running out

running out - 439362

running out is a movie by Michael Lewis & Sylvia Toy that opens with a woman planning to kill herself. As the story unfolds, however, suicidality itself looms as the central character.

The movie was inspired by the approximately 2 1/2 hours my mother stayed on the phone with me the night I called her from Minneapolis to tell her that I was going to drown myself. By the end of the call, the suicidal thoughts were gone and I was alive – mad at my mother and life, but alive.

The movie is a short (final length, 26:23 mins.). The director is Michael Lewis. The production designer is Sylvia Toy.

Michael Lewis and  I, Sylvia Toy, are married collaborators with a combined 75 years of professional experience.

We have each exhibited visual art widely, including professional gallery representation during our careers; and for five years, we ran a theatre company in San Francisco ( which is still going strong four years after we and our co-founder left the company for other things. This is one of our early collaborations:

We are only interested in projects that take us – and our audience – to the edge. We met working on a performance art piece, studied dramatic writing together, toured the play JUMP around the country as a two-person production team, and have been collaborating on video art for a number of years. running out is too narrative to be video art. But because I make so much video art, my vocabulary as a visual storyteller benefits. Because of the trust Michael Lewis and I have after almost 30 years of making art together, there is “money shot” after “money shot” after “money shot” in this movie. I think if we had not improvised video art together, we could not have done this movie.