Casting Infinity Chamber
Christopher Soren Kelly - "Frank"
Writer/director Travis Milloy first met Christopher Soren Kelly while casting a different project in Denver in 2009. "Right away, I knew Chris was incredibly talented and I wanted to work with him on something. He blew me away with the very first reading, his style and technique had such a hypnotic sense to it. I found him fascinating to watch."
It was a few years later in Los Angeles when Travis and Chris sat down to discuss the concept for "Infinity Chamber" and Travis knew he needed someone that held a very unique presence to be able to shoulder the movie, since a large majority of the story is one man alone in a room. Chris agreed to play the role and it was this meeting that set Milloy out on a mission to get the project off the ground. "Knowing I'd found my 'Frank' was all the motivation I needed to get things started. For me, it was the biggest piece of the puzzle that had been found. I'm not sure the project would have started without him."
Production lasted over a year, doing shoots at different times and locations in order to compensate for the limited budget. Milloy states, "Chris was the ultimate professional. He never once had an issue with shooting the movie in such an unorthodox fashion, he was behind it 100%. The fact that I dragged him all over the country, from Los Angeles to Denver, from the Mojave desert, to the Continental Divide in Colorado, from 120 degree heat to -10 below zero, he never hesitated to bring his A-game, no matter what the circumstances. I'll never forget being out at the windmill farm in Mojave, end of the day, the crew was exhausted, everyone was burnt out but there was one more shot I needed and I was expecting a mutiny. It was Chris who picked up equipment to carry and rallied the crew to get one more shot."
Cassandra Clark - "Gabby"
The casting for "Gabby" was an extensive search, auditioning hundreds of actresses before Cassandra Clark walked in to read. Milloy says, "There was just something about Cassandra that made her stand out, something so genuine about her, even from a cold-reading, it didn't feel like she was acting. I think that stems from the fact that she's truly a genuine person in real life, not something you can mask."
"The role of Gabby was so vital to the movie working because she essentially represents the outside world, bringing a contrast and balance to a story that spends a large amount of time in a cold and confined space. Cassandra was such a wonderful breath of fresh air to a story so restricted," says Milloy. "She was so easy for me to direct. I clearly remember one night shooting at the coffee shop, we did a take and had to adjust everything. Adjust the lighting, the camera, the background, the sound, everything needed an adjustment and then I looked to Cassandra and paused with nothing to say. Everything needed an adjustment but her! She was a dream to work with."
Cajardo Lindsey - "Fletcher"
Casting for "Fletcher" was slightly unusual because it was a role that was left unfilled throughout production, a section of the movie that was planned to be shot last. The entire movie was shot and wrapped with the sequences involving Fletcher remained to be completed. Milloy knew he was only going to show Fletcher from Frank's perspective, only seeing him through the narrow vent opening in the prison wall, so this sequence was saved for later, to be shot later, when the right actor could be found. Fortunately the search for Fletcher wouldn't take long because Milloy had just the right actor in mind.
Milloy had met Cajardo Lindsey in Denver years before while casting a different project and immediately knew he'd met a uniquely talented actor. "When I first met Cajardo, I knew there was something so much more to this guy. You just knew there was something more to him than first impressions. Little did I know he was a professional athlete, a lawyer, a writer and an accomplished theater actor. When it came time to find our Fletcher, I knew Cajardo would be perfect."
Nearly a year after principal photography had been wrapped, Cajardo flew out to Los Angeles to film the scenes for Fletcher. With the prison set now gone, Milloy re-constructed what was needed in his own living room. Ironically, even though Christopher and Cajardo share numerous scenes talking through the vent, the two scenes were shot separately, in different locations, a year apart and the two actors never met. "It just goes to show what great actors they both are to have those performances cut together so well under those circumstances," says Milloy.
Jesse D. Arrow - "Howard"
Casting the voice of Howard was one of the longest and most extensive searches done by the production and the end result was quite unexpected. Even though the character of Howard is only shown as a security camera and only heard by voice, the role is essentially the second lead in the movie. "It may not seem to be that crucial on the surface of what Howard's voice would sound like, but in the end it was massively important. Howard's voice, his tone, his inflection, the emotion behind the words would drastically affect the tone of the movie, so I knew who ever did the voice would have to be perfect." Milloy says.
Even though the casting of Howard's voice would wait until post production, an actor was needed to voice the character off-camera so Chris would have someone to react to during his performance. Actor Jesse D. Arrow was suggested by Chris Kelly and Jesse was brought on to provide the voice. Milloy says, "I just loved having Jesse on set. I loved his energy and really liked him as a person. When we shot the coffee shop scenes later, I asked him if he'd come be one of the patrons because I loved having him with us."
During post production the production did an extensive search to find the right voice and hundreds of actors were auditioned. Milloy used audition recordings to lay into the edit to see how their voices worked with Chris' performance and nothing seemed to fit. "Ironically, after all this searching, the real Howard had been standing next to me the whole time," says Milloy. "When I edited the film with Jesse's voice, all the elements I was looking for instantly came together. He is Howard and I couldn't imagine any other voice being there."
One very strange coincidence in the movie is there is a scene where Frank asks Howard for coffee and to play music. This scene is cross-cut with a scene from the coffee shop and Jesse is shown ordering coffee and listening to music on his headphones. "This was edited before we knew Jesse would be the voice of Howard so it was a very strange coincidence indeed".