Private Project


Left alone to caretake a gay nude resort closed for the season, a man finds himself confronted by what he can see and by what he can't. When everything is visible, when nothing is hidden, it's not just about what you see. It's also about what sees you.

  • Jody Wheeler
    The Dark Place
  • Jody Wheeler
    The Dark Place
  • Steve Parker
    The Dark Place
  • Jody Wheeler
    The Dark Place
  • Mark Cirillo
    Key Cast
  • Casey Thibodaux
    Key Cast
  • Demetris Hartman
    Key Cast
  • Jacob Betts
    Key Cast
    People You May Know
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    horror, LGBT, thriller, gay, experimental, sci-fi, narrative, nudist
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Coventry LGBTQ Festival
    United Kingdom
    May 11, 2018
Director Biography - Jody Wheeler

Jody is the writer-producer-director of the mystery-thriller film THE DARK PLACE, currently playing in festivals and soon to be available on VOD and DVD. A twisted, funny, edge-of-your-seat thriller, THE DARK PLACE stars Blaise Embry, Timo Descamps and Sean Paul Lockhart. Jody also produced the 2011 festival smash, JUDAS KISS, starring Richard Harmon, Charlie David and Sean Paul Lockhart.

He also wrote the 2009 sci-fi action feature HEAT WAVE for Regent Entertainment. His 2008 short film In The Closet was seen world-wide, and nominated for the prestigious IRIS Prize for the best in global shorts. His script PARIS, about an ass-kicking private detective who’s also gay, was a semi-finalist in the 2003 Scriptapalooza Screenplay Competition.He’s a 2006 graduate of the University of California Los Angeles’ Screenwriting program.

A former therapist and social worker, in 1993, Jody earned an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology and Human Development from George Mason University. For over a decade, he worked with diverse populations from those impacted by HIV / AIDS to abused children to the chronically mentally ill. Curiously, some days he can’t tell the difference between the Hollywood he currently works in and the psych units he used to visit.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I was naked when it all turned ominous.

On the festival circuit with my feature The Dark Place, I was enjoying an added night of hospitality at The Triangle Inn, a clothing-optional hotel hosting many of the guests and filmmakers at Palm Spring’s Cinema Diverse LGBT fest. That extra night gave me the entire compound to myself, as all my fellow attendees had checked out and the regular paying guests wouldn’t resume until the next day. So with the evening calm, the night peaceful, and the pool so very damn inviting, it was of course time for a dip.

I pushed out and floated into the center of the water, felt the hot breeze on my wet skin and watched the stars loaf about in the sky. The mountains of Taquitz Canyon held the night and the desert — and me — quiet and close, the pool now at the center of it all. The misters, perched away in hidden corners of the patio called to action only when temperatures hit too high a degree, kicked in, sending a soft stream of cool water into the hot air, manifesting a mist that curtained the pool, hid the inn, and created for me a certain and affirming solitude. Within, within, within, I had the world all to myself. Until that ominous noise I mentioned tore it all apart.

Now, when asked — or when I want to stir things up — I’ll comment that clothes are overrated. They aren’t exactly necessary in most modern contexts. Social convention, Victorian standards of modesty, and the ever present demon of body shame all line up to scare clothes on, even when comfort pleads for their removal. Swim-trunks are the best illustration of this, an entrapment against comfort, about as sensible as wearing chainmail into a lake. When possible and appropriate, it’s a convention I’ve long discarded, the result of a journey away from fears about my own skin to a pleasure derived from living within it. Being naked is just no big deal anymore. With that noise, it suddenly was.

That noise. Panic. Fear. That noise. Distant, yet near. That noise, which launched itself from high up in the mist and down towards me. That noise which came closer with each heartbeat, each breath, each moment. That noise, first loud and in front of me, then screeching beside me, then echoing behind me. That noise was everywhere. That noise was in everything. It was the night. It was the world. It was the terror. It was the the HVAC. That noise was the air conditioner on the roof of the nearby building. The one hidden from me. The one with my room it it. The one now being cooled for my comfort by the loud modern marvel exchanging heat for cold. The noise’s unfamiliarity, its suddenness, its juxtaposition against the natural quiet I was dreaming in, floating in, had blown open my fears. Ridiculously so.

As dramatic as all this is in the telling, the actual fear ended within moments of its start. I recognized the sound, realized what it was, and saw the terror collapse and dissipate with the breath it tried to permanently run away with. The monsters I was certain that were coming for me, they that prowled behind this mist, they that thought to murder the normal of the world, were no more. I was back again in the petty and unremarkable certainty of my real life, one that was just me, naked, floating in a pool, the inn empty, the world quiet.

Only now I had a story.