Filmed In Texas During A Pandemic, ‘The Blazing World’ Is Eerie Fantasy

Fort Worth native Carlson Young’s feature directorial debut is being introduced to audiences at the Sundance Film Festival.

By Laura RiceFebruary 1, 2021 11:33 am,

The arrival of COVID-19 meant big changes to production plans for Carlson Young’s first feature film as a writer, director, and actor.

“We rolled into preproduction at the beginning of March, attached to our first actor. We were so, so excited and then COVID-19 came along and really threw a wrench in our momentum,” Young said.

For young, it meant going back to her script again and rewriting some scenes. But producer Brinton Bryan says it also meant a better film in the long-run.

“And just kind of adding an extra layer of eeriness and kind of curiosity to it that may have otherwise felt a little bit more grounded if we were able to shoot out in cities with a bunch of extras and things like that,” Bryan said.

For both, shooting in Austin was the first choice.

“I was born in Lubbock and I grew up in Granbury, Texas,” Bryan said. “But I went to high school and a little bit of college here in Austin. And I founded my company, Greenbelt Films, as an homage to kind of where I credit my creative birth in the film industry being here in Austin.”

“The first job I ever had as an actor was in Austin when I was in high school, so, you know, coming back and shooting ‘The Blazing World’ here was very full circle for me,” Young said.

Young has been focused on “The Blazing World” for years. Her short film of the same name premiered at Sundance in 2018.

“Back when I was having the idea and sort of the original inception of the story, I was actually studying Margaret Cavendish and writing a paper on [her book] ‘The Blazing World’ in school,” Young said. “It was definitely the initial seed inspiration. But what I was most inspired by was Margaret Cavendish as a woman and as a sort of a quiet visionary that we you know, I don’t think many people know a ton about her, but she’s she was extremely fascinating to me as the first female to really bring sci-fi and fantasy — to birth it into the world.”

Young’s version translates those ideas to a modern setting and explores them through a backdrop of extreme trauma.

“It felt like there was something to be said there,” Young said.

“The Blazing World” premiered at Sundance on January 31 and screened in Dallas and Austin as part of Sundance’s 2021 satellite screenings. A second screening through Sundance has limited virtual availability through the Sundance website.

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