The Art of Escape

A motivated, artistic high school student, Elise Henderson, finds her life torn apart after falling in with suspicious social butterfly, Alianna Thompson. The film explores pressures of modern day teenage hood including social status, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and sex, all of which are chronicled on social media.

  • Ethan Paisley
  • Ethan Paisley
  • Dylan Dixon
  • Lana Spring
    Key Cast
  • Alyssa Jirrels
    Key Cast
  • Margot Lubliner
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Feature, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 14 minutes 19 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 30, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 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 - Ethan Paisley

Bay area based actor and filmmaker, Ethan Paisley, has been working on the stage and screen since age 6. Paisley has starred in a variety of local theater productions, playing everything from Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors to Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. The actor has also gone onto feature in various independent films, such as Nebula and Boo Men. Aside from a career on the stage & screen, Paisley has also established success on his semi-famous YouTube series, self-entitled ethanpaisley, where he spoofs pop culture using a comedy sketch style approach. Outside of acting, Ethan Paisley has worked on over 8 independent film productions, one of which most recently includes The Art of Escape, a film he wrote and directed that explores issues in modern teenage hood including social status and the fallout of wanting to be accepted. Paisley has received training in film & acting from Idyllwild Arts, Marin School of The Arts, Melinda Moreaux, and Amanda McTigue.

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Director Statement

Adolescence is sincerely insecure, blurring, and at times, terrifying. This film approaches those emotions with a cast of characters who all find themselves lost amidst this complex time in their lives, which becomes wasted through the usage of drugs and alcohol.

Having witnessed a couple of my peers take a similar approach to adolescence, I decided to create a film that explained why they do. The Art of Escape shows that through the family problems, desire for high social status, and academic pressures these characters possess, distractions are a vital element of life.

Thus, what I consider to be a very gritty, raw, and in a way flat final product was produced...which is exactly what I wanted: a decrepit movie full of empty characters leading delusional lives in a suburban, California town.