“Some people don’t have the budget to make art, but they can use a cellphone to tell a story,” she said.
Muncey said she wrote the screenplay last summer after hearing local history and legends about Genevieve, the so-called ghost of Bowers Harbor Inn, and the former state hospital facility originally known as the Northern Michigan Asylum. She called it “Division,” after the street that once divided the city’s sane and “insane.”
In researching for the film, she said she was struck by how easy it was to have someone committed to a mental institution.
“Women were committed by their husbands or doctors for having post-partum depression or menopause,” she said. “In an old book I found, one of the top reasons for women being committed was ‘excessive reading of novels.’”
In Muncey’s script, Genevieve is a former asylum patient. And Megan, an artist-slash-writer experiencing a slump and David, her boyfriend, hopes to encourage her by videotaping her life using — what else? — a cellphone.
“They start to research local folklore and paranormal activity and the history behind the state hospital. As they uncover more, she becomes more and more haunted,” said Muncey, who majored in English at the University of Michigan.
Professional actor and magician Ben Whiting, who moved to Traverse City in February, plays David.
A stage actor whose credits include everything from local roles with Parallel 45 and the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival to roles with the prominent Steppenwolf Theatre and the New York International Theatre Fringe Festival, Whiting is making his first appearance in a feature-length film.
“I did a three-minute short in Chicago. I was abducted by aliens so I didn’t have any lines,” he said, with a laugh.
This time around, he plays an all-around nice guy, though there’s plenty of creepy ambiance.