Chimera

Set in a not too distant future small town, a VR life simulation junkie goes on a mission in reality to get a new dopamine game cartridge before she goes through happiness withdrawal.

  • Andrew Lee Ryan
    Director
  • Andrew Lee Ryan
    Writer
  • Andrew Lee Ryan
    Producer
  • Terra Layne
    Key Cast
    "Felicity Furi"
  • Chérie Celeste Malone
    Key Cast
    "Cass Cleary"
  • Joshua Radford
    Key Cast
    "Logan Briggs"
  • Connor Dylan
    Key Cast
    "Shaw Grimes"
  • Ahmad DeChalus
    Key Cast
    "Frisco Hood"
  • Laura Jansen
    Cinematographer
  • Zachary Harrison
    Editor
  • James Fabio
    Composer
  • Borna Jafari
    Colorist
  • Luke Burba
    Sound Mixer
  • Piotr Smorawski
    VFX
  • Kim Bunce
    Assistant Director
  • Ketak Dhiman
    First Assistant Camera
  • Renee Narbinger
    Second Assistant Camera
  • Wesley Kabjakian
    Steadicam Op
  • Rahul Sharma
    Gaffer
  • Ben Goelz
    Key Grip
  • Mariya Chulichkova
    Sound
  • Camille M Harris
    Hair and Makeup
  • Project Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, Drama
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    ARRI Alexa Mini
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:39:1
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Andrew Lee Ryan

I have a passion for telling stories that question the status quo with themes that resonate. I enjoy entertaining an audience with high concept cinema. I write about the present by contemplating the past, anticipating a possible future or adding some strange twist to our current reality. I believe that storytelling should be used to entertain, but also to inspire curiosity about the world we live in today...and hopefully change it for the better.

My ultimate goal is to be part of ushering in an era of thought-provoking character driven adult blockbusters. Some of my mentors (unbeknownst to them) are Bong Joon-ho, Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, Jordan Peele, David Fincher and Matt Reeves.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

UPDATE: Chimera has screened at festivals across the country and won a handful of awards including Best Sci Fi and Best Performance at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. It will be screening as part of Hollyshorts monthly screenings and Bushwick this coming month.

Chimera bares my heart and soul in more ways than one and feels like I found my filmmaking voice. It was shot in 2021 and has taken almost a year to finish post-production.

The pandemic was originally part of the inspiration behind the story of Chimera. It is about a virtual reality addict coming to terms with her place in reality. This VR device runs on dopamine so it literally makes her happy and prevents her from addressing her suffering in the real world.

In 2020, many tried to escape reality through movies, tv, video games, social media, alcohol, drugs etc. These are things we do on a regular basis but usually we feel we have some sort of control over what is happening around us. The past two years everything felt out of control. And it was much easier to shut out the world and dissociate from reality than absorb all of the negative energy from all of the external forces.

On a more personal level, the area we filmed in CT is the town I grew up in. I went back to spend time with my parents but also film this. While I would not call it a podunk like the film makes it out to be, it is a town with nothing to do. We have farms. And a village store. Some of these locations I grew up with we actually filmed at.

At a crucial point in my life (college) I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. If I had the right upbringing or network around me I may have realized sooner but it took some time for me to determine it was film. I had no idea how to get there. I felt stuck in that stupid town and had no one in my corner telling me to go for it. Most people I spoke to tried to discourage me from even trying. So naturally I dug my feet in and tried my hand at other work (personal training, marketing). Because I wasn't satisfied, I turned to escaping reality through various methods until I realized I had to physically uproot myself from that entire godforsaken state and move to LA to force myself to change.

Society is not built around the artists, the dreamers, the freelancers, the entrepreneurs etc. It's not like that apple commercial suggests. It's built around the worker bees. And I guarantee everyone on my crew (and in this industry) has felt stuck in the honey at one point or another. I ran with the bee metaphor and I don't regret it. The point is, we are all trying to change our reality and find success doing something we are passionate about. We're chasing something that fulfills our sense of purpose. But purpose is a chimera because only you can define your purpose in this world. You'll never know when you achieve it. And like happiness, you'll catch it and lose it, only to chase something new.

So basically you can choose to be happy. Whenever you want. This film represents my understanding that happiness comes from within but sometimes that requires that you change. Once you change from within, your reality changes. It's not the other way around. Yes I moved to LA, but it took about a year for me to develop a relentless work ethic that opened doors for me. So once I changed, my world changed.