Private Project

The Coming of Age

Barbara, an old woman who loves to paint, is moved to a retirement home by her daughter after Barbara falls one too many times. There, Barbara has to deal with a foreboding nurse, threatening residents, and locked double doors, behind which she hears frightening noises. She learns that's 'the ward,' where the put you if you don't behave. It seems like her daughter has checked her into a hall of nightmares until she meets fellow resident Minnie, who loves Barbara's paintings and to whom Barbara forms an immediate bond, almost like they're sisters. All seems well between the two new friends, until Barbara realizes there's more to Minnie and the ward than meets the eye. A different kind of coming of age.

  • David L Bradburn
    Home, The Night Before the Morning After, Superhero Me
  • Dave Tolchinsky
  • David L Bradburn
  • Rhonda Kay
  • Dave Tolchinsky
  • Anne Jacques
    Key Cast
  • Susan Monts-Bologna
    Key Cast
  • Genevieve VenJohnson
    Key Cast
  • June Marsh
    Key Cast
  • Erin Chenoweth
    Key Cast
  • Joel McGinty
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - David L Bradburn

David Bradburn grew up outside of Chicago in Elgin, Illinois. Here, he shot his first film during high school: a compilation of shorts and mock commercials that he hoped would be funny enough to make it to America’s Funniest Home Videos.

They weren’t.

25 years later, Bradburn has honed his craft and finds himself wearing the many different hats of the independent movie maker to see a project from script to screen. Serving as lead producer of the Von Steuben High School Film Festival for six years, Bradburn navigated the process of obtaining grants to bring filmmaking opportunities to Chicago high school students.

Whether he’s serving as writer, producer or director, Bradburn wants to do more than just make movies: he seeks partnerships with other local film makers to put Chicago on the map as the premier independent film making city. Bradburn’s directorial approach draws on his 17 years worth of experience as a high school English teacher: his leadership and focus inspire his crew’s motivation to realize his creative vision.

Bradburn’s films include “Home”, “The Night Before The Morning After”, “Superhero Me”, a finalist in the 2012 Beverly Hills Film Fest Writing Competition, My Brother’s Other Mother ¬– a documentary chronicling his younger brother’s search for his birth mother in the Dominican Republic, and “The Coming of Age” which was written by Northwestern University’s Film Department Chair, Dave Tolchinsky. Bradburn’s successful launch into Chicago’s independent film community most recently landed him assignments with Kenmore and FOX.

Bradburn holds a BA from Wheaton College, and an M. Ed from UIC, and hasn’t given up on his American Funniest Home Video dreams.

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Director Statement

I’m interested in stories about characters who must wrestle with conditions or circumstances that are at times the result of their choices, circumstances beyond their control, or a combination of both.

When David E. Tolchinsky first pitched me his story about a woman in a retirement home who may be being stalked or who may be losing her mind or both, I quickly realized that I was dealing with a story of decline with no ultimate hope of recovery. Life is after all terminal. I begin to ask myself how do I tell a story that, although has an arc, is ultimately about the loss of vitality. What we eventually landed on is that this is a coming of age story but sans the awkward teenage and finding oneself, this is a story of losing oneself.

Dave comes from the world of horror, whereas I live in the world of drama. We were coming at his story from different angles and what I think we ended up with is a thriller. That process became an exciting one. It forced me to take a story that had not had its genesis in my head and to find something that was both honest to Dave’s script and honest to myself as a director/storyteller.

Once I was able to settle those issues internally, I was then able to cast a clear vision. As always partnering with cinematographer Joel McGinty added incredible layers and helped me to flesh out and enrich the visuals inherent in Dave’s story. Additionally, working with our cast to find the characters and add flesh to lines on a page enhanced the story even further. With these components all married together, the story took shape. The collaboration between the artists was incredible. There are few projects that I have been as proud to be a part of.