REALITY CHECK developed from the need for representation of delusional characters. Did you know that delusional patients do not see their work, nor their personal lives affected by their condition? We are talking about people who live every single day with delusional ideas or thoughts that, in many cases, are completely coherent for them. And just like this, they create worlds that can be chaotic or ideal, existing only in their minds and leaving others without a chance to help as they do not realize the extent of the situation or do not know what to do about it.
The idiom ‘reality check’ is an informal English expression which references the moment when one is reminded of the state of things in the real world.
On a more professional level it is a 20-minute psychological thriller that looks to fund its production, shooting, postproduction and distribution costs through a crowdfunding campaign in Verkami.
Reality Check follows Salvador, a young patient suffering from delusional disorder, who during one of his therapy sessions starts experiencing dangerous levels of reality distortion that make him question everything in his life.
I´ve always felt compelled to tell stories with challenging narratives, a sort of mental exercise for the audience. Make them question themselves and participate, treat them not just as a passive spectator but as a seeker of truth. That’s how I came up with the tagline ‘Question everything’.
Sandro Hernández is SALVADOR BALBUENA
“Sometimes a guy like me deserves a reward for his patience, his silence”
A 26-year-old man, shy and insecure but noble. Salvador suffers from constant episodes of anxiety and depression, mainly caused by his delusional disorder, a condition he has lived with since his childhood. In Reality Check he will have to make the ultimate decision: come back to reality or get lost forever in the worlds of his mind.
Sandro Hernández is responsible for bringing him to life. A Peruvian screenwriter and director who makes his acting debut with this role, one he accepts with a sense of humility and duty. Among his previous works are “Metafísica” (2019), some music videos and independent documentaries.
Arantxa Borrajo is DR. SOFÍA CASTILLO
“Honesty is overrated, doc…”
A calm, quiet woman, heavily influenced by her drive to help other people. A psychologist for more than 10 years, she always tries to see the best positive aspects in people. In Reality Check it will be her who acts as a guide to Salvador, leading him through the fine line between reality and his delusions.
Arantxa Borrajo brings her to life. An actress and dancer from Galicia, Spain. Arantxa discovered acting 4 years ago. Short films allow her to continue discovering and experiencing this fascinating world and her limits. She takes part in this project with a lot of illusion.
Misa D’Angelo is ANDREA
“I found her, why would I wanna push the little luck I have in life?”
A woman with a high sense of resiliency and proactivity. Andrea possesses a nice, optimistic nature that she always tries to put to good use by helping others. In Reality Check she will represent Salvador’s hopes of feeling loved, reassured and protected. But… will this be enough for him to come back to reality?
Played by Misa D’Angelo, an Italian actress and singer who has lived in 8 different countries. Passionate about sharing emotions. As an actress, she has participated in short films, web series and theater plays. She is convinced that this is only the beginning in her artistic-professional career and greater opportunities are about to come.
Meriyo Guerrero is AGATHA
“Sometimes, in my dreams, I’m with Agatha… I should ask her if that’s her real name.”
Agatha is a cautious, private woman. But sweet and with a warm heart once she opens to people. As a foreign woman, she always makes an extra effort so she can stand out and be acknowledged. In Reality Check, her relationship with Salvador will be defined by a mysterious and their constant transactions as customer-supplier that threatens them both with becoming something bigger.
Played by Meriyo Guerrero. A young Colombian actress in love with arts and storytelling. She graduated in scenic arts and performing in Madrid, Spain and is always trying to work towards an acting style based on truth seeking.
Antoine Topin is PAU
“How can it exist people like that? His beauty is like a kick right in my self-esteem”
A 29-year-old man, confident and sure of himself. Attractive and with a magnetic charm, tools he always uses to get his goals. He means good, even though sometimes he comes across as an arrogant person. In Reality Check we will know her through the lenses of Salvador’s vision, as the epitome of the perfect, normal life he wants to achieve.
Antoine Topin brings him to life. Musician for more than 10 years, during 2019 he started his training in acting techniques based on the use of emotions that unify his artistic project with the love message he wants to share with the audience.
Reality Check is a short film with different meanings and arguments. As it is not, strictly speaking, a psychological thriller, it borrows some elements from this genre and mixes them with components from mystery and surreal films that looks to expand the small knowledge there is about a relatively unknown topic like the delusional disorder and its relation with the human condition of the main character.
As a protagonist, Salvador is defined by the contrast of his human aspect, his need of enjoying experiences that make him feel normal and adequate, and on the other hand, the delusional condition that constitutes his biggest obstacle in his search of plenitude inside the real world which results in a continuous alienation from society.
As the narrative progresses, the therapy session between Salvador and Dr. Castillo works as a guiding thread that allows us to navigate between the different flashbacks in which we learn his way of relating to the rest of the characters.
