Stay Asleep

A violent, psychological thriller about a young man, Casey, who finds himself stuck in a nightmare, where he must continually experience the events of a murder. As a witness, and a potential accessory, Casey is forced to make a series of choices concerning his involvement in the ordeal, or else he will continue to relive this dream forever.

  • Bri Beltran
  • Bri Beltran
  • Bri Beltran
  • Patrick Dwyer
    Key Cast
    Minority Squad, Nights Like This
  • Cal Batzel
    Key Cast
  • Sara Fayngolz
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Horror, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 43 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 17, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Canon EOS T3i
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Bri Beltran

Bri Beltran is an aspiring writer/director/producer studying at Temple University. She majors in Film and Media Arts and minors in General Business Studies. In her Freshman year, she began her filmmaking practice by making experimental films, such as Feel Normal (2013). In Spring 2014, Bri became a member of Wandering Studios, a student film organization that encourages collaboration between Media Arts students to establish valuable networking opportunities. Recently, she has developed her writing in the horror/thriller genres in her latest shorts: Intrusion (2014) and Stay Asleep (2015).

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Director Statement

Have you ever had a dream where you weren’t sure whether or not you were awake; or you knew you were dreaming, but you didn’t know how to escape and wake up? Stay Asleep specifically taps into that fear, and I consciously decided to frame this drama around the concept of a never-ending dream because I have always been interested in the workings of the human subconscious. This film is more about the main character, Casey, being forced to face his guilt and overcome his cowardice than it is about covering up a murder. I believe that the content of nightmares is comprised of inner turmoil left unresolved and buried deep inside of us. Personalized fears are the root of real horror.

The idea for the short came to me all at once. I wrote it over the course of two weeks and soon after, I gathered a cast and crew and executed shooting over the course of two days. I constructed all of the lighting setups myself. There is a significant focus on lighting, as the atmosphere of the short is mostly dreamlike and very expressive.

My main inspirations for Stay Asleep are Adrian Lyne’s Jacob’s Ladder (1990) and Konami’s Silent Hill game franchise. In Silent Hill’s interpretation of psychological survival horror, the protagonist must navigate a hellish, preternatural world, obscured with personal demons from the past. I have attempted a similar objective. I have created an unstoppable monster in Stay Asleep - one that takes a human form.

- Bri Beltran