Experiencing Interruptions?

The Meditater [sic]

Bennett is an unpaid intern. He hates it, but his boss keeps promising him a promotion. The stress of the job keeps mounting and the promotion keeps getting delayed. To deal with it all, Bennett starts meditating, but when the voice of his Meditation App starts talking directly to him, Bennett realizes peace might take more than just some deep breaths.

  • Justin Giegerich
  • Cory Shanbom
  • Cassandra Pogensky
  • Cory Shanbom
    Key Cast
  • John Toon
    Key Cast
  • Cassandra Pogensky
    Key Cast
  • Maggie Metnick
    Key Cast
  • Crystal Ward
    Key Cast
    "Homeless Woman"
  • Justin Crowley
    Key Cast
    "Sean T."
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    22 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Justin Giegerich

Justin Giegerich is a New Jersey-raised director, writer, actor, and producer for screen and stage. As a director, Justin's work has been seen on platforms such as Buzzfeed, and his films have screened internationally at festivals such as the Morelia International Film Festival, Toronto Youth Shorts, and NewFilmmakers NY. Cinematic directing credits include "Gap Year" (Feature Film, Festival Bound), "Green Shoes" (20+ Official Selections & Awards)," "Neither" (Official Selection: Morelia International Film Festival), "The Jar" (Official Selection: Austin Micro Short Film Festival), "Boys Will Be Boys" (700K+ YouTube Views), and "Wednesday." Upcoming: "The Meditater," (festival bound). NYC theatrical directing credits include "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" (Stand Up Productions) and "Much Ado About Nothing" (The Hive, Brooklyn). Acting credits: "God The Worm" opposite Annabella Sciorra (dir. Eric Schaeffer/ Mainstay Entertainment), "Amsterdam Ave" opposite Catherine Curtin (dir. Amanda Hanna McLeer/ Fountain Ave. Productions), "Teach" opposite Reggie Watts (dir. Joey Garfield/ Ghost Robot). Justin is most driven to produce work that addresses class and power structure by means of dark comedy. Beyond his creative pursuits, Justin is an avid baseball fan, cinephile, and owner of a very sassy tortoiseshell calico, Atticus. BFA Acting Pace University School of Performing Arts Class of 2019. Rep: The Luedtke Agency.

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Director Statement

Cory sent me his script for The Meditater in January 2019 when I was 4 months from my college graduation. It frightened me. At that time in my life, Cory’s reflections on an economy driven by rigged form of trickle down neo-capitalism favoring those already of an elite financial class resonated with me so deeply that I almost froze at the offer to direct. I'm glad I didn't. The main element (beyond feeling "seen" in my anxieties about my future) that attracted me me to The Meditater was the focus on how we as a species try and escape our anxious terrors. In the case of The Meditater, meditation serves as a buffer that Bennett uses to feel whole in a world that seems set against him.

This narrative finds a common thread between its main character and the modern human experience. Bennett looks for a way to find peace in a world dominated by the the scramble for financial security. This ultimately backfires for Bennett -the same medium used to help him suddenly drives him further into madness. This happens, not because our character is a victim of his own circumstances, but by choice. Or hero constantly is given a choice to make his life better and resorts to blame his circumstances.

The visual, auditory, and performance elements I was hoping to focus on in The Meditater intended to evoke a sense of chaos and complacency. The world of The Meditater feels very loud and cluttered, heightening the reality that Bennett himself is trying to escape. With cinematographer Kenny Martell, we sought to capture Bennett’s instability, using muted teals to blend him into the world. Along with the film’s flat coloration, Kenny and I explored the use of jarring camera movement in hopes of creating a sense of anxiety and perhaps a lingering feeling that Bennett is being watched. All in all, my hope with The Meditater is that a young person in a place of financial insecurity can use our picture as a tool to ask how they can control over their own destiny in a world that feels stacked against them and see their own hand in it all.