Experiencing Interruptions?


Henry slogs into his room after a long day of work. His apartment is a mess, the visual epitome of an unwashed bedsheet. He brushes his teeth and takes a dump before collapsing into his bed. A massive pile of laundry sits in the corner.
We fade into the first dream sequence. Henry stands triumphantly atop a mountain as the sun rises. He is dressed as a cowboy, a western cinematic symbol of freedom. He holds a knife that drips blood as he towers over a dead cowboy. Henry bends down to close the eyes of the body. He stands up again and watches the sunrise through white sheets drying on a clothesline tied to some trees.
The next time we see Henry, he is washing dishes at work while his coworkers bicker behind him. On this day, Henry is working with Jade and Justin in the kitchen. Justin is a typical burnout guy with an unwashed apron while Jade is essentially the person the manager gives the keys to when they need to make a run. They abruptly end their debate and Justin leaves to cut onions. Jade turns around and tries to strike up a conversation with Henry. She invites him to her boyfriend’s art gallery opening, but Henry stresses the dire importance of his laundry.
Later in the day, Henry finds himself at the apartment of his friend Lopez. Henry plays Red Dead Redemption 2 while Lopez does bong rips. Henry can’t stay long but Lopez thanks him for coming anyway. He tells Henry of his neighbors who are fighting because one of them allegedly killed their cat, and this triggers an awkward silence. Lopez breaks the silence by inviting Henry to see their friend’s band and He responds by reiterating the importance of his laundry, irritating Lopez. The two then bicker about Henry's shitty broken washing machine, and his unwillingness to just go to the laundromat. This is interrupted by an alarm on Lopez’s phone that signals it's time to feed his pet snail. The two stumble over to the snail’s aquarium. Lopez feeds Phil (the snail) as he muses about how easy a snail is to care for because they “never do much.”
Henry bursts through his door and collapses into his bed, bypassing a massive mountain of laundry.
Henry begins to dream again. This time he finds himself wearing a suit inside of a massive building that looks like the ribcage of a whale. Henry meets with a man in this hotel who is also wearing a suit. They share a loose conversation about the nature of Henry's dependency. Henry insists he's fine, but the man disagrees and warns Henry that this way of life is not sustainable. The man throws Henry on the ground.
Henry falls off his bed, waking him up. His boss calls his phone and asks him to come in. Henry says yes.
Work is extremely busy so Henry steps outside to suck on licorice. Jade comes out to smoke and inquires about why Henry sucks on licorice. Henry explains that it helped him quit smoking and jade takes one. Jade then invites Henry to meet him at heaven’s hill; a place where you can hear tornado sirens harmonize at sunrise. Henry declines but Jade emphasizes that the offer still stands.
Henry walks out of the restaurant and a man comes up, offering to fix Henry’s car. Henry declines but the man insists, making Henry only move faster. In his haste, he accidentally runs over the man’s foot on his way out.
Henry arrives home and goes into his fridge to look for milk. All he finds is spoiled milk. He puts it up on the counter, and leaves the room. In his absence, the milk jug falls off the table. Henry returns and slips in the milk, knocking him out.
This begins the third dream sequence where Henry is harassed by the man whose foot he ran over. The man shows Henry his grave and then turns him into a slug.
Miraculously Henry wakes up. He hears tornado sirens and decides to go join Jade on Heaven’s Hill.

  • braeden Eck
  • braeden Eck
  • Matthew Feresten
  • Jason Castle
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 7 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 8, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,200 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    iphone, RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - SCAD ATL
Director Biography - braeden Eck

I grew up in Louisville Kentucky and moved to Atlanta Georgia to study film/tv. While in school, I was constantly on set working on whatever I could, eventually settling into location sound as my job of choice. When I wasn't on set or studying, I was still focused on writing and creating my own films, including everything from elaborate music videos to video art to minimalistic iPhone projects.

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Director Statement

I’ve never really been one for other people. I like having maybe one or two others around, but other than that I’ve always just preferred to be alone. I have no particular problem with others, but I get tripped up meeting people. I worry I can’t say the right things because I’m overthinking the idea of someone else perceiving me. As I grow older, I find it harder to envision a version of myself that still reflects this. I figure that at some point I’ll need to join the real world if I don’t want to die with regrets. So that's the crux of my problem. I’ve determined that human connection is the meaning of life, but I would still rather be alone.
This existential crisis is the focus of my film Sluggish, Lazy, Stupid, Unconcerned. The film follows Henry, a sleep addicted recluse who learns to go outside after his dreams revolt against him. When he's not sleeping, he’s working full time as a dish boy at a local restaurant and that's about it. He might hang out with a friend occasionally, but he never stays for more than an hour. When he gets home, he pops a handful of melatonin and dives into fantasy. To Henry, dreams are the meaning of life, not connection. It’s a core function of his being, serving as a dependency that only causes him to isolate more.
Throughout the film, it's implied that Henry is recently sober. At one point in the past, things got out of control and he needed a change. Henry made this change, but because of his relationship with dreams, you would never know. This is because addiction is something that takes time to work through. When you put the thing down, it forces you to reckon with the reason why you even started.
Visually I really want to illustrate Henry's sleep addiction as an unhealthy relationship with escapism. To achieve this, I plan on shooting the dream sequences with a red camera while all waking scenes will be shot on an iphone (with lens adaptors.) I also want to experiment with framerate by shooting our dream scenes at 48fps and our waking scenes at 24fps. The film’s aspect ratio will be locked at 16:9 so that our match cuts out of dreams will feel consistent. To me, dreams have always felt like movies, and I want this film to trigger that cerebral connection.
Another articulation of dreams as movies comes from our plan for wardrobe and production design. For the dreams, we want to lean into the artificity of movies by using onscreen elements that we either bought or made ourselves. In contrast, onscreen items that appear in waking scenes will mostly be found items. For example, if we shoot a scene where our lead brushes his teeth, we will use the toothbrush and toothpaste of the lead actor and shoot it in their bathroom.
This stripped back production is going to be an abrasive thing for audiences to take in, so I think it's important that everything sounds excellent. I plan to work in depth with our sound designer to help this film feel like a multidimensional experience; an ambition that will only be aided by an original score from my good friends, Full Disclosure.
At the end of the day, we just want to tell our story. Henry is an abstraction of myself that those already involved in this film can easily project onto. He is our vehicle for exploring the part of ourselves that wants to stay inside all day; ensnared by the fibers in our mattresses. This production is going to be a personal journey from beginning to end and I can’t wait to see what we put together.