The inspiration behind “Brother & Sister” is Terri Windling‘s beautiful poem of the same name, which is Sister’s response to the traditional “happily ever after”. It’s her desire to choose her own destiny and accept her true nature. Along with Terri’s words, her artwork moved me to make this film. Many of her paintings and illustrations depict human figures with antlers or tree branches for hair and remind me of our connection to nature, our connection to our deepest most instinctual desires – our true selves. And so I made the decision not to use special effects in the film to turn each of my characters into an actual deer, but rather give them attributes of the animal such as the antlers, or the roe cloak or gait of a deer to represent the “wild-within”. In keeping with that theme, my cinematographer, Jeff Bernier, and I decided that we wanted this film to resemble an Arthur Rackham illustration. Rackham used a lot of muted earth tones in his images. The viewer has to search among the trees and branches to find his people, as they seem to become one with their surrounding landscape.
Since I was using a poem as non-traditional dialogue, I wanted to lay aside the conventional narrative structure of beginning, middle and end and focus instead on the actual moments of transformation. The moment when the risk is taken, the decision is made, and you take your first step into that commitment. So the film is in two parts, a parallel between Brother and Sister and how the action of one later inspires the risk and sacrifice and willingness of the other. And with that, I’ve given my Sister character a final decision and action — after the poem ends.
I hope that her story will inspire everyone who sees this to ask “What’s next?” “What defines my true nature?” And then take the risk.
~ Lisa Stock
Lisa Stock is a filmmaker, writer and actress working in the mythic arts. She pulls her stories from a varied background of theater, film, and anthropology. She is currently in production on The Medisaga Trilogy — which retells the fairy tale of the Armless Maiden through the fairy queen Titania. Her films have shown at festivals in London, Cannes, and New York. She is also the director of the upcoming Mythic Film Festival, and author of “Through the Cobweb Forest” (an online Victorian allegory). She lives on the web at www.InByTheEye.com, and off the web in NYC.