BPS 272: Down the First Feature Rabbit Hole with Carlson Young


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Today on the show we have writer, director and actress Carlson Young. Carlson is the creator of the new film The Blazing World. Ever since Margaret (Carlson Young) was six years old, she has been haunted by the memory of watching her sister drown during an explosive fight between her parents. As a young woman, she slides further into her twisted inner life, ultimately finding herself on the brink of suicide. Through an epic journey down the smokiest and scariest corridors of her imagination, she tries to exorcise the demons pushing her closer and closer to the edge.The Blazing World is Carlson Young’s debut feature; it is based on her short of the same name, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Young brings to life in striking vibrancy an internality that is at once darkly beautiful and entirely terrifying.Blending horror and fantasy, this film is imaginative and gutsy, painting Margaret’s inner life as at once an alien realm and a devastatingly familiar emotional landscape. Manifesting her trauma through a series of lusciously unnerving locations and moving, bizarre interactions, Young unearths something often quietly, privately buried in our struggles toward the light. As the writer, director, and star, Carlson took her decade of on-set acting experience appearing in film directorial debut, THE BLAZING WORLD MTV’s SCREAM TV Series, KEY AND PEELE, and Netflix’s EMILY IN PARIS, and developed the feature which was shot during the height of the pandemic in Austin, Texas and also held its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021.The film co-stars Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, and horror icon Udo Kier. The Blazing World premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2021 to rave reviews. We discuss the difficult process of bringing this personal film to the screen, how she used a short to get the feature film made, how she got financing, shooting durning COVID and much more. Enjoy my conversation with Carlson Young.