written by long time collaborators Jae Patrick and Allen Regimbal , wrapped filming in March of 2022 and has had a patient road through post production. We caught up with Jae Patrick recently at a fundraising event for his next project and asked him for an update.
"With small indy shorts like this you obviously have to be conscious of the budget at all times, but also ferociously protective of the project and its integrity. I recently spoke with (Ana)Tasha (Blakely), the films director, and her team was a little unhappy with the submitted sound editing so we sent it back for a little tweaking. It's so important to me that her work be protected and presented the way she dreamed it up in her head on set. So when we have it exactly the way we all want, that's when we will heading out for festival submissions. No one wants to sit in the theater and see this on the screen more than us."
Anatasha Blakely blasted out of a canon in 2021 when she premiered her nerve wracking short film Inch Thick, Knee Deep. In addition to winning BEST ACTRESS IN A SHORT FILM at the 2022 Houston Horror Film Festival, Blakely received a standing ovation after her screening of the film at the 2021 LA ScreamFest. It was at that festival that screenwriter Jae Patrick met Blakely.
The story goes, Patrick invited Blakely and her production partner and husband Jacob Sorling to appear as guests on his podcast THE INFAMOUS CHRONICLES after seeing the screening at ScreamFest.
During the 2021 episode, which can be heard at the link above, Patrick mentioned to Blakely he and long-time friend and collaborator Allen Regimbal, an actor with a healthy resume in horror himself, had written a short film about a married couple trying to survive a pandemic furlough together. It was this brief mention that opened the door to Blakely and Sorling coming aboard the film later that year, with Blakely directing as her follow up to INCH THICK, KNEE DEEP, and her and Sorling producing alongside Patrick and Regimbal through their DARKLIN FILMS banner.
The film entered into preproduction very quickly and casting began shortly after. Regimbal stepped in as the second lead of Ben, but the hunt was on for the lead of the film, Abby. A wide search was held in Los Angeles for an actress that could carry the brevity of the role. The role was finally nailed down to two finalists, Madison Savoie and Natalie Pollison.
Eventually, the lead role of Abby was offered to Savoie, who accepted and filming was set to begin February 2022. This, however, was not the end of the story for the character of Abby,
Several days before filming was to begin, Savoie contacted the producers to inform them that she had come into close contact with someone with COVID-19. Due to extremely strict filming and insurance guidelines for COVID and the tight timeline producers quickly and respectfully informed Savoie they would have to move onto the next candidate, Thus, with than less a week before filming began, Polisson accepted the role. While early screenings have reported overwhelmingly positive feedback for Polisson's gut-wrenching portrayal of Abby, Savoie would also fare well; going onto to star in two more films in 2022.
As filming commenced, Blakely asked the producers and writers (also Patrick and Regimbal) how they would feel about a shift in focus from Ben's experience of what was happening to Abby's. They were in complete support of the directors vision. When asked about working with them, Blakely had this to say of Patrick and Regimbal:
"These guys are simply the best. We learned so much about what to expect from producers who really empower you and trust you and they have set the bar for how we want to collaborate in this business."
In addition to praise for Pollison's turn as Abby, there has also been praise for Blakely's direction and Samuel Ott's cinematography.
MALADJUSTMENT is expected to release in 2023.