Last year, Boston-born filmmaker Ted Ryan finished his first feature film, Ocean State, about a young man trying to redeem himself by overcoming a lifelong phobia, the ocean.
“It concerns Tim Hendricks – a 26 year old New Yorker, whose aunt has offered to let him stay at her house in Rhode Island while he applies to graduate school,” Ted Ryan tells HEC.
“Looking to study phobias and how they affect the human psyche, Tim decides that the most compelling application essay he can write is a documentation of his attempt to overcome his own fear of the ocean. Therefore, Tim sets out to go swimming at the beach before he leaves Rhode Island. Nonetheless, he also meets 2 strangers who help him deal with this task - and, more importantly, the memories of his recent ex-girlfriend,” Ryan adds.
Ryan wrapped up shop in late April and the entire flic was shot in seven days in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
“I spent my summers as a youth in Narragansett,” Ryan shares with us. “So I shot the film at my Aunt’s house and housed some of the crew at my cousins”.
The main character is Keith Jordan, who plays Tim, who lives in Los Angeles. He previously starred in the feature film Make The Yuletide Gay which you can watch on Netflix streaming. Rebecca Reit, who plays Rachael, is from New Jersey. Ryan met Rebecca when he held auditions in New York City. And yup one local to boot, Jerry Kaplan, plays Larry. Kaplan lives in Somerville.
Ryan certainly isn’t new to the filmmaking world. When he attended College of the Holy Cross, he made his first short called Dishes. He shot, edited, and crewed the project completely by himself. The picture gained Ryan acceptance to Emerson College’s School of Visual Arts. After completing an internship with Jersey Films in Los Angeles, Ryan moved to New York, where he founded Modest House Productions.
It was in 2005 when Mr. Ryan first read Gus Van Sant’s autobiography. “He didn’t direct his first feature film until he was 31- which was a small feature he shot and funded independently,” Ryan tells us.“So that was sort of my goal. Keep making shorts and writing other projects and then make my own feature by the time I was 31.” He did just that.
When Ryan turned 30 last year he knew he needed to giddy up. “I finally fine tuned an older script to shoot and worked on giving my character a tangible goal so I could make a watchable feature,” Ryan shares with us. “The idea of the ocean came from the fact that my lead actor, Keith Jordan, who I have known since 2004. I thought he was really afraid of the ocean. So I thought his performance would be more genuine since he really had this fear. It turns out he wasn’t that afraid of the ocean in real life (and that I was mistaken). Still, it gave me a strong plot point to work with. Regardless, with the film being done, and I’m 31 now, I achieved my goal and am very happy,” Ryan adds.
Go to Modest House Productions dot com to watch the first seven minutes of Ocean State, it will pull you in and of course you can see Ryan’s previous work. Check out the Ocean State trailer below. It rocks!