Alone Together | Jake Roggenbusch

A quiet, depressed student must pass an important midterm while being chased by a tenacious, shadowy figure that only he can see.

Alone Together - Film Stills

Director's Statement

I think that film has a unique power to draw people in and develop empathetic relationships between the audience and the characters that are portrayed on screen. I’m fascinated with this relationship and want to try to use it to make it easier for human beings to understand each other and our individual experiences through the lens of storytelling.

 

With this project in particular I wanted to use that relationship in order to make mental illness more relatable for people who have never experienced it. In order to do that, I needed to have some way to personify mental illness in a way that would be relatable to anybody. While people may not understand what it’s like to experience anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, they can relate to the idea of this shadowy figure following them around as they try to go about their daily lives. Anxiety is closely related to feelings of dread, paranoia, and anticipation, and I felt that using the shadow to create those effects could mirror the relationship between these emotions and the person feeling them to create an experience that reflects what it’s like to live with anxiety that you can’t escape from.

 

Mental illness affects a large percentage of the population, myself included, so it’s really important to me to use my work in order to contribute to those larger conversations by sharing my own experiences. It can be difficult to explain those experiences through words alone, so I feel that showing someone what these types of experiences are like through an art form opens up a more direct channel of communication that can help make these dialogues more productive for both those who know what it’s like to suffer from those issues and those who may not.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR | Jake Roggenbusch

Jake Roggenbusch is an American screenwriter and director living in Vancouver, BC and studying at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Jake’s work revolves around personal identity, mental health, and interpersonal relationships and how societal advancement forces us to constantly reevaluate how we treat ourselves and the people around us. He specializes in screenwriting, and has been writing for 7 years while studying at multiple institutions in both Canada and America. He also has experience teaching screenwriting for 2 years as a teacher’s assistant at his previous institution in his home of California.