Welcome! My name is Edwin Pendleton Stevens and I am a filmmaker and a director of photography. My newest film, “Alice is Still Dead” is available to view. The film is about my little sister, Alice, who was murdered in 2013. It encompasses memories of Alice’s life, the crime, the trial, and how it has all affected my family. It is a film about love, loss, and hoping for peace. If anyone has any questions about the film, what it has been like to attempt to carry on after the murder of a loved one, or filmmaking in general, I would love to chat. Thank you! PROOF: https://i.redd.it/bg9elvfpevx71.jpg

Comments: 47 • Responses: 19  • Date: 

TheExile721 karma

Was making such a Film rather traumatic, or even therapeutic? I keep thinking that, when there are films about true stories.

Did you ever think about giving up the film, or were you under a lot of help from others (friends, therapist, family)?

Thank you for your great work!

EdwinPStevens9929 karma

Thank you for your question! Making this film was both traumatic and therapeutic, but mostly the latter. Making a conscious choice to address the situation head on was terrifying, but it also made me feel empowered because I was dealing with it the way I wanted to and not simply letting the waves of grief wash over me on their terms.

There were many, many times where I considered scrapping the film. I really enjoyed the production aspect of it and visiting with some of the most integral people from Alice's life, but sitting alone in the edit room with the footage was another story. Luckily, my good friend and wonderful editor Meredith Mantik took up the reigns on the editorial side and that partnership did the film so much good. We have a close enough friendship that she was able to parse out what was most important to me, but she also was able to make so many beautiful decisions that I never would have been able to see because I'm just too close to it. With the support of Meredith, my right hand man Joe Raffa, and my family I was able to make a film I am really proud of and also make a lot of progress in my struggle with the grief simultaneously.

I hope that is helpful. Thank you for your interest!

TheExile72 karma

Thank you so much for that whole some reply! Another thing crossed my mind, did you, or are you moving away? Are you scared, or did anyone write a Note, or something?

Or did all ends just go into different ways? Is the case closed?

EdwinPStevens9911 karma

The murders happened across the country from me, so I no longer feel like I am in peril (also, thankfully YES the perpetrators are incarcerated for life without parole). However, when the murders first occurred, we had no idea who had done it or why. That did make me wonder if I should disappear for a while. Maybe somebody was after our family. But thankfully that never came to fruition. It was an isolated incident.

blerrycat8 karma

How do I view the film?

BeardyBeardy3 karma

Thank you for making this and sharing, unfortunately it is not available in Europe, do you have plans for uploading to a different host?

EdwinPStevens994 karma

Well, that’s a bummer to hear! It’s supposed to be available via YouTube and other digital on demand platforms as well. Maybe those are live in Europe? But if not, they should be shortly. Thank you 🙏🏼

TheStorMan5 karma

Any advice on getting started if you didn't go to film school? Making some short films myself at the moment with friends, often hard to get people to show up and stick with it since it is volunteered.

EdwinPStevens9911 karma

I feel that. Getting people to do anything for free these days can be such a challenge! But I think you're on the right track. Create as often as you can. I would steer you onto the path of quality over quantity ultimately, but sometimes you just have to get the camera in your hands and put in the hours that it takes to feel like you really have a handle on your craft.It could also be beneficial to be that person for other filmmakers that you want to attract yourself. Volunteer to help others with their projects. Be reliable. You never know who you'll impress and who could end up helping you out in a large or small way down the road. Film school is really just an accelerated connections maker between like minded people so if you work hard enough to hone your skills and make meaningful connections with other filmmakers, you are well on your way.

fumbbbles2 karma

How would you recommend getting connected with local amateur filmmakers? Should I just put an ad out on myself offering assistance or are there websites I can go to to find others?

EdwinPStevens994 karma

That is a good question. There may be a state or local film commission or office that probably has a list of local contacts. That’s a good place to start. I find that Facebook has so many groups on there that it can be hard to figure out which ones are legit, but there are some good ones. Or you could start your own local online group and see who shows up! Also, this may sound nuts, but hanging out at the local camera or electronics shop could be a good place to meet likeminded aspiring filmmakers.

tasker_morris4 karma

Sorry for your loss. Do you feel that being safe close to the subject enhanced your perspective of the story or does it harm your objectivity? Second question, how did you go about finding other crew and post professionals?

EdwinPStevens993 karma

Excellent question. On this particular project I tried to lean into the personal nature of it enough that I hope it comes across that I am giving opinions and expressing my feelings, not always things I’m presenting as facts. But bringing on an editor that I trust and respect was a huge burden off of my chest. Meredith Mantik cut the film and our long friendship and working relationship enabled me to step back and let her figure out what the best approaches were in many cases.

