Acclaimed cinematographer Justin Janowitz has finished post-production on his secretive feature directorial debut Do Not Watch, and we’ve got your first look.
The film – which was directed by Janowitz from a screenplay by Ryan Toyama, was shot on location in and around the environs of Los Angeles. Produced by Circa 1888’s JP Ouellette, Dylan Matlock, and Nico Falls, Do Not Watch is their follow-up to the critically acclaimed, BAFTA & Saturn Award nominated feature Mass, which world premiered at Sundance in 2021 and went on to win the Robert Altman Award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.
“Completing Do Not Watch was like a fever dream come true,” recounts writer and executive producer Ryan Toyama. “It’s been an amazing experience to watch Justin (Janowitz) adapt a script that was so many years in the making. He, along with our fantastic cast and crew, not only fully embraced the madness that was on the page, but also the harrowing suspense and human drama.”
Executive producers include James and Bo Colton, Jonathan Boateng, Skip Waugh, Javier C. Ortiz, Graeme Laronge, and Jasson Walker.
While the plot is being kept tightly under wraps, the producers of Do Not Watch shared that the narrative is both “high concept and expansive” and revolves around “a decades-spanning mystery around the unexplained and frightening phenomena known as the ‘Bunker Anomaly’.”
The cast features Ezekiel Ajeigbe in a breakout performance, Alix Angelis (The Cleansing Hour), Ella Cannon (Trees of Peace), Catherine Corcoran (Terrifier), and David Ury (“Breaking Bad”), along with Sara Fletcher, Greg Scali, John Henry Richardson, Danny Mooney, Sam Boxleitner, Garth Wynne-Jones, Brendan McCay, Jodie Bentley, Madison Lawlor, Michael Deni, Katie Lohmann, Daniel Olsen, Skyler Caleb, and Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Castlevania).
“The different looks of each time period in the film were created after testing multiple combinations of optics and camera systems,” said director and DP Janowitz (cinematographer of the celebrated ABC News/Hulu true crime series “City of Angels, City of Death”) of Do Not Watch, the first film of an intended franchise. “We created custom camera rigs to help make the camera movement feel true to the character shooting the footage. With a film that plays in so many different time periods, the authentic look of the footage was of paramount importance to the feeling of this film, but also that each look be unique in a way that allows the audience to instantly know which storyline is on screen at a given moment.”
Another notable addition to the storytelling team is editor Tyler L. Cook, from Netflix’s “Archive 81” and “GLOW”, who became a crucial piece in blending together the multiple storylines, time periods, and pacing of the suspense throughout.
Do Not Watch will premiere at top festivals in 2023, followed by a theatrical release later in the year.