We Were Going to Start a Death Metal Band


TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production

LOGLINE

What is the space between life and death after addiction?

What happens when a person wakes up after an overdose and doesn't go to rehab or continue their habit?

SYNOPSIS

This documentary feature gives audiences a tale of addiction, dark pasts, and friendship, starring a mysterious and entertaining woman. It is driven by humor, candor, and a killer original metal soundtrack.

One night in 2015, Michelle Eastridge mixed multiple sleeping pills with heroin and was found on her bathroom floor.  Michelle was believed to not have been breathing for 40 minutes. She was given 50% chance to wake from a coma and survive. She woke up.

Michelle now suffers from severe neuroligical disorders which developed suddenly, after months of positive recovery due to her traumatic brain injury. Her condition causes her to have slowed movements, muscle spasms, and the inability to speak and walk unassisted. However, she is cognitively normal.

Michelle expresses that she wants to “tell the truth”.  After the OD, she and her boyfriend/caretaker were afraid she wouldn’t get the care she needed if doctors found out she was taking street drugs, and hadn’t overdosed on prescriptions alone, as they had been telling others. The cold and judgmental responses they received after her blood tests in the hospital had them afraid. Insurance companies frightened them into keeping the details limited to not lose coverage. It is also a raw disclosure to peers about her inconspicuous past.

This film is Michelle’s platform to be honest.. and unyealdingly hilarious.  She hopes addicts or abuse victims can see themselves in her.

Lexi Phillips is Michelle’s best friend from their teen years. Now a filmmaker in New York City, she reconnected with Michelle in  2019 over Facebook. After 10 years, and growing into adults who lead very different lives, they reunited and started their friendship over, 4 years after Michelle’s accident. Their rekindled friendship is a driving force throughout the film and Lexi’s account of Michelle’s tragedy from afar paints a different picture of what happened, as opposed to the ones close to her during that time.

Michelle's fight for mobility and beautiful spirit is captured for an audience who can revel at an astonishing pursuit.

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

I, Lexi Phillips, am Michelle’s former high school best friend. We are 33 now. We’re from a tiny, conservative Texas town, famous for its Country Music Hall of Fame. We slowly grew apart when I went to college. I tried to keep up with her during our mid 20s but with little response. At age 25, I moved to New York to persue my career in filmmaking and just have an adventurous life.

(Unfortunately our fantastical aspirations of starting a death metal band didn't work out.)

In 2015, I was devistated when I learned about her OD. For 4 years I had a completely different impression of what occurred and her condition. In 2019, after finding out over Facebook messenger what condition she was in, I kept trying to picture a life without being able to express yourself through your movements and voice. What could that possibly be like? And what had I been missing since we were young adults?

Michelle’s and my reunion after 10 years is documented as it is happening. Through her iPad voice, she told me I was a little snothead who had to be in charge of everyone in our third grade class. Yeah.. the personality is healthy.

KEY CREW

Lexi Phillips - Director

Lexi is a former cinematographer, turned post-production professional and NYFA instructor. A graduate of the University of North Texas as a Radio, TV, and Film major, she made her focus documentary filmmaking. Lexi made a career for herself as a filmmaker in New York City and is back to her roots as a documentary director. Her 2009 documentary Denton Queens was received as bold and profound. She introduced audiences to two beloved drag queens who turned a small Texas town around creating acceptance and immense entertainment. We Were Going to Start a Death Metal Band is her gift to Michelle and all the others the tragedy affected.

Wesley Newfarmer - Assistant Director

Wesley is a producer and editor. A recent transplant to New York, he has worked in production for 15 years, with projects spanning across documentary TV, news, live theater, and web series. He is very proud to be a part of the team for this important feature film.

David Ward - Producer

Based in New York City, David currently employed as the head of New York Film Academy’s Production Services Department. David has developed his skills as a Producer by taking on work as a Post Production Coordinator, Production Manager, and Production Services Supervisor. Having worked in the narrative and commercial worlds, David will make his documentary producing debut with Lexi Phillips’s We Were Going to Start a Death Metal Band.

Bill Einreinhofer - Executive Producer

Bill Einreinhofer is an American television producer, director, writer, a three time Emmy Award winner.   He has developed and produced programming for the PBS NewsHour, Good Morning America and HBO. A member of the Directors Guild of America, he was an executive producer at WNET in New York and for the PBS series INNOVATION. He produced, directed and wrote Spacewalkers: The Ultimate High-Wire Act for the Discovery Channel. He also produced and wrote numerous television programs related to China. In 2018, he was Executive Producer of the documentary Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began. It is being distributed by American Public Television (APT) to 230+ Public TV stations nationwide. These stations reach 80+% of the U.S. national television audience, and include 7 of the top 10, and 19 of the top 25 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Houston and San Francisco.

Zena Wood - Producer

Zena Wood is a Producer, Writer, First Assistant Director, Production coordinator and Performer living in New York City. After moving to New York from South Africa, she produced and AD’ed on films such as Blacklight, I Heart Jenny (Green Bay Film Festival & New Filmmakers Festival New York) and Life After Her which was selected to screen at Festival de Cannes 2017. She has also coordinated for many Fortune 500 companies and companies such as the BBC and Conde Nast Traveler. In 2019 she was selected to The Nomad Academy out of thousands of applications to travel to South America. A program aimed at inspiring individuals who are starting their own Start Ups. 

 

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