Janesville43.5°

Whitewater filmmaker captures creativity

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Todd Mishler
April 29, 2012
— It’s not exactly “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” “Shutter Island” or “Sybil,” but Sean Williamson knows all about balancing multiple roles and personalities.

The Whitewater native has been searching for himself and his artistic identity for most of his 26 years, and he’s hoping movie fans catch a true glimpse of those creative talents this fall.


(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )

He still is taking photos that potentially could make it into the film, but most of his time now is spent in post-production activities such as editing, sound mixing and script revisions. But Williamson acknowledges that it’s time to put this three-year project to bed.


The result will be a dramatic feature film called “Heavy Hands,” Williamson’s directorial debut that also sees him in front of the camera as the lead character.


“I could make it good and get it done sooner, but I want it to be great,” Williamson said. “This is my last push, so there’s no point in not going all out. My plan is to finish it by Aug. 10, hell or high water, so that it will be ready for screenings in September. I don’t really know what defines success, but I’m confident that it will do well. We’ll find out.”


Williamson filmed a lot of his material in the Whitewater and La Grange areas and Milwaukee, where he lives, but he also has footage from trips to New York and Kansas, as well as scenes in Colombia, from when he was helping with another venture.


“Heavy Hands” focuses on anti-hero Jimmy Lee, who must deal with the ramifications of a careless, selfish act that sets off a painful series of events.


“Jim (Winship) plays my main enemy, my character’s girlfriend’s dad,” said Williamson, who recently directed and produced the “Sing (For Trouble)” music video for the group Altos. “My character does something stupid that leads to this vicious cycle of vengeance. You can still sympathize with him. It’s not that he’s evil; he’s just bad.”


Williamson has shot many scenes and drawn much of his inspiration from revisiting rural locations he and his friends frequented as teenagers, including what will be a key early scene at the old radio tower near the Rock-Jefferson county line.


For the full story, see the April 29 print or e-edition of the Walworth County Sunday.

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