The Canadian filmmaker has Anne Heche chasing the storm in one of her final roles

Montreal-born and raised first-time director Herbert James “Jamie” Winterstern’s film supercell (available on VOD platforms March 17) is a story of family connections told through a storm chasing adventure starring Alec Baldwin, Daniel Diemer, Skeet Ulrich and the late Anne Heche.

supercellThe main character of is William Brody (Diemer), whose father was a notorious storm chaser. After his father’s death, William’s mother left Dr. Quinn Brody (Heche) is past the days of storm analysis and now cleaning houses to make ends meet with the help of her son. When William receives his father’s diary from his “uncle” Roy (Ulrich), William is inspired to continue the family legacy of storm chasing, against his mother’s wishes.

Winterstern and his wife actually went storm chasing in 2019, and he describes the sight of a supercell thunderstorm as “scary” but also “magical.”

“A week later I went back. I was addicted,” he told YAhoy Canada. “I thought this might be a good story.”

Anne Heche in Herbert James

Anne Heche in Herbert James “Jamie” Winterstern’s film “Supercell”

Anne Heche in one of her last film roles

About supercell What is likely to draw the public’s attention is the star-studded cast that will tell this story.

“A big part of independent filmmaking is finding a star that has value, and once that star is attached, it kind of falls into place,” Winterstern explained. “So when we landed Alec Baldwin, and I remember it was two years ago right before my birthday, and it was surreal.”

“Honestly, it’s my first film… so I didn’t have a lot of experience working with actors and I was really intimidated. …They are much more experienced than I am at this craft, so I might just let them do what they do.

Filming by Jamie Winterstern

Jamie Winterstern filming “Supercell” (Sarah Orbanic)

Regarding working with the late Heche in one of her final film roles, Winterstern emphasized that she was “a kid at heart.”

“You had these very tangible scenes where you’d think an actor would need to start narrowing down and concentrating, but she was such a pro that she could laugh hysterically before a big scene and then you called action and it was so “Boom, she just transforms and she’s there,” he said. It’s incredible.”

“I think that just says a lot about how great an actress she was. I will also say that she just connected to the science of film. She personally was such a scientific mind but she had such a big heart and usually those two things compete with each other. So it was a nice balance. She was perfect for Quinn and I’m very lucky to have had her.”

Daniel Diemer and Anne Heche in Herbert James

Daniel Diemer and Anne Heche in Herbert James “Jamie” Winterstern’s film “Supercell”

“I’ve realized that I’m more like my mother”

The development of the family relationship in this film was particularly critical for Winterstern.

Winterstern lost his mother to Alzheimer’s a few years ago and much of the filmmaker’s personal story, particularly his relationship with his parents, is told in the film.

“There’s this childhood myth of how I’ve seen what it means to be a man,” Winterstern said. “I’m obviously a different man from my father, and I’ve realized that I’m more like my mother.”

“It wasn’t until I lost my mother…I understood how much I took her for granted because she was always there. She was a stay-at-home mom. She made dinner, she did laundry and I took that for myself. I’ve always focused on my father who was “the provider” but then when I lost her I saw that my father was the man only because of my mother, who he was. I think that’s what the film is about. It’s William, in the end I realized he didn’t do it for his father, he did it for his mother. That’s what I feel connected to.”


Herbert James “Jamie” Winterstern’s film “Supercell”

At the end of the film you can see that Winterstern dedicated the film to both Heche and his own mother. He emphasized that the element of William’s developing relationship with his mother is something that Heche, a mother herself, was also connected to in the story.

“It’s crazy to think that those two matriarchs that this movie is about are both gone now,” Winterstern said.

When it comes to what Winterstern hopes audiences will take away from this film, he said the key message is, “Don’t take your parents for granted.”

“You only get two of these and life moves fast,” said the filmmaker. “It’s escape and it’s family. So enjoy and capture your family when you watch it.”


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