Excitable Eddie

While psychotic patient Eddie has a breakdown, former med student Dan observes, plotting his escape. The short film is unique and not a reproduction from Schizo: Hidden in Plain Sight from which it was adapted. As a standalone scene of intrigue, Excitable Eddie focuses on a minor character and his emotional torture. At first, it seems like a confrontation, but soon the viewer realizes that the battle is from within. And it is all observed by the narrator and main character from the book, Dan, a former med student who has been imprisoned in a psych ward.

  • Ilene B. Benator
  • Ilene B. Benator
  • Ilene B. Benator
  • Andrew Benator
    Key Cast
    The Founder, Project Almanac, Million Dollar Arm
  • Keith Strickland
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Drama, Psychological Thriller
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 25, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ilene B. Benator

When I was in college at Emory University, I was pre-med. And while I was dedicated to that goal, I enjoyed the visual arts, and took a number of classes in art history, film and video. I loved the creative process of getting behind a camera, and in particular, the editing process. I learned on what was then the modern editing equipment. I never strayed from my path to become a doctor, but I could not help myself, and continued to pursue my creative interests. I worked as a photographer for a student publication and a local band. I graduated with the intention to take a year off before med school, and moved to L.A.

I took that time to discover life outside of a classroom, and be independent, but I admit that it was not a coincidence that I moved to the entertainment capital of the world. I had made many short films in college, and I wanted to see a real set and experience it all. The easiest way for an outsider to do so was to be an extra, and I appeared on TV shows, commercials, and a few movies, most notably Forrest Gump. I started my first novel during that time and enjoyed my year in LA, until the earthquake. There's nothing like a disaster to get you to see what really drives you, and I realized my true calling was medicine.

There's not a lot of free time in medical school, but I kept at my novel, and used my photography knowledge in the research lab by taking and developing electron micrographs. But frankly, I could not do much until many years later when I finished my residency training.

The beginning of my career as an Emergency Physician, also began my writing career. I was inspired by the medical crisis in America and wrote a screenplay pilot for a TV series, "Medical Meltdown." It was followed by another screenplay, "Marriage of Deceit." With few contacts, not much became of them, but I pressed on and began to write more books. I published a non-fiction book in the medical field, and worked on an idea I had since medical school. I was a psychology major, so psychiatric issues were particularly interesting to me. I wrote a book that I called "Schizo" and acquired an agent to sell it. She advised I write a screenplay for it, which I did.

I marketed it to a number of film festivals and was a winner of an Award of Merit for the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood, and finalist in the Los Angeles United Film Festival, and finalist in the Peachtree Village International Film Festival Atlanta Screenwriting Competitions. Recently, I've acquired a publisher for my novel, now called "Schizo: Hidden in Plain Sight" and thought it could be fun to produce a short film inspired by the book and screenplay. Yet be new material not found specifically in either work. That is this film. I've left the door open to have other short films adapted from my material. Though what I want most is to have "Schizo" made into a movie. And of course, have as many people read my book as is possible! I love the written and cinematic mediums and hope for synchronicity where I can do both.

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Director Statement

The short film highlights the tragedy of mental health diseases such as schizophrenia. I don't take this issue lightly. As someone who sees the problems that people have getting help when they need it, I wanted to insert a little compassion and publicize the mental health crisis. There are many victims. There are no easy solutions. But it can be done. Our lives and well-being depend on it.