About The Project
Have you ever noticed that the way you perceive people can subtly change the more you get to know them? You can meet a girl and instantly be blown away by how gorgeous she is, but if her personality bothers you, she can become uglier over time until all you can see are her flaws. Or you can meet a seemingly unattractive guy, but once you fall in love with him he suddenly becomes the most beautiful man in the world. Distortion is an exploration of those distorted perceptions people have of themselves and each other, and follows Erica’s journey to see herself clearly.
The premise of Distortion came to me when I found some old pictures of myself in high school. Throughout high school I had always thought of myself as a slightly overweight, nerdy, ugly duckling, and that image haunted me throughout my years at USC and into my adult life. Upon finding these forgotten pictures, I was shocked at how the photograph looked nothing like the image of myself I had in my mind. I then began to question the perceptions I had of myself as well as those I had of others. When I was 16 I fell in love with my best friend. He was smart and funny and I was so blinded by my feelings that I had difficulty seeing him clearly. It wasn’t until the night he attacked me that the veil lifted and I was able to see his flaws. Scared and confused, I reached out to my other friends and told them what happened. No one believed me. It was far easier for them to blame me than to accept that their other friend was a rapist. So I shut my mouth and never spoke of it again. Years later, when I was raped in college I remembered that lesson and said nothing.
For years I carried these attacks alone, as my dark dirty secret. I thought I was worthless and that rape was an inevitable experience that was just part of being a woman. Thankfully I no longer feel that way. It wasn’t until I started to open up and talk about my attacks that I was able to process what happened to me and realize that it was not my fault. Distortion is the conversation I wish I could have with my younger self. Regardless of your gender, ethnicity or sexual preference, the psychological trauma of being attacked by someone you know is universal. If this film can inspire just one person to speak up about their attack, or to believe and listen to a friend who has been attacked, then all of my pain will not have been in vain.
*Our production company Distortion, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 which means all donations made to this project are tax deductible.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see yourself clearly. For Erica, the daily battle with her reflection is directly proportional to her self-esteem. Through Erica’s eyes we can see the way friends and loved ones transform as her perceptions of them change. But which perceptions are accurate and which are false… and which perceptions need to change in order for her to see herself clearly?