Synopsis: The story follows two 11th graders, Stacy Snyder (Bridget McGarry) and Liz Castillo-Campbell (Victoria Leigh) who were best friends until the 7th grade when a mysterious event drove them apart. Stacy joined the popular crowd and Liz, who was outed publicly, fell in with the freaks and became a goth. After years of antagonizing each other, Stacy is moved to repair the friendship after Liz’s little brother accidentally drowns. Stacy invites Liz to join her for a weekend getaway at her vacation home in the Poconos where they used to go when they were friends, but Liz insists she be able to bring her own misfit group of friends and acquaintances from the school’s fringe groups with the intent to retaliate for years of misery caused by Stacy. Chaperoned by Stacy’s older brother Brandon and his bubbly girlfriend, Jess, the eight high school Gen-Xers are confronted by the future, adulthood, and their own personal issues. They realize they share more than just feeling alienated and lost, and that friendships can be mended in the woods with a lot of music, games and a little bit of love and weed.
Victoria Leigh (Liz Castillo-Campbell)
John Gargan (Tony Pollick)
Violet Prete (Rebecca Holtzman)
Okieriete Onaodowan (Brandon)
Kevin T. Morales
“Generation Wrecks” is a unique film because of the unusual collaboration used to create it. The inspiration for the film was a homework assignment I had in high school in 1994, the year the film takes place. After reading Howe and Strauss’ defining book on Generational Theory I was asked to write a paper on what they predicted would be the crisis of 2020. From 2015 on, I could see the events the book discusses slowly coming to pass, and I was fascinated by my generation’s participation in the institution breaking events of the present. My generation (born between 1965 and 1985) is mostly a conflict averse generation. Our parents had the highest divorce rate in human history, we were the first generation with headphones and we’ve carried this dislike of “mommy and daddy fighting” into our adult lives, where we are largely responsible for all the apps that help you avoid going out into the world. To film a coming-of-age dramedy exploring the conflicts young people like me were facing presented the challenge of trying to remember what it was like to be seventeen. It is so important to have authentic story telling, and to have meaningful representation of the voices of stories you want to tell. I enlisted the efforts of my seventeen year-old daughter, Victoria Leigh, already an accomplished actress to help me make sure that the thoughts, feelings and concerns of young adults was represented more authentically and not just recalled cynically or sentimentally from my own memory. Victoria invited her friend and professional colleague Bridget McGarry to write the film with us, and in discussing the film we wanted to make, we discussed the era-defining films of John Hughes, like “Sixteen Candles,” and “The Breakfast Club,” but both Victoria and Bridget lamented how those 80s films are loaded with low-key racism, misogyny and homophobia. As a Latino filmmaker, and my daughter as a queer creator we felt we had the opportunity to make the film Hughes never could, but with the same kind of intention. I wanted to cinematically give young people a voice while exploring the differences between being teens then for an audience we expect to mostly be teens now. Bridget and Victoria did tremendous research interviewing dozens of Gen-Xers who spent their high school years in the 1980s and 1990s. They crafted a funny, touching, entertaining story that embody the independent spirit Hollywood Studios have troubling manufacturing. My team has been able to take this script, and with Victoria and Bridget as the stars make a film that is not only meaningful to Gen-Xers, but anyone who has been a teenager, because the voice that Bridget and Victoria have is so authentic and clear. And any inexperience on their part has been balanced by me and my department heads to bring together what we believe will be a phenomenally entertaining movie that transcends the coming-of-age comedy that greedier and more cynical studios try to crank out. I shot this film with a documentary style of naturalism to bring the audience intimately into the Memorial Day Weekend trip our teen ensemble takes. Hopefully by the end of the film the experience of being a teenager again will lift the audience’s spirits, and teen audiences will see themselves represented authentically and not in the condescending ways we see so often in movies and television made by people decades removed from those intense feelings and experiences that shape everyone. “Generation Wrecks” is a bridge for all generations and our brief time with this group of kids, who want connections and love, hopefully expands the empathy of everyone who watches it.
Kevin T. Morales is a writer and director who lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and two children. He is the co-founder of Futuregraph Entertainment. Originally from Los Angeles, Kevin went to the Athenian School in the San Francisco Bay Area and studied drama, directing and dramatic writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He worked at the NY Public Theater before founding his own theater company in Northern CA. He has been the Artistic Director of two professional theater companies and written 4 original plays and three musicals and directed more than 30 professional productions Regionally and Off Broadway. In 2019 shot the feature film “Generation Wrecks,” co-written with his daughter, actress Victoria Leigh and actress Bridget McGarry, and this past summer shot his film horror film “Shadow Vaults”. His next film, “No Fucks To Give” is prepping to shoot in 2021.