Chicago Movies: Indie Thriller “Still” Focuses on Motion Blindness

Chicago Movies: Indie Thriller “Still” Focuses on Motion Blindness

Movies about Akinetopsia do not pop up often, if ever, which is why director Jason Coffman's story for his feature film debut is so intriguing. The aforementioned affliction is a rather frightening, extremely rare neuropsychological disorder that causes a person to see static images instead of moving objects. Imagine trying to watch a movie but only seeing a rapid collection of frames instead. Coffman's film shines focus on this incurable motion blindness in Still, an independent psychological thriller/horror feature film currently in production in Chicago.

The genesis for the story took root after director Coffman read about a person suffering an injury causing this condition in a collection of writings by Oliver Sacks titled, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales. In Still, a young woman named Alice becomes afflicted with akinetopsia after being hospitalized after an attack from interrupting a robbery in progress. As she tries to adjust to her new condition, she begins having nightmares and thinks a stranger has begun following her. Styled after psychological horror films of the ’70s with strong female leads like Let's Scare Jessica to Death and Season of the Witch, the film lays a strong foundation on character above all. As Coffman puts it, “Think La Jetée meets Let's Scare Jessica to Death.”

Who is following Alice? When will her nightmares stop being a reality?

Who is following Alice? When will her nightmares stop being a reality?

The movie is styled after several subgenres, from ’70s giallo to film noir and French New Wave films of the ’60s, as well as high-resolution digital photography. To get a sense of Jason's directorial style, see previous short films Tape, creepy as all get out The Secret Cinema, sci-fi festival entry The Gamma-Ray Man, and my personal favorite that borrows heavily from arthouse / giallo films, Una Chiave di Ghiaccio in un Campo di Lillà (A Key of Ice in a Field of Lilacs).

A CAMPAIGN is currently ongoing via Kickstarter and only has ten days to go! If the project is not funded by November 26th, no money will go toward this lovely film. Donation incentives include: SD downloads, DVDs, T-shirts, a limited edition VHS of Coffman's short film Tape, and more! Proceeds will fund the remaining location shoots needed, services, principal photography completion, editing, post-production, festival submission fees, and DVD delivery to Kickstarter backers, as well as any needed software for color grading and corrections.

Donations can also be sent without having a Kickstarter account by hitting the “Tip Jar” on any of the Still trailers on Jason Coffman's Vimeo page!

Still is a Chicago-based, independent film starring Chicago-area actors. Filming locations so far include the Half Acre Tap Room, Regulus Coffee House Company, and the Patio Theater. There isn't a lot of money to go around, and judging by Coffman's previous works, this has the potential to be something very special. If the project gets fully funded this month, a release is slated for spring of 2014.

Filming in the Half Acre Tap Room.

Filming in the Half Acre Tap Room.

Director Jason Coffman with the actresses.

Director Jason Coffman with the actresses.

I'll tell you what I know about Jason Coffman. He has his own ideas. It's pretty clear he is not interested in remaking someone else's films, rehashing tired ideas, or even using stereotypical characters in his work. His protagonists are smart or at the very least really interesting to watch. He is a huge cinefile, supporting the Chicago film scene very vocally and is a film programmer and co-director of the Chicago Cinema Society. He's written articles for HorrorHound Magazine, is a writer at, has an essay in upcoming book Hidden Horror edited by Aaron Christensen, and has presented several films at Facets’ Night School. His films contain an arthouse edge not often seen in the horror genre, so let's get this project funded!

A cool new alternative Still trailer:

Still Movie Kickstarter Campaign

Still the Movie Facebook Page

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    Kristin Wicks

    Horror movie fanatic. Sculptor of oddities. Owner of Chicago Creepster Yahoo!, festival volunteer, writer, artist, social media freelance. Officially a biomechanical Frankenlady. Doing what I can to support our spooky community.

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