How did your project The Tunnel come about? ^ Casey Wickson and I work evenings at a medical library, and we both started working there because we thought the environment would be clinical and different. Also, there’s a morgue downstairs, and lots of great diagnosis books with neat photos. ^ The Tunnel started as this rough, but beautiful script that Casey Wickson wrote, which was very personal to him. He gave me the script in early January of last year, and I took it with me to read on the way to Park City in 2001. I fell in love with it, and I knew something had to be done to make his story happen on film. We started working on it together, and I added some things. It changed even more once we’d built the sets and commenced production. It’s like a mutual dream.
Where did the story for The Tunnel come from? ^ From deep within Casey, and then it entered my bloodstream, and it went deeper inside me too. It comes from a lot of reflection and obsession with how we’re going to die. I’ve been thinking about being on a gurney since I was a kid. ^ It also comes from our reactions to a very cold and spoonfed world. A world where people don’t face the fear of death or loss. My grandmothers have both passed away, and I was really close to both of them. When my Dad’s mom departed last year, it had a profound effect on me. At the end of the first day of filming, I could feel her floating above me in this one room. I broke down and cried for half an hour. ^ Lots of people are too concrete about things, and I think that life is a big mystery. There are no answers to why things happen in our own day to day.
What is the film really about? ^ Well, the film that exists now is the final part of one man’s life. In the film, Paul, the main character, is in a place of limbo. He can not move forward, because there isn’t anywhere to go. He has some baggage that is keeping him in that world, and until he faces his own reality or death, he can’t progress. The story is the tail end of a possible feature we’re working on that starts from the character’s birth and charts itself all the way to the last POV shot of a man lying on a gurney, being wheeled into the darkness.
Get the rest of the interview in part three of RAMZI ABED DIGS HIMSELF IN DEEPER>>>