Managing every aspect of a film — from directing to producing to writing and funding – from the very start to the end is rare. Even more rare is having your product picked up for distribution by a major company like Amazon, but this is the reality for Autumn deVitry ’01, a graduate of Northeastern’s Journalism program. She independently made her film, Altered Reality, which is now available to watch as a web series on Amazon across the globe, and also available for free (if you have a library card) on a site called Hoopla (hoopladigital.com).
Altered Reality is about a group of friends who work at a production company that produces ridiculous reality television shows. Autumn came up with the concept for the film, which is loosely based on her life working as a reality TV producer, in 2005 when she was working on the MTV reality show called “NEXT.” She kept finding herself in crazy situations, like pitch meetings, where she would tell her Executive Producer that they would be filming a date on a honey bee farm and the only *minor* concern was that a bear may come out while filming because he liked the honey bee hives.
After experiencing countless moments like this, some of which are recreated in the movie, she realized that they were funny enough to turn into scenes for other people to watch and laugh at in disbelief. From there, the foundation for Altered Reality had been born – she would use the content of her own life to create a film for a wider audience to enjoy.
“When I realized that I wanted to take the insane experiences I was having working in reality TV and turn them into a film, I started carrying around a notebook with me on set,” explained Autumn. “My crew thought I was writing down ideas for the upcoming shots for the episodes but in reality, I was writing down scenarios and even quotes at times.”
When it comes to the highlights of creating a movie start to finish, according to Autumn, there are many. But what shines most brightly was having the opportunity to be on set as her own boss and direct the actors with the dialogue that she and her dad had written themselves.
“My dad is my writing partner,” explained Autumn. “The experience was surreal and exciting! Also, the actors did a great job and truly brought the characters to life, so getting to witness that was pretty amazing.”
When asked if there was a downside to having her film distributed as a web series on Amazon, Autumn described one of the setbacks. “It’s amazing to have Altered Reality on Amazon, but the only issue is that the first episode is written and acted badly on purpose,” she explained. “A few minutes into the film, you realize that you’ve been watching a bad reality TV show. However, if you are watching it as a web series and the first few minutes are bad, you will click off of the episode thinking the whole series is like that. When it reality, it was done on purpose.”
Since Amazon split up the film into a series of webisodes, be sure to watch them all to see Autumn’s full product! It is available on Amazon in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and North America.
On top of creating her own film, Autumn works full-time as an Executive Producer at Awesomeness TV, a media and entertainment company located in Los Angeles.