A woman is so depressed, she conjures her childhood imaginary friend. Things go well, for a while, but her emotional baggage soon catches up to her in self-destructive ways.
WAKE UP ALONE started because I wanted to take a generational snapshot, like EASY RIDER and CLERKS. I didn’t wanna celebrate or demonize; I just wanted to be truthful. I named the main character after Ms. Winehouse originally because I knew I wanted loneliness to guide everything and there was a line in “Rehab” I gravitated to (“I just, ooh, I just need a friend”). Even titled the film after one of her songs to take things a little further. Then I remembered that I have a friend named Amy, and I did not want her to think that my Amy was supposed to be her. So I swapped the letters around and put my film in the same club as Lucky McKee’s MAY: bleak films about a lonely woman named May.
Speaking of women, I also wanted this film to fulfill a years-old promise I made to myself. To tell stories that’re either predominantly or only female. I like women and want to see them in more kinds of stories than they’ve been allowed, to play a variety of characters that they’ve never been allowed. Over the course of time, that choice became more political, but that’s fine with me. Out of the ten people involved with the making of the film, only two are men.
For some reason, the craft of filmmaking isn’t so popular these days. Few directors try to do anything visual or work with symbolism and aesthetics in any way. And don’t get me started on mumblecore. With WAKE UP ALONE, I wanted to show that craftsmanship across the board isn’t dead with at least one filmmaker. He cares about great performances, too.
I’m so grateful to everyone who gave me the opportunity to make WAKE UP ALONE, and to the women who elevated the material to astounding heights.