[Cody] Swanson’s independently produced feature film “Mostly Awake” — shot in bars and venues around the neighborhood, with a soundtrack by local bands and starring Bushwick-based actors — is debuting to lightly mock the struggles of his generation.
“If one of them had to go get unemployment, they’d still go out and get drinks and have their nice apartment, but I have friends who live in basements with no windows,” he said.
“If [the 'Girls' characters] go on unemployment they’re just like, ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ whereas with my friends, they’re like, ‘f–k, I have to go eat Ramen noodles for a month.’”
In Swanson’s film, the protagonist Max (played by first-time actor Trevor Hamilton), who is unemployed and “in a rut,” is violently mugged and then kicked out of his apartment after he fails to pay his rent…
Among Bushwick settings that include Pine Box Rock Shop, the Loom cafe, North Brooklyn Collective and street scenes on Bogart Street and Jefferson Street near the Morgan L station.
“Part of it was to try to be as accurate as possible to the parties and kinds of things my friends and I do,” Swanson said. “But a lot of it focuses on the main character.”
And as the protagonist experiences a “change in perspective” throughout the film, Swanson has redefined his own relationship with his neighborhood through completing the ambitious project.
“We raised three grand on Kickstarter from family, from friends,” he said of his team’s fundraising efforts last year. “It was really wonderful to see all the people who wanted the movie to be made.”
“Mostly Awake” will premiere at Bathaus on Starr Street Feb. 23. The free event begins at 8 p.m. and the screening is at 9 p.m.