Friday, November 13, 2020

|Podcast| The Fourth Wall - Kelsey Bollig

Photo Content from Kelsey Bollig

Kelsey Bollig is an Multi - Award Winning Director, Screenwriter, and Producer currently based out of Los Angeles.

From 30 Shattered Bones To Oscar Consideration
The Fourth Wall qualifies for Academy Award contention after a grisly accident
left writer/director Kelsey Bollig battling for her life.

Four days before writer/director Bollig was supposed to fly to Paris to begin filming The Fourth Wall, an SUV ran over and dragged her body 30 feet while driving over 30 miles an hour.

“I remember being awake for all of it. I remember first being on top of the car, and then under it. I remember seeing the car tires come at me and feeling the concrete ripping my skin apart. I was still conscious when the car tires went over me before I passed out from the pain. I woke up on the concrete surrounded by people. I remember trying to move and hearing what sounded like bubbles popping. I found out later that it was the sound of over 30 shattered bones cracking even further. For the first three days, the ER doctors couldn’t even tell me if I was going to live. Nothing puts things into perspective like that. Nothing.” 
Kelsey Bollig

Over 30 bones were completely shattered, her lungs punctured, and her spleen and liver lacerated. Her ribs were so badly annihilated that ER doctors had to physically move the entire rib cage to insert a tube into her lungs to remove pooling blood. Over half the skin on her body was ripped off from road burn and her pelvis fractured so badly that the doctors were concerned she wouldn’t be able to walk.

Bollig spent the next three months in the hospital undergoing surgery and high-intensive physical therapy, relearning basic functions like how to sit up, feed herself, and finally, how to walk. Understandably, Bollig went through a bout of deep depression and, at her lowest point, considered giving up directing the film altogether. However Edelweiss Executive Producer Victoria Lacoste wasn’t hearing it.

“She wouldn’t let me put down the film. I remember trying to tell her to move on with another director and her telling me ‘We aren’t having this conversation.’ Victoria took those three months that I was recovering to push back and prepare the entire production for when I felt ready enough to travel.” Kelsey Bollig

Just one month later with her cane in hand, Bollig finally boarded her flight to Paris to begin shooting.

“When we finally started filming, I became obsessive. Nothing else mattered - just the film and it had to be perfect. The pain became secondary, even though it was beyond excruciating. Being obsessive is pretty much my normal process when filming, but with The Fourth Wall, it became a survival tactic. Making The Fourth Wall felt truly like a matter of life and death. It was my way of reclaiming myself, even though I was fighting through the pain with every breath.” Kelsey Bollig

Lacoste’s commitment to Bollig’s vision paid off, with 5 nominations and 2 wins (Best Director at HorrorHounds Film Festival and Best Female Filmmaker at NOLA Horror) within the first two months of entering the film festival circuit.

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‘The Fourth Wall’ bloomed out of tragedy. Although it wasn’t intended to be a beacon of hope for myself and for my EP Victoria Lacoste, it turned into the light at a very long tunnel. 3 days before my flight to scout in Paris in June 2019, I was run over by a car. 30 of my bones were broken. I lacerated my spleen, liver and punctured both my lungs. During my month-long stay in the hospital, and a brief stint fighting for my life and ability to walk - my heart was equally breaking - I thought along with losing myself, I had lost the opportunity to film ‘The Fourth Wall.’ Little did I know that I was working with people, both in the hospital and in my cast and crew, who would not let that happen.

It took me 3 months to become well enough to fly to Paris, cane in hand. After a successful location scout, taking a giant leap of faith with crew members we knew nothing about, we were ready to film the damn thing. And thus began the journey of writing/directing a film in a language I don’t speak in a city I don’t live in with a cast and crew I would grow to call family.

Photo Content from Kelsey Bollig

’The Fourth Wall’ is about the labyrinth of sanity. It’s the interworking of one woman’s mind as she faces her decaying acting career and the moronic newcomers replacing her. Living in Los Angeles, I’ve watched both men and women sink deep into madness chasing their dreams and failing, not for lack of talent, but because they didn’t fit the mold society accepts as “star material.” This lack of diversity and these unfair standards inspired the script for ‘The Fourth Wall’ which addresses the personalities succeeding within the industry and plays on these extremes in a moody and satirical manner. 

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ became the perfect frame to place these stereotypes as it’s one of Shakespeare’s only comedies that doesn’t involve any type of tragedy. The perfect contrast of lightness to the darkness that’s evolving backstage. 

The unique twist in ‘The Fourth Wall,’ and the elephant in the room when people learn about this project, is that it’s set in Paris and spoken in French - while I’m an American filmmaker who speaks English. I felt it necessary to set this story in France because I wanted to reconnect American cinema to the birthplace of cinema while also blending french and American culture and taste.
The result? An explosion of perfectionists and passion with a dash of madness.

Chloé is a serious actress who's spent her life on the stages of Paris. The result? She has been chipped down into a product of the scrutiny and unfair politics that infest the entertainment industry. Doomed to star in one last performance of Shakespeare's 'A Mid-Summer Night's Dream,' Chloé fights for her moment in the spotlight amongst the self-serving newcomers she is forced to share the stage with. How far will she go to be the star of the show?

Written/Directed by Kelsey Bollig 
DOP : Ludovica Isidori 
EP : Brook Productions 
Cast: Lizzie Brocheré as Chloé, Roby Schinasi as Louise, Victoria Lacoste as Alice and Jacqueline Bell as Jennifer
Production Company: Edelweiss Productions

Edelweiss Productions is a US and Switzerland-based, multi-faceted and multi-genred film production company that seeks to push boundaries and elevate within the film sphere.

Productions focus on storytelling over distribution and range from small to large budget films told from every perspective.
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