African American director and UCLA Film School graduate Robyn Charles has just completed her feature film Fingerprints, which she wrote, directed, edited and produced, and which is set to hit the film festival circuit this year.
The film, which stars Nema Williams, Donzaleigh Abenathy and Chryslee Pharris, deals with an up and coming comedian who does not realize his comedy is a defense mechanism that masks a dark side he unleashes, whch eventually sends him spiraling into madness.
Asked why she wanted make a film on such an intense and heavily dramatic premise, Charles says that she wanted to “explore the vulnerability of comedians and what caused them to implode under pressure since she’s noticed that almost every major comedian we all knew and loved had had some type public breakdown.”
So for her, writing the script was a great vehicle to examine “… human nature by placing it in the superficial world of entertainment (creating) this world based on popular misconceptions of what it means to work in Hollywood and be famous…the fragility, the vulnerability, the process."
She further added that it frustrates her to observe someone who aspires o be a performer with “absolutely no training or understanding of the psychological toll it takes to become great at the craft” and “what better way to explore the fragility of someone who hides behind his defense mechanisms as a comedian than to force him to delve into what he has suppressed while placing a level of trust in someone else’s hands."