When filmmaker Nicholas DiBella set out to pen the script for his most recent film titled, "Wildflower," he said that he ended up with a decent recipe for an entertaining feature — but that there was one key ingredient that seemed to be missing.
That's when DiBella employed the knowledge and know-how of fellow Rochester, New York, native Stacey Reed-MacGregor, a licensed therapist who regularly helps guide people through real-life trauma.
DiBella recently told The Church Boys podcast that Reed-MacGregor, who ended up co-producing "Wildflower," added some much-needed elements that he believes will leave audiences with more than an entertaining film.
"Where Stacey really came in and helped me out in a really big way was putting the layers in," he said, explaining that she helped craft character depth and a broader message about mental health. "It was a thriller and had no real meat on the bone."
And considering that the film — which released on DVD on April 5 and is described by DiBella as an "inspirational thriller" — deals with the issues of abuse and trauma, Reed-MacGregor's knowledge and contributions were paramount.
Listen to DiBella and Reed-MacGregor discuss "Wildflower" at the 26:30-mark below:
The plot of "Wildflower" centers around fictional character Chloe Moray, a young artist who experienced a tough childhood replete with traumatic experiences that have taken their emotional toll.
"When an alarming dream begins to recur nightly, Chloe starts to believe that it might be a suppressed memory and that she may have witnessed a terrible crime as a little girl," reads the film's official description. "Her search for peace takes her on a journey that forces Chloe to confront her past traumas and leads her to cross paths with Josh, a young man dealing with his own painful loss.'
In the end, DiBella and Reed-MacGregor believe that the story is relatable to diverse audiences, as it shows characters overcoming difficult odds to find themselves and build up their faith — even in the face of intense adversity.
A scene from "Wildflower" (Nick DiBella/"Wildflower")
"Many people, when they see a movie, they want to see something significant and relevant to their own world," MacGregor told The Church Boys. "And there are so many individuals who's struggle with trauma and difficult childhoods that — to see that there's hope and a way to get to the other side of that — was really the part that was the most profound for me."
She said that combining the elements of a thriller with the relevance of the storyline to audiences' lives was a powerful feat that resulted in a movie that "sends a message out that we don't have to do it alone."
Watch the "Wildflower" trailer below:
As for DiBella, he said that he is hoping that "Wildflower" both entertains audiences and leaves them with an uplifting message.
"We're just hoping to touch an audience, reach an audience and impact them with a message of hope," he said. "My hope is that this film will open up a conversation."
Reed-MacGregor added her hope that women will see the film and realize that they do not need to stay in unhealthy relationships.
"The abuse doesn't have to own her," she said.
Editor's Note: The author of this story assisted in production on "Wildflower."
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: