The story of The Lift is a reflection on the story of how it was made. This film was my first truly personal film. I was coming off the completion of my first feature Blood Ivy, which was not faring well in the festival world. I was naive enough to believe that a black and white first film would find an audience. But that led to me feeling disappointment and most importantly...It made me feel failure. I fell down. I fell down hard.
A month before filming, my mother had passed away suddenly from a car accident. I was in a terrible place. I felt failure and I felt incredibly alone. More alone than I could imagine. It was then that I remembered something my mother always told me:
"Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does anybody else."
I couldn't be that guy. My mother's son would never be that guy. I got back up. I took the feelings of loneliness and failure and I implemented them into a world I knew very well. And that world was the sport of Bodybuilding.
It is a solemn sport that requires not only physical attrition but some of the toughest mental endurance. It's you vs. yourself, in the most basic sense. Mentally and physically demanding to no one else but your own mind and body.
I knew that if I wanted to keep making self-financed films, I couldn't afford a crew. I had to learn everything on my own. This film became the best film school I could've had. Shooting, lighting, recording sound, editing, I had to learn how to do it all.
So, just like the main character solemnly working on his sport. This film was an opportunity for me to solemnly work on my craft.