Carlson Young makes her directorial debut with ‘The Blazing World’ [SUNDANCE STUDIO]

When Carlson Young wrote and directed the short film “The Blazing World” in 2018, she always envisioned something larger.

“I wrote the short first always with the idea for the full feature and was told probably to make it into a short first before the feature,” she tells Gold Derby. “I’m glad I did that, especially with the circumstances of the pandemic that came along in the 11th hour.”

Debuting at this year’s virtual Sundance Film Festival, Young’s feature version of “The Blazing World” is a gorgeous psychological drama that blends horror and fantasy to tell the story of a young woman named Margaret (Young) who has been haunted by the death of her sister since she was a child. Young based it on her own personal childhood trauma and a recurring dream that she started having five years ago.

“In my experience, it’s just trial by fire,” Young, who audiences know as an actress in MTV’s “Scream” and Netflix’s “Emily In Paris,” says when asked about any advice she’d give fellow young filmmakers. “You’ve got to really fight for this stuff and if it were easy, everybody would do it. Just keep going and don’t take no for an answer.”

That guidance served her well on “The Blazing World.” The film was among the very first to shoot during the coronavirus pandemic, and Young tweaked her script to accommodate the health and safety guidelines required to commence production. The cast convened just outside of Austin, Texas in August and quarantined together for the duration.

It was “the most extraordinary experience,” costar Dermont Mulroney says. “Part of why I was there, in all honesty, is because I had just made sure that I was going to be on the first film set of the first movie being made after the initial shutdown. This was it. At the time, there were four other movies shooting in the country and three of them were already in production.”

“It was really miraculous that we were in a safe environment,” he adds. “But even more so that we were in Carlson’s hands. This was really just something that was meant to be.”

“The Blazing World” stars Young, Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, and Udo Kier.

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