A susceptible teenager, in trying to escape the tumult of his home, drowns himself in alcohol, drugs, and parties. Based on a true story.
UNDER WATER was born after I was ‘born again,’ literally. I rose up through the water and felt my past actions and self-destructive behavior, as if it were the weight of the world, being rinsed off my shoulders: the dirty unloving sex, the drug smoke wafting in the air, the little baggies of pills and powder, and all those substances going up through my nose into my brain; the headlights screeching past in a blur as I drunkenly accelerated my vehicle; all the upturned liquor bottles being chugged and then regurgitated on the floor; the relationships torn and trampled in my madness; the tears shed and trust lost from those closest to me; and all the hours spent in a state of blackout that I cannot even recall.
As a young adult, I had trouble relating to others, feeling accepting, and loving myself, as many do. I chose to indulge in drinking, drugs, and partying as a way to loosen up; to free myself from my own prison; to be accepted by my peers -- or to finally accept myself. Throughout my mid to late teens, my behavior became increasingly psychologically addicting, reckless, and consequential. At age 17, I ended up in emergency surgery to save my leg and my life, and remained hospitalized for a week. Months of physical therapy led to years of spiritual and emotional contemplation, and finally culminated into this film.
Making UNDER WATER was not only a cathartic process, but an essential one to move on to a new chapter in my life. The film is a statement of gratitude to be here walking on this earth, still alive, healthy, passionate, and sober. If sharing my journey of moving beyond self-destructive behavior can help ONE person make a similar positive change, then this project has served its purpose.
-Bryan Fitzgerald (Writer, Director, Producer, Actor)