The human will to survive is strong.
WARRIOR | The Story of Jenny Andrus
Each year, more than 10 million men and women are physically abused by an intimate partner. Join the fight today at FADV.org.
Jenny’s story is one of survival. Our objective for this film was to work with the client and adequately tell a survivor story that faces the horrible circumstances while showcasing strength. We focused on Jenny’s incredible power to show the viewer a light at the end of the tunnel.
We broke down the story into three components: A Seeming Normal Beginning, The Dark Side, and Recovery/New life. We decided that the three-act structure would best convey the external and internal challenges that Jenny faced in this short docu-drama.
A Seeming Normal Beginning focuses on positive, unscripted, bites from Jenny’s interview. We instill hope and positivity from the start while learning about the history of Jenny and her former partner. We did this to explain to the viewer that abuse isn’t always something apparent on the surface. Visually, we showcased a montage of homes to highlight that abuse isn’t subject to economic situations or specific locations, but rather found in many places.
As the story progresses and we begin to see first signs of abuse, we enter into The Dark Side. Jenny starts to explain the dark side of her relationship, covering everything from the verbal abuse to the moment her former partner tried to end her life. Even though this is intimate and hard to watch, we focus on Jenny’s strength and will to survive while emphasizing the severity of this heinous crime. To achieve this visually, we utilized archive footage, included photos from her visit to the ER, and depicted Jenny painted as a silhouette on screen.
Jenny’s will to survive makes this story profound. Her warrior mentality kept her going in what could have been her final moments. Recovery/New Life gives us insight into her recovery and current life. We wanted to highlight her as survivor rather than a victim. While Jenny suffered a lifetime’s worth of pain, she did not let the abuse end her life. Visually, the dark silhouettes begin to fade and the images become more lively.
For the entirety of this production, we used the RED Epic. To diffuse the image and give it a nice glow, we placed netting in between the sensor and lens.