Adam Morse’s debut feature is about to have its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival, an impressive feat for any budding filmmaker. It’s doubly so for Morse, however, as the writer/director has just publicly revealed that he’s legally blind. In a Guardian interview, Morse says he wanted “to stop focusing on the limitations and instead concentrate on what I could do.”
He did so with the help of his cinematographer, Michel Dierickx, as well as a 60-inch monitor and screen reader. Though the filmmaker’s director of photography was aware of his visual impairment from the outset, one person was not: star Billy Zane. “Billy didn’t know, and I only told him two days after we started filming. He didn’t believe me,” Morse said.
He also concealed his condition from at least one financier until “Lucid” had already screened for test audiences. “I didn’t want [the investors] to find out and then pull the plug on us,” he said. “I had that anxiety of being found out every time I went to a meeting with one of them. I would bump into something or they would point to something across the room or on the screen of their phone and I would have to fake it — pretend that I knew what they were looking at … None of them were any the wiser about my condition thankfully.”
“Lucid” concerns a therapist (Zane) who suggests that a patient experiment with lucid dreaming. It will have its world premiere June 23. Morse’s intent in making the film is clear: “I just want to inspire those who lack faith in the universe, spread a positive message and lead by example.”