My Walk Home
For Alex, a simple walk home from work is anything but safe. Danger could be around any corner, for a woman walking home alone, at night.
Lindsay Heatley is a writer and director, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work centers around stories of underrepresented communities. Her short films have covered topics from immigration to drag performance. Lindsay’s most recent film, My Walk Home, is a story about the harassment most women encounter in their day to day life She hopes to continue using her skills as a writer and director, to share stories of oppressed communities and peoples, through the medium of film.
1. I was really struck by your film. It was such a familiar experience and completely resonated with me and I believe it resonates to many people, specifically women. How did you develop the story?
First of all, thank you! This story was created to share this universal story with those who don’t experience the fear of walking home alone at night. The story was born out of a conversation I had at work. A group of male coworkers, who I consider close friends, made the comment that women seem to have it easier than men now. Basically implying the problem of sexism, and all the connotations that go with it, seems to have been solved. For me, film is the best way to put someone in my shoes. To share a personal experience with someone that can’t experience it because of gender, race, or class. Something as basic as walking home alone can be terrifying for women, it’s ingrained in our society. I chose this specific topic because it speaks to the larger issue of violence towards women that is accepted in our society. We learn to deal with it instead of society trying to solve it. The purpose of this film was to share this experience and I’m glad it resonated!
2. I loved the use of camera movement. The scene where you can’t fully see if a person is walking behind and the camera moves back and forth, swaying on the main character, like eyes darting frantically. Can you tell us how you went about achieving the sense of anxiety in the film?
I wanted the audience to be in the main character, Alex’s head. My DP, Neil Solberg, and I felt the best way to achieve that was tight, handheld shots. I wanted the audience to see the micromovements she was making to protect herself. When you are being followed you don’t want to attract attention. You try to keep calm, not give off any sign of fear, but internally your heart, your mind, everything is racing. I wanted the audience to feel her adrenaline pumping in her veins, to feel and share her fear. To be right in her face, that was the best way to share it. So much credit goes to my actor, Sofia Embid. To share that much emotion with a camera directly in your face is truly a credit to her acting ability. She nailed it, we just had to point the camera.
3. There were so many aspects that made me think of how a simple task can go differently depending on who is the protagonist. And how something so horrifying can happen so often that it becomes a regular part of a persons life and they learn to adapt to it. How has the reception been from men who have viewed the film?
The reception from men has been incredibly positive. When I first came up with this story, I just assumed it was common knowledge. If you’re walking home alone, you carry keys in your hand, pepper spray, you’re ready to go into war. What shocked me most, was how few men knew about this common female experience. The men who’ve seen it have had emotional responses. It is incredibly encouraging to see them truly grasp the experience we feel. When my DP read the script he was almost as adamant as me that the story be told! I am heartened to say it has been a very positive reception.
4. What do you hope the audience will take away from this story?
Universality. I want the audience to understand what it feels like to be Alex. To understand and apply it to their life. Look out for each other and understand that everyone is on a different journey.
5. Do you have any future film / art projects you can tell us about?
Yes! I was able to develop my first feature film script, Las Muertas, over the summer. It is a dia de los muertos centric horror film exploring a young woman’s grief over the loss of her sister. I am currently in pre-production and hope to begin shooting in 2022.
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