Change of Scenery

One year after the loss of her partner Julia gets up the nerve to bring herself to a gay bar only to encounter Nate a former FBI agent.

  • Lisa Thomas
    Candy Store, Zebra, Vampire Tango, Ghosts of Love, Freeing Silvia Baraldini
  • Lisa Thomas
    Candy Store, Witness Against Our Vanishing
  • Parker Cowden
  • Lisa M. Thomas
    The Shivering Truth, Zoolander: Super Model, The Jellies, Thirsty, Xavier Renegade Angel, Wonder Showzen
  • Samantha Walsh
    Key Cast
  • Vanessa Born
    Key Cast
    Bosch, Ray Donovan, Better Things, The Young & Rebellious
  • Eddie Carroll
    Key Cast
    New Amsterdam, Abbie Stonehenge, Can You Keep a Secret?
  • Campbell Symes
    Key Cast
    Talk to me in silence, The Other Side of Clean
  • Ryder Cooley
    Key Cast
    Candy Store, Vampire Tango, Zebra
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 59 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 9, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Stony Brook University
Director Biography - Lisa Thomas

Lisa Thomas has been working in film and television since graduating from the Evergreen State College in 1994. Currently Lisa is an Executive Producer on the upcoming Adult Swim animated series, Teenage Euthanasia starring Maria Bamford, Jo Firestone, Tim Robinson and Bebe Neuwirth. She was the Co-Executive Producer on the animated series, The Shivering Truth for Vernon Chatman (of South Park fame) and was the Supervising Producer on Tyler the Creator’s animated series, The Jellies. Lisa was the Executive Producer and UPM on the independent feature musical, Thirsty about the life of Scott Townsend, Provincetown’s legendary Cher impersonator, was the Line Producer on Liz Garcia’s feature, One Percent More Humid, and was the Production Manager on Lighting Bugs in a Jar, which premiered at Cannes. She Produced MTV’s, Wonder Showzen as well as Zoolander Super Model for Ben Stiller and Paramount. Lisa Co-Produced and Directed the documentary, Freeing Silvia Baraldini about the former U.S. political prisoner of the same name and was the Producer on the documentary, Sid Bernstein Presents about the man who brought the Beatles to America. Since 2018 Lisa has been collaborating with Ryder Cooley and the dark carnival band, Dust Bowl Faeries directing and producing a series of music videos including the politically charged Sirens, the circus spectacular, Zebra, the film noir inspired, Vampire Tango and most recently the music novella, Candy Store. Lisa is currently a MFA Film grad at Stony Brook University where she wrote and directed, Change of Scenery, a dramedy inspired by her own personal journey of starting over after losing her life partner. She is the President and Co-Founder of Thin Edge Films and has worked for MTV, PBS, HBO, Adult Swim, Maysles Films and Augenblick Studios.

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Director Statement

The old adage is true that wherever you go, you take your old baggage with you, so it makes sense that in 2016 when my spouse died after a three-year battle with cancer, I’d never see life quite the same way again. For me watching someone I love die brought into clear focus the things that matter most in life: how to love, how to live your life with purpose and how to appreciate everyday to it’s fullest because you never know when the ones your closest to will suddenly be gone or when you yourself might be facing your own mortality.

Change of Scenery is not just a story about lost love, it’s a story about starting over and doing so in a way that is unconventional. It’s about facing the world again and having the courage to deal with whatever that may mean. While the scene I am about to describe does not play in the film, I can remember a few weeks after my partner died going out in public for the first time. I was invited by a friend to a small gathering and there was a performer who was quite comedic that we ended up seeing. I can remember laughing at one or two of the jokes and thinking was it too soon to laugh again, would people think I was being insensitive because I appeared to not be in mourning. For a period of close to a year everywhere I seemed to go in the small village where we’d made our life together people would constantly ask how I was doing, how was I holding up. This would happen everywhere I went, at the bank, at the market, at art openings, you name it. It was nice to think that people cared about me, but honestly I did not want to answer this question to every person who ever saw us together and because of it I often stayed home. Back in New York City I could get away from these inquiries, from people knowing everything about me. It was a relief that I could disappear into; a way to escape my past. While the incidents I’m describing do not enter into Change of Scenery per se, these feelings very much permeate Julia’s character subconsciously in the scenes when she’s back in her place of work and going to the gay bar.

While the heart of Change of Scenery is really about fulfilling a dying promise it is clear that the film’s main character, Julia is not going to have an easy go of it because love lost just hurts and in order for it not to she needs to open up herself to others again. The twist is that Julia ends up surprising herself in the process of moving on by who she finds herself attracted to and perhaps this is the greatest message of all in the film, the message that love can be fluid and that is okay and that you often find what you need in life when you least expect it the most.