A still from Frutigers most recent project
A still from Frutiger’s most recent project
Ian Bair

‘Things I Wish I’d Said’ (2024)

Stevenson’s own Riley Frutiger creates a touching short film about what follows the loss of a loved one

Riley Frutiger, a sophomore film and moving image student at Stevenson, created a short film titled “Things I Wish I’d Said” that demonstrates grief following the loss a loved one.

Frutiger mid-scene, playing the lead in her film (Ian Bair)

The film’s synopsis written by Frutiger says, “unable to sleep, a girl writes a letter trying to articulate the complex emotional terminal towards her dead brother that’s keeping her awake.”

The film is told from a narrative perspective, as the girl (Frutiger) writes down her thoughts and the things she wishes she had said to her now dead brother. During the film’s five-minute runtime, it journeys through the immediate feelings of anger, depression, and even guilt, following such a tragic event. 

The film’s cinematography, film and moving image classmate Ian Bair, creates a cold and dark atmosphere. The colors are both dark and bright but at the same time, appear to be bland, as if to represent the girl’s world becoming less and less vibrant. 

Frutiger created the film as a way to express the emotions she experienced during a similar experience of losing one of her best friends.  

“The idea of losing someone is one thing, being able to say goodbye is a completely other thing,” said Frutiger. “Saying goodbye is finite and we as human beings struggle with finite, and death is like that ultimate brick wall.”

The film incorporates metaphors to physically represent what the main character is feeling, such as going for a run to run away from her problems. We see the girl constantly attempting to keep her mind off the trauma with these distractions like running, writing, or simply sitting in nature.

“We kind of explore that idea in the film where the girl sees her brother with the scene at the bridge. The bridge was the metaphor of passing over the loss of death,” Frutiger said. “Knowing that her brother can’t come back and cross the bridge is heartbreaking.”

Throughout the film, the girl talks about how she cannot be mad at her brother for leaving the world unexpectedly, but she is left with no way to release her anger but unleash it on him.

“People are told not to be angry because you shouldn’t speak ill on the dead, but anger is part of the five stages of grief. And you have to go through those stages to recover,” Frutiger said.

Frutiger wants people to embrace their feelings and know that whatever emotions they experience with grief are normal.

“I want people to watch it and feel like it is okay to feel whatever it is that you’re feeling, not necessarily [with] death specifically, but going through an emotion where it gets to a point where you can’t sleep or to where you write out your emotions.” said Frutiger. 

“Don’t take your time with the people around you for granted. If there are things you need to say, don’t wait forever, because you think you might get the chance at the right time, but you don’t have forever with them. There is never going to be a perfect time.”

“Things I Wish I’d Said” is now available to watch on YouTube. 

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