Filmmaker Jamin Winans is back in town as the source of commotion surrounding Ink, his second - and visually stunning - feature-length film. Its first screening at 10:15 p.m. on Friday, January 23, at the Metro 4 Theatre sold out and the next screening, on Thursday, January 29, is at the Lobero Theater. (There’s also another screening on Friday, January 30 at Metro 4.)
Winans, who won two awards at the 2006 Santa Barbara International Film Festival for his short film Spin, has written and directed all of his films to date. He also edited Ink, in addition to composing the score. “If you’re a writer, you have a clearer vision than anybody,” he said. While Winans began writing as a kid - winning a newspaper’s scary story contest in second grade - he said he took up screenwriting because he had no scripts when he started making films at age 10.
The setting of Ink shifts between the real world and a dream world, where benign Storytellers and malicious Incubi battle to influence the nighttime visions of unsuspecting dreamers. “I love the idea of people coming out at night and giving you dreams,” Winans said. He added that he was influenced by his beliefs about the world, including a great deal of spirituality that we are not aware of.
Ink follows the story of Emma (Quinn Hunchar), a young girl who is kidnapped in the middle of the night by a monster named Ink. Her storyteller, Allel (Jennifer Batter), is unable to save her, leaving her in a coma while Allel tries to bring her back with the help of her fellow storytellers. Meanwhile, in the real world, Emma’s father, John (Chris Kelley), must redeem himself by coming to Emma’s aid, whom he abandoned in pursuit of financial success.
Winans said his inspiration came from different places, beginning when he was only four years old. He explained his undying love for Snow White and concurrent fear of the witch. He noted that Ink indeed looks like a male version of the wicked witch. Winans has had the concept for this film for the last five years, and Spin came out of that original concept.
Ink screens again on Thursday, January 29, at 10 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre. The cast and crew will be in attendance for a Q&A afterward. It also screens on Friday, January 30, at 10:15 p.m. at the Metro 4.