Dave Ash lives a double life. The 48-year-old treasury director for Ecolab moonlights as a filmmaker. No wonder that his third feature, “Twin Cities," debuting locally Wednesday at the Twin Cites Film Fest, brims with dualities: life and death, health and illness, faith and godlessness, perseverance and letting go.
A troubled marriage, a very pregnant wife struggling with writer’s block and a book that’s due, a depressed husband haunted by something in his past who quits his job aaaaaand then is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
St. Paul filmmaker David Ash concedes the storyline for his movie “Twin Cities” sounds heavy. Really heavy.
“But there’s a lot of comedy in it,” Ash says, “more than you would think.”
How does a composer write music that doesn’t draw attention to itself? How can a director convey scoring ideas if they’re not a musician? Why is temp music important for an editor? When should sound design reflect the real world, and when should it be from a character’s psychological perspective? Will the dialogue editor choose the lavalier or boom mic recording, or both?
The artist Clinton Lugert of THEY design chose to focus on the film's alternate perspectives as well as the rift in the primary relationship. This lead him to base the Key Art and poster design on the ancient Roman god Janus.
In 2021 and its sequel, TWIN CITIES, Clarence Wethern plays a frustrated programmer tasked with creating an AI that can pass the Turing Test. The film, sets its sci-fi elements up as a foundation on which a subtler, more personal story stands. According to filmmaker Dave Ash, the film seeks to ask questions about how the creation of a true artificial intelligence would impact our beliefs, and to examine them through the relationship and arcs of Wethern's character, John, and his love interest, Emily.