SCV filmmaker’s new movie reminds of the importance of love and grace

Valencia writer-producer-director Allen Wolf works on the set of his movie “The Sound of Violet,” now available on video on demand, Blu-ray and DVD. Photo courtesy of Morning Star Pictures

“She read from her phone what the movie meant to her. She said, ‘The movie was all about hope. It reminded me of the importance of love and grace. We’re all different and deserve the love of God and true love. This movie showed the importance of loving people, understanding people for who they are and where they are, and loving them anyway.’” 

After a New York screening of his film “The Sound of Violet” in April, a woman seated in the aisle in front of Valencia writer-producer-director Allen Wolf stood up, banged her hands together, and then turned to give Wolf a big, warm embrace. 

“I went up to do the Q&A,” Wolf told The Signal in a recent interview over the phone, “and she was one of the first people who raised her hand, and she said, ‘I just want everyone to know that I’m a former Violet (the leading woman, who is a prostitute in the film), and this movie was very accurate, but also just very touching to me.’” 

Wolf still has on his phone what the woman had typed on her phone. And when he read it aloud to The Signal, he still seemed very touched to have received such remarks. 

According to the film’s website, “The Sound of Violet,” which is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and a multitude of streaming platforms, is based on Wolf’s novel of the same name about a young single man named Shawn who’s desperate to find a wife, who goes on one awkward date after another until he meets Violet. Shawn thinks Violet is his soulmate, but his autism and trusting nature keep him from realizing she’s a prostitute. Violet soon discovers something is different about Shawn, and it’s not just because he has a condition that allows him to “hear” colors. Shawn thinks he’s found a potential wife, while Violet thinks she’s found her ticket out of her own trapped life. 

According to Wolf, he had originally set out to write a story about the frustrating trials of dating.  

“I had a very up-and-down experience dating in Los Angeles,” he said. “Sometimes people were not who they necessarily said that they were, and things didn’t really work out.” 

The L.A. dating scene has certainly provided fuel for many great films in cinema’s past, including 1996’s “Swingers” that put actor Vince Vaughn and writer-actor Jon Favreau on the map, and 2009’s award-winning “(500) Days of Summer” with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Not that Wolf was consciously trying to differentiate his film from others for the sole purpose of differentiation, but Wolf made an important breakthrough while learning more about the characters he was creating for his story. 

“Early on, as I developed the character (of Shawn), I remember getting feedback from people saying, ‘You know, socially something is different about him.’ And I thought, yeah, I mean, there’s something that’s socially different about me, too, at that time.” 

But as Wolf dug deeper into the character, he realized at one point that Shawn was autistic.  

“I think part of the artistic process are the things you kind of discover in what you’re creating,” Wolf said. “I didn’t really set out with that intention, but as I kept developing the character, I realized, ‘Oh yeah, I think that’s actually true of him.’ So, it felt very organic the way that came about.” 

And as Wolf was thinking about the character with this condition, he also wondered what kind of person Shawn would connect with and what kind of person would connect with Shawn.  

“One of the unique things for him (Shawn) in the story is that he has not been completely desensitized to touch,” Wolf said. “Like, some touch for him is overwhelming. I thought that would be interesting to connect him with a woman (Violet) who has been touched too much, and has issues with touch in a very different reason.” 

As a prostitute, Wolf added, Violet’s work is all about touch. 

“She’s being trafficked,” Wolf continued, “so, she’s being forced to touch others. She discovers that Shawn is the first person she wants to touch. In the movie, she says, ‘I want to hug you, Shawn. And that’s not an everyday event for me. I’ve had more touching than I need.’” 

In a scene from “The Sound of Violet,” Violet, played by Cora Cleary, right, tells Shawn, played by Cason Thomas, “I want to hug you, Shawn. And that’s not an everyday event for me.” Photo courtesy of Morning Star Pictures

According to promotional materials on the film’s website, “The Sound of Violet,” starring Cason Thomas and Cora Cleary, was released in theaters in 2022. The screenplay won numerous accolades, the site indicated, and Wolf adapted “The Sound of Violet” from his novel, which is available for purchase worldwide and has won critical praise as well.  

Wolf said he’s thrilled with the responses both the book and the film have been receiving.  

Born in Philadelphia, he moved around much in his life. He grew up in Ohio and would eventually go to New York University’s film school, where his senior thesis film, “Harlem Grace,” won multiple festival honors and was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in the entertainment business, during which time he wrote, produced and directed his 2010 film, “In My Sleep.” 

Valencia writer-producer-director Allen Wolf, center, directs actors Cason Thomas, left, and Cora Cleary, right, on the set of his movie “The Sound of Violet.” Photo courtesy of Morning Star Pictures

Wolf is married with two children. He said he’s also an award-winning board game creator, with games like “You’re Pulling My Leg!: The Ultimate Storytelling Game,” “Slap Wacky!” and “JabberJot.” And he’s the host of the “Navigating Hollywood” podcast, where he and other film and TV professionals discuss the “ups and downs of navigating Hollywood.” 

He and his family moved to Valencia in December 2021 as his family began to grow. 

“We just wanted a different community,” Wolf said. “We’ve always lived on the west side (of Los Angeles). We didn’t really know about Santa Clarita. We didn’t know how beautiful it was. So, it was a big discovery.”  

And now, with “The Sound of Violet” completed and out there for all to see, should Wolf feel the pressure to top a film that has touched on such important issues? He said, “Not necessarily.” He didn’t create a love story between someone with autism and a prostitute as a gimmick or a way to have “something important to say” about love and grace. It was just something he came across during the creative process. And that’s what he’ll do again for whatever project comes next. 

“I think that kind of pressure would destroy me as an artist,” he said. It’s the art, he expressed, that brings him ultimate joy in doing what he does. The positive responses to “The Sound of Violet,” then, is added music to his ears.

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