January 31st, 2014 14:27 EST
Jennifer Scott with "Eyes Upon Waking"
By Michael Haberfelner
Taren takes pills. Pills to end it all because she doesn`t want to live anymore. It`s not her first attempt to end it all, but the first time with pills. However, it`s another failed attempt, as Taren lands in ER just in time, and she has her stomach pumped out. Taren`s attitude towards all of her saviours only suggests that she can`t wait to get out " to try to take her life again of course, though maybe another way " hey, eventually she just has to succeed, right? Well, no such luck, as once released from hospital, instead of being left to herself again, she`s shipped off to an observation facility, where it`s made sure that she doesn`t do something stupid in the near future " much to Taren`s dismay, obviously "
Taren in Eyes Upon Waking is played by Jennifer Scott, a veteran American actress whose first (uncredited) appearance in a film dates back to 1984 (Sixteen Candles) but whose career really took off only in recent years " and it`s only fitting that she would play Taren, too, because the film is based on a true story, hers, and she has written the film`s screenplay together with writing partner Andy Golub. And she is producing the film.
In her own words, Eyes Upon Waking is a passion project, told from my heart, about the disease of suicide and how it is misunderstood by society. This film uncovers the darkness in the minds of those who suffer from their emotions, yet shows how light can be found with the right kind of help. Those who are lost to us cannot be returned " I want to bring awareness of what they went through to those they`ve left behind. It is for any person with a friend or family member who has taken their own life, and is left asking why " and I realized if I was going to get Eyes Upon Waking made, then I needed to not just sit back and hope someone would want to take on this project for me. So I figured I`d start learning about producing so I could move things forward. "
Jennifer Scott has come a long way since her own suicidal days, she has not only overcome her urges but has become a regular powerhouse over the years since, has picked up production to not only get a hold on her own story and her own career, but also to get a bunch of unusual projects off the ground, including indie action director Bennie Woodell`s romance Je t`aime, au revoir, the instant cult classic Sid Haig starrer High on the Hog, the touching short The Stray by Ryo Rex, and of course Timothy Zwica`s giant killer bee movie The Nest.
An eclectic bunch indeed, so what qualities does Jennifer look for in projects that she intends to produce?
I`m looking for projects that will not only have a market but will bring in an appeal because of their uniqueness. It all comes down to how solid the story is. Without a good story you will not have a good movie. As a producer I need to prove that I can get my investors a return on their money. In order to achieve this I need to build up great relations with distribution. I am very honest in my approach and am a no-bullshit kinda gal. I would love to earn the respect in this industry so I can continue to move forward onto bigger projects. "
As an actress, Jennifer Scott has only recently starred in Ira Farmer`s movie The Other Side of the Door, in which she plays a mother who has been released from prison only recently but put under house arrest, and now she has to come to terms with her daughter and defend herself against her abusive boyfriend ".
Next Jennifer Scott will star in Tommy Lomai " Sigmon`s Sin Verite, a film about a self-destructive actress getting in touch with a radical group of actors who act out dangerous scenarios, which seems to put her career on a downward spiral. Jennifer felt strongly enough about the movie that she also decided to handle the production side of things on Sin Verite.
What her characters in both films have in common is that they are both great roles for dedicated actresses " but at the same time they`re anything but glamourous. Says Jennifer about her choice of roles: As an actress I`m always looking for new roles to challenge me. I discovered a few years back that I am a character actress so I bring into the role what fits best " and We expose our vulnerability as human beings on a daily basis; the actor`s job is to interpret those vulnerabilities in every style of performance. "
Which brings us back to Eyes Upon Waking of course, a film for which Jennifer has to revisit some of the darkest and most vulnerable moments of her life to make this passion project work. My challenge right now is to bring in that sadness that I went through because it has been 11 years since my last two attempts and I am so much stronger now. So now I am approaching it as an actor and not making it personal, " says Jennifer.
The film is presently still in pre-production, with only the movie`s opening (above) filmed as of now, but it`s most certainly destined to be a remarkable film just as Jennifer Scott is a woman to look out for, both as an actress and a producer.