DAYBREAK, the story of a man whose wish to change one event from his past leads to a nightmarish new life, is a refreshing variation on the “what-if” scenario. This dark tale stars Paul Clemens as Jeff Stokes in a role that builds on his impressive work in such films as PROMISES IN THE DARK and THE BEAST WITHIN. The movie follows Jeff’s struggle to comprehend the true cost of his selfish wish as he desperately tries to set things right. Jeff soon discovers that option may be more than he bargained for.
“Intense, compelling, and often dreamlike, I found ‘Daybreak’ to be a very absorbing experience, imaginatively written and directed by Michael James Kacey. Playing out like a contemporary Greek tragedy, the film’s emotionally affecting story is brought to vibrant life by a fine acting ensemble, with moving performances by Paul Clemens and Debra Henri. The small-town Pennsylvania locale is captured memorably by Cameron Cutler’s first-rate camera work; the darkly wistful mood further enhanced by Sonia Wisgo’s beautiful and evocative score. Despite any budgetary limitation, et al, I think ‘Daybreak’—with its mix of haunting words and images—is a film to be proud of.”
William Luce, Author of the Tony Award-winning plays “The Belle of Amherst” and “Barrymore”
Author of “The Martian Chronicles,” “Fahrenheit 451”and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”
A great not-so-wonderful-life movie
There is so little separating the movie’s world from your own—even if you’re living in a mansion—that you feel the pains and exasperations the characters are feeling, and as much of a downer as the movie becomes, it is also an invigoration, putting you in touch with yourself and your relationships the way very few glossier films could hope to.
There is, however, an additional and exceptional special feature that makes the DVD even more worthwhile. …Kacey’s blow-by-blow description of the adventures he had rallying his troupe and coping with the inevitable cascade of crises is, in effect, a second movie, a ‘how to’ film about film production.
Once Daybreak reveals itself as a bleaker version of The Twilight Zone, there’s no stopping it as Jeff is burdened by one horrible plague after another. Yet, despite the grim nature of the film, it doesn’t feel depressing or unpleasant. Quietly, Daybreak draws the audience in until they’re engrossed in the fascinating emotional hell Jeff has created for himself.
Jeff Berquist delivers a startling performance as Jeff’s tortured father.
I look forward to Michael James Kacey’s next film. Daybreak is proof that his ideas are fresh and engaging.
Consisting of more material than most mainstream releases receive…
Daybreak: Day to Day. It’s an intriguing way to view the final product, and the alternative narrative track really acts as an informative, illustrative how-to testament. … you’ve got a compelling collection of bonus features.
Michael James Kacey’s earnest effort deserves a rating of Recommended. In fact, for the information packed in the DVD itself, this title would be a worthy companion piece to any would-be filmmaker’s frame of reference.
PAUL CLEMENS (JEFF)
Paul’s previous credits include the starring role in the acclaimed television movie A DEATH IN CANAAN (with Stefanie Powers) and co-starring roles in feature films such as THE BEAST WITHIN (with Ronny Cox), PROMISES IN THE DARK (with Marsha Mason), and THE PASSAGE (with Anthony Quinn and James Mason). Paul also appeared in the film COMMUNION with Christopher Walken. His television credits include QUINCY, MURDER SHE WROTE and THE DISTRICT. Paul currently stars in the You Tube sensation from filmmaker Richard Gale: THE HORRIBLY SLOW MURDERER WITH THE EXTREMELY INEFFICENT WEAPON. Paul is also a produced playwright, published author, and nationally recognized authority on Edgar Allan Poe.
DEBRA HENRI (MICHELE)
JEFF BERGQUIST (CHARLIE)
Jeff is proud of his leading acting roles in repertory theaters across the country. Jeff has also devoted himself to such independent films such as Paul Bojack’s GLASS, NECKTIE, Jon Stevens’ IRISH WHISKEY and Ben Vaughn’s RAMBLER ’65. Jeff is also a published and produced playwright, prize-winning poet, lyricist, author, multi-optioned screenwriter and producer of theater and micro-budget films. He has served as the Artistic Director of The New Playwrights Foundation since 1985.
MICHAEL JAMES KACEY (NED)
Mike has appeared on television shows such as BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 and ALL THAT. His film credits include GLASS, NECKTIE and LIVE FROM BAGHDAD. Mike currently appears with Paul Clemens in the You Tube sensation from filmmaker Richard Gale: THE HORRIBLY SLOW MURDERER WITH THE EXTREMELY INEFFICENT WEAPON.
MITCH CAMPBELL (MITCH)
Mitch’s acting career has taken him from his native North Carolina to Florida to California and back again. On television Mitch has appeared on AMERICA’S MOST WANTED and THE PRACTICE. His film work includes THE SASQUATCH HUNTERS, TARGET PRACTICE and SOUL KILLER.
IAN TOMASCHIK (WALTER)
Ian has appeared Off Broadway in INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and HAMLET. Off-Off Broadway work includes NUNS AGAINST FILTH, THE GOOD TIME BOYS and THE LAST ADAM. Ian’s film credits include OFFICER DOWN, HIDDEN IN TIME and WHAT REALLY FRIGHTENS YOU. His most recent film role is in the noir psychological thriller LET ME DIE QUIETLY.
MICHAEL JAMES KACEY, WRITER-PRODUCER-DIRECTOR
Mike began his career as an actor before embracing filmmaking. He has written, directed and produced two feature films through his company Anthracite Films: DAYBREAK and THE POET LAUREATE OF RADIO: AN INTERVIEW WITH NORMAN CORWIN. His current project, a documentary feature film on the historic and cultural impact of radio, is called HEARING VOICES: MODULATING A REVOLUTION.
CAMERON CUTLER, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Cameron began his career as a cinematographer on documentary films in San Francisco and moved onto television commercials and music videos, most notably Too Short’s THE GHETTO and MTV Video Music Award nominee HUMPTY DANCE by Digital Underground. After relocating to Los Angeles, Cameron expanded his work into short films and full-length features such as ANGELS CREST, LAWS OF GAMBLING and THE POET LAUREATE OF RADIO: AN INTERVIEW WITH NORMAN CORWIN.
SONIA WISGO, COMPOSER
A native of Shamokin, PA, Sonia holds a Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring degree from the prestigious Berklee College of Music. She now lives in Los Angeles and works as a composer and music editor. Her feature film credits include THE LEFT HAND OF DOOM, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, JUNCTION and THE POET LAUREATE OF RADIO: AN INTERVIEW WITH NORMAN CORWIN. Her music editor credits include LINCOLN HEIGHTS, HAVEN, A VERY MARRIED CHRISTMAS and CHASING 3000.