In a world where big-budget blockbusters dominate the film industry, it’s easy to overlook the smaller, independent productions that are just as deserving of our attention. ‘Bird’s Eye Witness’ is one such film – a bizarre and intriguing indie project that promises to offer a refreshing alternative to the usual Hollywood fare.
The film’s plot centers around Randy, the owner of a failing mortuary in the town of Elderwood. In a desperate bid to save his business and his marriage, Randy turns to murder, targeting residents of the town’s retirement home. But when his wife Karen discovers his secret, Randy’s world is turned upside down, and he must face the consequences of his actions. The only witness left to testify about Randy’s misdeeds? Old Abe: an African Grey Parrot.
What sets ‘Bird’s Eye Witness’ apart from other films is its unique premise and unconventional approach to storytelling. The film’s director, Christopher Vinan, has crafted a darkly humorous tale that explores the darker side of human nature while also incorporating elements of absurdity and even surrealism.
The film features an ensemble cast of professional actors, including Oscar-nominated Eric Roberts, as well as internet celebrity Evan Breen in the lead.
The director has praised his cast, stating that they all brought their unique creativity and energy to the project. Roberts was given the freedom to improvise and his energy on set was infectious. At the same time, Evan Breen brought his own brand of humor to his character and was a natural fit for the lead role, providing the film with much of its contagious charisma.
Christopher Vinan, the writer and director of the indie film Bird’s Eye Witness, has revealed the bizarre and unexpected inspiration behind the story. The idea came to him years ago, while he was walking around his hometown of La Crescenta, California with friends. They stumbled upon a bird outside of a mortuary, screaming “Help me, help me.” Vinan was struck by the strange and haunting moment, and it stayed with him for years.
“I remember thinking of the story behind that bird and inventing this guy that kills his mother that he operates the mortuary with. But then I thought it was too similar to Psycho,” Vinan explained. He knew that the bird had to be the witness to a murder, and it wasn’t until he was a student at Berkeley that the story really started to take shape.
Vinan was struck by the idea that many medical fields are focused on prolonging life, even when it might not be the best thing for the patient. He started to imagine a character who was killing elderly people in a retirement home, not out of malice but because he believed it would bring more business to his mortuary. “I thought it would be funny for someone to be killing old people that are too old,” Vinan said.
But the story didn’t fully come together until Vinan was going through a personal breakup, grappling with issues of jealousy, possession, and trust. He channeled those emotions into the story, creating a character who kills his wife for cheating on him. The only witness to the crime is, of course, the same bird that inspired the story in the first place.
Flying High With Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts is a prolific actor with over seven hundred movies under his belt, including the Oscar-winner ‘The Dark Knight.’ Not only is he known for his legendary acting skills, but he is also a passionate supporter of emerging filmmakers. Roberts keeps himself busy by working with the most passionate filmmakers who reach out to him, making him a sought-after collaborator for up-and-coming directors and producers. His generosity and love for the craft have earned him a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most approachable and supportive figures.
Vinan shared his thoughts on what it was like collaborating with the Oscar-nominated actor, Eric Roberts, one of the most prolific Hollywood actors of all time.
“Eric Roberts is legendary for a reason and every time I work with him I can see it,” Vinan gushed. “His energy is incredible and his creative choices always surprise me.”
Vinan went on to explain how he and the rest of the crew made a conscious effort to let Roberts showcase his talents in the film. “This time we wanted to let him reign free so we created a skeleton version of the script for his scenes,” Vinan said. “We allowed him to improv with us so we could find the funniest moments as they developed.”
Vinan also praised Roberts’ ability to command attention and bring a sense of excitement to the set. “It is very fun to work with Mr. Roberts, because when he steps into a room it’s like, oh things are happening now,” Vinan said.
Vine sensation and viral YouTuber Evan Breen stars in ‘Bird’s Eye Witness’ all-star cast. Vinan praised Breen’s natural sense of humor and comedic timing, saying, “He always catches me off guard when he does a take as he brings his own flavor of comedy into the character, and it’s almost as if he’s not acting, he’s just being his regular, funny self.”
Regarding the transition from short-form internet content to a feature film for Breen, Vinan explains that that might have been one of the most challenging aspects of the film. “It is interesting working with him though because sometimes I feel like there is a bit of disconnect between long takes and the sort of takes he’s used to when it comes to making his content. Sometimes I feel like I am milking and redoing a moment he already gave me.” However, Vinan and Breen were able to discuss these differences and find a way to make them work for the film.
Despite their differences in approach, Vinan had nothing but positive things to say about Breen’s contribution to the film. “I’m very lucky that he’s joined the cast,” Vinan said. “He is just funny in every cell of him.”
Kathleen Kinmont, a well-known sensation from the 90s, is a joy to work with, according to Christopher Vinan. Her level of creativity and patience is unrivaled, and she brings so much to each scene because she really feels the script. Vinan says that working with her is almost like having a whole different layer of storytelling on top of her character, and her creative choices are always spot-on.
Others on the set have even described her energy as childlike, which Vinan agrees with. When she steps into a scene, it’s like they’re all playing.
The filmmaker had nothing but praise for Suhir Ponncchamy’s performance in the upcoming film. Vinan mentioned how unique and authentic Ponncchamy’s acting style is. He said, “Working with Suhir is fantastic because Suhir does not act. His style of performance isn’t theatrical or over-the-top. It’s always very subtle and subdued and very much like a real interaction.”
Vinan also mentioned how Ponncchamy’s performances were so realistic that people on set thought he might have actually committed a crime in the past. He added, “Very often the room goes still after he gives a performance because of how real it felt. Someone even asked him if he had actually killed someone in the past and if this was a recreation. He’s incredibly incredible.”
Despite the positive collaboration between the two, there were some creative differences that arose during the production process. Vinan revealed, “Something interesting between him and I, though, is how much he cares about detail and film logic. Very often we find ourselves semi-feuding over whether or not something would happen within the world of the story.”
Overall, it is clear that Vinan has a great deal of respect for Ponncchamy’s work and talents as an actor. With both of them bringing their unique perspectives and skills to the project, it will be interesting to see how their collaboration contributes to the final film.
‘Bird’s Eye Witness’ is currently in production, with filming slated to reach completion this March.