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Filmmaker’s Blog

‘Red Blooded’ — A high school drama from the adults’ point of view

The past five years have been challenging for pretty much everyone I know. Politics. Economics. Current events. Personal challenges. It's as if someone threw a completed puzzle in the air and the separated pieces are only now beginning to fall back on the table.

Filmmaking is one the pieces I’m ready to pick up.

“Red Blooded” marks my return to filmmaking after a five-year absence. The development of the story and script actually began in the summer of 2016 as the presidential contest began to heat up. Even before November of that year, I was disturbed by the degeneration of civil discourse. There was also the degeneration of information. Social media, for all of its positive aspects, pushed us off the rails during that time.

The script for “Red Blooded” sat in my file during the years that followed, through the beginning of the pandemic and the next election cycle. By 2019 and 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic set in, I experienced levels of challenge not unlike many people. But I also noticed how the shrapnel of the previous four years tore into local communities — school districts, for instance.

During the summer of 2021, seeing that its relevance was only increasing as the months went by, I took out the original version of “Red Blooded” and updated it to match the times even more. In “Red Blooded,” we see a school board president learn that villainizing “the other” can have ramifications that can hit uncomfortably close to home.

“Red Blooded” is not a horror film, as the title might lead you to believe. But it is about people behaving horribly.

As I note in a pitch for the story: “At its core, ‘Red Blooded’ is a high school drama bordering on satire — from the adults’ point of view. It’s the actions of adults that lead to bullying among the kids. It’s the actions of kids that become a mirror of change for the adults.”

With the story reworked to my satisfaction and the pandemic’s grip lessening, I saw a timely opportunity to hop back into the director’s chair.

It’s been a slow, methodical journey to pre-production. But the project is just about there, ready enough for me to start sharing it with all of you. For now, it's just the announcement that the “Red Blooded” project exists and is moving forward.

— Roman S. Koenig


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