Sai Selvarajan’s Audible Static NBC Universal ShortsFest’s Finalist
Lucky Post’s Sai Selvarajan presents Audible Static, the story of Thaddeus, a teenager in love. With love comes panic. Silence. Racing thoughts, but no words. Just audible static. Written, directed and edited by Selvarajan,Audible Static is one of nine finalists screening at the NBC Universal ShortsFest on Wednesday, October 18th, at 7pm at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles. The film is a work of fiction rooted in real-life experience.
“I grew up with a stutter,” explains Selvarajan. “I always wanted to make a film about stuttering, but portray it in a way that was universal. At the center, Audible Static is a love story. I started with the love story and then added the stutter as the antagonist. As someone who stutters, there was no limit to the depths I would go to try and hide it. So, instead of having a big ah-ha moment and having Thaddeus overcome his stutter, I wanted to show a real situation. I wanted to have Thaddeus try and cheat his fate.”
Starring in the film is twelve year-old Parker Baze, who earned the lead role as Thaddeus. Selvarajan met Baze at a National Stuttering Association (NSA) Teen Support Group and auditioned him for the role. For Parker, the film is a debut screen performance, and the result of intense preparation. Baze spent three months learning the technology of a tape deck, mastering the tricks of the antiquated trade - cutting, splicing and timing his voice. The young actor had previously performed on stage where the need to capture the performance without error in front of a live audience prepared him to comfortably and professionally deliver during the filming process. Sai and Parker’s easy rapport became an opportunity for the director to mentor the young actor; for both, Audible Static is the expression of shared experience brought to the screen.