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"Suddenly, a man leaped out of his chair and said: What the hell was that?!"

David Leidy is an award winning filmmaker and experienced founder with a drive to share daring stories that challenge modern perceptions and beliefs.

Starring his wife Dasha Leidy, David's latest project Platonic is a beautiful drama-crime film about a troubled woman who finds a pregnant woman in her house. Platonic won four awards at Top Shorts in May 2019, and was described by the jury as "an impressive film that offers the audience a fascinating viewing experience, with mysterious characters and multiple plot twists." We invited David to join us for an interview. Here's his story.

David, tell us about your background. Where did you grow up and how did you get into visual storytelling?

I was born in Iowa but my dad was an ag businessman so we moved a lot in my early years until we landed in Saint Louis, Missouri where I grew up.

As a young girl my mom was raised on a covert military base only recently charted on any maps as being Kwajalein Island. The island was under a few miles in width and length so she would go to the only local theater there and watch all the classics.

She was always artistic and wanted to share that with me so she showed me films such as Psycho and Battleship Potemkin and all the making of footage for films at an early age.

When I was eight I asked for a video camera I’d seen in the electronics store and for my ninth birthday my parents got it for me. From there I just began filming stuff with family, neighbors and friends.

What are some of the inspirations that you feel influenced your cinematic work?

There are so many things that have influenced and continue to influence me it would be impossible to name everything.

For our purposes, some influential filmmakers have been Luis Bunuel, Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Jacques Rivette, Jean Pierre Melville and Alfred Hitchcock.

Vera Chytilova’s Fruit of Paradise, Coline Serreau’s La Belle Verte, Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void and Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon are some other influences of mine.

That said, I am not a big believer in this idea that one only gets influenced by a few filmmakers and then viola – you have your equation for the films that person will make. It sort of oversimplifies the whole creative process.

Why did you decide to tell the story of Platonic?

My wife and I had gotten a sonogram of our daughter a few weeks before I wrote the screenplay and I heard her heartbeat for the first time. It was an ethereal moment for me but a very uncertain time.

It made me think of how when we have a child it’s like this vine spreading from a plant. Our child is a part of all these hardships, suppressions and traumas that we’ve faced in our lives. We’re supposed to act like these grown up parents who have it all figured out but we’re still just these confused little creatures trying to figure it all out with them.

Another factor was I had been reading a lot of Freud and Plato at the time. Thus I wanted to make allusions to some of these things I’d been thinking about while reading. The scene where Aubrey’s student questions her on the validity of Freudian psychology mirrors Plato’s dialogue between Socrates and his pupil Phaedrus as both discuss the topic of love and beauty in relation to reincarnation and awakening.

These layers became vital later on in creating Platonic but at the heart of it all, the confusion of where I was at in life was what sparked the idea.

Is this your first collaboration with your wife Dasha? What was it like to work together?

This was our third collaboration together and we’ve worked on another film since.

We really understand each other almost on a telepathic level. After reading Platonic for the first time she ran up to me and said “we have to make this!” I think she was the only person who immediately understood what the story was and never wavered from believing in the project throughout.

Platonic really became a spiritual journey for us both. It was four years in the making due to the nature of the story and life complications. Things such as what her role required (pregnancy), the intensive editing, our family moving from east to west coast and budgetary issues.

When we had our first screening, it was as though a weight had been removed from our lives.

What was the biggest challenge for you during the making of Platonic?

The scene where Dasha as Aubrey wakes up at the end of the film and walks toward the mirror was a one take shot that had been filmed with literally just me and her on set in our tiny apartment at the time.