There is, however, a dissonant element in these flashbacks that gives us a feeling of uncertainty about the experiences Salvador shares. They make us question their veracity and this is shown through a different use of light, color, music and space that is distinct and unlike anything a ‘normal’ person would perceive.
The team behind Reality Check has different backgrounds and nationalities. Some of us took part in the crowdfunding campaign for the short film “Metafísica”, that was successfully completed during June 2018.
Our intention is to present the project in an interesting, attractive way while generating awareness about delusional disorder, all this from our place in fiction.
To know more about Metafísica and Reality Check’s preproduction process, you can follow us on @subliminalproductions
Script and Director: Sandro Hernández (@sheror93)
1st Assistant Director: Marc Barea (@sesmallor)
2nd Assistant Director: Marina Pons (@marinapons03)
Script Supervisor: Andrea Burgaz (@dreamngwthdream)
Cinematography: Raúl Pacheco (@raulpacheco_92)
Electrician: João Días (@jddias56)
Production Manager: Katia Coquis (@katiacookies)
Production Assistant: Javier Borroni
Costume Designer: Mariana Domínguez (@maru.dom)
Make-up artist: Estefanía Muñoz (@estefania.m.r)
Soundtrack: Jhon Beltrán (@echoesound)
Graphic Designer: Marina Esbrí (@marinaesbri)
Storyboard Artist: Andrea González Del Riego (@levy.e2017)
Additionally, we are excited to announce our collaboration with Xabier Grey, basque singer and songwriter living in Madrid, who will include one of the songs from his upcoming EP in Reality Check's Official Soundtrack Album. You can know more about Xabier and his work here: http://www.xabiergrey.com/ and also on instagram: @xabiergrey
Also collaborating with us is Fernanda Escallón, lead singer of Savanna Soul, a colombian electronic music band. Fernanda will perform some of the tracks from Reality Check's Official Soundtrack Album. You can discover more about her and the band on social media: @cualquiermafe // @savannasoul
We have designed some exclusives rewards so that you feel confident about participating in the production of Reality Check!
Our goal was to define the visual identity using minimalism and focusing on the sensations the script transmitted us, in a way they capture Salvador’s personality and essence. All of this without overlooking important elements such as the atmospheres, colors or the overall narrative.
• Early Access to the official album with Reality Check’s soundtrack, composed and produced in Bogotá, Colombia by our talented composer Jhon Beltrán and our collaborators from the studio Echoes – Sound of the Future, the album includes city pop, bolero, atmosphere and many more tracks. You can follow and listen to more of Jhon's compositions on his soundcloud page.
• Get an exclusive sneak peek at the story behind Reality Check! With an exclusive access to the complementary material used to create the rest of the characters. You will get letters, psychological reports, Whatsapp screenshots, personal notes and our most important resource: Salvador’s journal, both physical and digital formats include an audiobook narrated by Salvador himself, so you can inhabit the worlds of his mind.
• Do you want to know how we create the world and narrative shown in ‘Reality Check’? Well now you can! Obtain the project’s dossier with lots of special documents and unreleased material such as the short film’s storyboard and illustrations, shooting plan, screenplay and shooting script and many more! So that you know first-hand all the work behind the final product shown on-screen.
• Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be on set and experience cinema in first person? We offer an exclusive private pass so you can join us during one day of shooting as an assistant supervisor. You will have the opportunity to meet the protagonists, the team and live the exhilarating experience of making cinema!
We believe all of you can be potential producers of Reality Check and that is why we encourage you to participate in this project so we can reach a common objective. All the money gathered will cover the following expenses:
• All the rentals of lighting material, camera and sound equipment, as well as art department expenses. Cinema requires technical means that perhaps many of those who will help us are not familiar with, these same means contribute to create the magic and the atmosphere that will be seen later on-screen. We will be happy to give you all the details everything, if you are interested
• Transportation and diet expenses for the artistic and technical team during shooting days. Also, location rental expenses.
• Postproduction expenses (**editing, color correction, sound mix, soundtrack**) and distribution of the film.
• The design and shipping of our physical rewards
Our goal is to make Reality Check the best version of itself and, with your support and participation, we can make it happen!
The project's script was written since Summer 2019. Pre-production started in October-November 2019, we got in touch with the different heads of department at the time and held some casting calls to cast our characters.
Since the beginning of 2020, we have been shaping the last aspects of the creative part so the artistic vision we have in mind fits the technical aspects of the project. Shooting is expected to begin in April, ideally the dates would be from the 7th to the 13th.
Summer 2020 will be used to finish editing, postproduction, color correction and grading so that we finally start the distribution process around festivals and contests around late September. We are planning on giving the rewards and the viewing link in October so you can finally enjoy the completed version of Reality Check!
Or mail us at: metafísicacortometraje@gmail.com // firstname.lastname@example.org