Andy Truschinski

I just want you to be happy. Choose happiness. I want my child to be happy when they grow up. Sound familiar? It’s something that society lays into us. I think the pursuit of happiness is a thing we’ve become obsessed with as humans, especially as Americans.

Happiness is a byproduct of something bigger, something more attainable. Meaning, purpose, drive are the words that better describe our pursuit in life. Happiness is a peak on our lifeline just as, conversely, sadness and depression lie in the deep valleys. If we approach life with purpose and drive in pursuit of meaning, I think we’ll be better off. Don’t get me wrong, happiness is still a good thing but it can’t be the goal.

That brings me to my film. When I first started outlining this story, I wanted to approach a film surrounding a character facing the dilemma of “trying to find happiness.” I found myself constantly coming back to films that find a character trying to escape a life that, on paper, looks like it could be great. I kept thinking about classic films, especially Roman Holiday because it has always been a big influence on me. It centers around two people who can never be together, yet you root for them to have this unexpected, unforgettable night.

I wanted to take this idea and put it in a modern context, a “millennial Roman Holiday,” if you will, was the next point of this story’s evolution.

The vision I have is a gritty, sweaty, beautifully shot film. I want to put the focus on the actor, on their expressions so that those who are watching can feel and know exactly what’s happening with these characters every step of the way.

One question you’ll be left wondering is, are they escaping or are they finding something more rooted? That leads me to why the movie has its title.

The Root of Happiness, as a title, is more of a question, an idea. Is there such a thing as an attainable, constant happiness? The story that unfolds is a direct response to this question.