“Escape from Tomorrow” is Randy Moore’s debut feature. The Illinois-born filmmaker credits his father for passing on his passion for telling stories. He recalls making short films with a Betamax camera as far back as he can remember. But it was “Dead Poets Society” that changed his life; “Before that day, I had practically zero interest in school and was an average student at best, but something about that movie – learning to think for yourself and the bond between the kids and the teacher – moved me to the core,” he says. He and his father saw it seven more times before he returned to his mother’s house and informed her he’d be going to boarding school. “Away from everyone and on my own, I started to get serious, first with theater and creative writing, then electronic music, and finally film/video – primarily because I had wonderful teachers.”
What it’s about: “An epic battle begins when an unemployed, middle-aged father loses his sanity after a close encounter with two teenage girls on holiday.”
On his start, and where “Escape from Tomorrow” came from: “In high school, I composed a lot of electronic music using MIDI. This was before Abelton Live and other software programs were around so you could actually perform live, relatively speaking. Because of that, when it came time for a Parent’s Weekend concert, all I could do was hit play on a sequencer and stand around doing nothing. This annoyed me greatly, so I began to make short music videos, just to give the audience something to look at. But eventually, more and more people began to praise the videos over the music, which led me to three very different film schools. Full of hubris and misplaced contempt, I jumped around and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston; Columbia College, in Chicago; and Full Sail University, in Winter Park, FL, then drove to Los Angeles and started looking for work. I had some luck early on with a screenplay that was optioned but never produced, and worked as a story editor for John Daly, who produced “The Terminator” and “Platoon.” But then I turned 33 and got very depressed, so I wrote three scripts in one month and picked “Escape from Tomorrow” to be the one.”
Moore, on what the film is really about: “The film is really about defining the word ‘escape’ and how so many American households seek it out in a yearly pilgrimage to a materialistic Mecca in hopes of finding divine diversion and amusement perfected, which I believe is merely a synthesized fantasy passed on to us from early childhood. The mythos in which today’s children are raised suggests that everyone can be a prince or princess, entitled to their very own kingdom to reign over happily ever after… But these realms only exist because of their elusive corporate architects who profit in unfathomable ways, perpetuating archetypes while our fleeting children become villains and the grand delusion takes hold.”
What he hopes audiences will take away: “A rush of exhilaration and simultaneous dread.”
Inspirations for the film: “Tarkovsky’s ‘Ivan’s Childhood.'”
Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.