I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of wonderful crew members and I was able to get some of them onboard when needed. But most shoot days were either just me and the camera or my close collaborator, Joe Raffa, and me.

Jinjonator913 karma

What has it been like years later to have to carry this? During the anniversary would you say it’s harder? What are your next projects?! Love your work.

EdwinPStevens995 karma

Thank you. It has been very difficult to carry with me. For the first few years I partook in a lot of alcohol and food binges to suffocate the pain and negatively impacted my health in many ways. Now I don’t feel like I need those things, but the grief is still with me. It does hit a little harder around the anniversary and the holidays. But with each passing year I am able to better accept the new reality without Alice, and move forward but not move on.

WildGlucose3 karma

How did you discover your passion for your occupation?

EdwinPStevens993 karma

There were a number of moments in my childhood where I ended up making very basic films and I just fell in love with it. When I was in 3rd grade my hockey team took a trip to Canada and when we returned I collected all of the parents’ footage and cut together a little highlight reel. That was the first time I found myself putting in hours and become obsessed with the medium. From then on, any time making a video was a viable option for a school project, I always took up the opportunity. And then I just never stopped! It’s easier than ever these days with the phone cameras we have in our pockets every day. Just shoot!

r2d2emc22 karma

Do you have a "daytime job"?

EdwinPStevens994 karma

I am a cinematographer by trade that just happened to direct one film. I am obsessed with visual storytelling. I now work for a commercial company as a full-time director of photography.

wicked_crayfish2 karma

When you set out to make s documentary, do you plan out the flow of the entire movie or does the movies flow/tone come together after filming?

EdwinPStevens993 karma

This is something that is different for every film. I find that most fictional work that I do is meticulously planned out (although it doesn’t always go as planned!). When working on a documentary, we try to go into an interview or a scene as prepared as possible, but at the end of the day you’re filming real life and live people and people are unpredictable. You never know what you’ll catch on camera! So we may have a vague idea of the story, but the writing process is really done in the edit room. More often than not, you’ll capture some things that are even better than you have planned for!

palbuddy12342 karma

What software do you use to edit your movie?

EdwinPStevens991 karma

I like adobe premiere, but I’m having issues with the newest version which was recently released, so I’m back on the 2021 model. Hopefully, the issues are resolved soon!

NicklesBe2 karma

Where is the best place to view the film?

EdwinPStevens992 karma

You can watch it on tubi for free!


themysteriousman09901 karma

What do you think a filmmaker should keep in his mind to make a good movie?

EdwinPStevens991 karma

We all want to create these brilliant, mind-bending stories, but I’ve learned over time that 99% of the time the simplest and most concise version of what you want to say will be the most effective. One lesson that I have learned the hard way is to make sure that each moment serves the broader story you are telling. The whole is more important than the parts. Some of my very favorite scenes I’ve shot have ended up on the cutting room floor and the films were better because of that.

saiine1 karma

Extremely compelling trailer; I will watch it! And fuck man - sorry for your loss, I cannot imagine. Your little sister would be proud of you.

What are some of your favorite films and who are some of your favorite cinematographers?

EdwinPStevens991 karma

I’m a huge fan of Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki. No Country For Old Men is my favorite film, but I’m also a huge fan of Wind River, The Shining, Taxi Driver… too many to name them all! 😀

joeraf13131 karma

Which directors or films are some of your biggest influences/inspirations in the documentary world?

EdwinPStevens993 karma

Doug Pray is my mentor and I am a huge fan of his work and his style of filmmaking. He directs and cuts documentaries in a way that makes them feel fresh and exciting.

The film that inspired me to become a filmmaker is "Hearts of Darkness". The film is the interesting story of the behind the scenes of the making of "Apocalypse Now". I highly recommend anyone interested in the field checking it out.

sch0k0-4 karma


EdwinPStevens991 karma

We’ll find out someday. Hopefully, not too soon though!

Gleeemonex-10 karma

How's Alice holding up these days?

EdwinPStevens993 karma

Still dead :-(

jimicus-16 karma

Alice? Who the fuck is Alice?

EDIT: Well, to coin a phrase, I guess I'm an arsehole. Sorry for your loss, OP.

EdwinPStevens9912 karma

Alice was my little sister who was murdered 8 years ago. She was a brilliant, light-hearted, beautiful young lady and she is dearly missed.