Daniel Pattison works with film to make a change.
He knows that the medium is powerful and, if his films help one person, then it’s worth it.
“I’m not in this to make tons of money,” the Albuquerque native says. “The films I make are a way of processing things for me. It’s therapeutic to be able to open up and create something.”
Pattison’s latest project is a short film called “Ruby’s Guide to Being Okay.”
The film follows a young woman, named Ruby, who struggles with anxiety while living and working out of a motel. She desperately wants to make a human connection, but people around her check in to check out.
Ruby uses a guide she wrote that helps her get through anxious moments.
Pattison says writing this film helped him get through the dark times he was facing.
He decided to make it and be at the helm as director.
And the script is getting buzz in the film industry.
“One director at HBO showed interest,” he says. “It also received a recommendation from wescreenplay.com as we as making it to the red list on Coverfly.”
Both sites showcase some of the best screenplays across the country.
Production on the short film will begin soon as the fundraising campaign has achieved its goal.
Pattison says an all-New Mexico cast and crew will work on the film, despite it being filmed in Los Angeles.
“We’re going to shoot it at The Pink Motel,” he says. “I have a very specific image in mind. We’re planning on a three-day, 14-hour-a-day shoot. I’m sure I won’t get any sleep.”
Like many others, Pattison was affected by the pandemic and its quarantine.
He says that, during that time, he went into a dark place and struggled with his own mental health.
“Issues I thought were resolved years ago came back up and I hit rock bottom,” he says. “Severe anxiety and depression came up. I turned to film for inspiration in the attempt to feel better because I didn’t want to feel this way. Every script I read or film I watched did not paint mental health in a great light. Everything always ended up with someone else coming in to the save the day. I thought that was extremely sad. The work starts within yourself and I felt like the message being shared was that you are incomplete unless you have someone come in and ‘fix you.’ ”
To this point, Pattison has never written anything so exposing, but he was at a low place.
“I put everything into this,” he says. “I started acting seven years ago and booked roles. I always wanted to get inside a writer’s mind. I fell in love with writing and, years ago, I wrote a feature about my dad. This is the world I want to be involved in because I can make a change.”