Since I was young, I’ve had an impulse to stare at people. Like if I could just look at someone for long enough, I could eventually understand them. I think it’s what originally brought me to the movies – the excitement of sitting in the dark and watching the lives of others unfold, electrified by the eccentricities and personal details they reveal. It definitely has something in common with voyeurism, but it’s also deeply rooted in a desire to comprehend, to empathize, and to feel connected to other human beings.

The Opportunist started as a short film about a young man who gets his thrills by charming, intimidating, and generally invading the personal lives of others. But as the project developed and the character of Jason became more real, I started to see that he was looking for something too. That for all the fun of beguiling and terrifying strangers with his uncanny blend of charisma and aggression, what he’s really searching for is something personal, something intimate, something vulnerable he can feel connected to, even as he digs through their personal effects.

So for me, the film is ultimately about taking the impulse to stare and turning it into an action. Jason’s thrill comes from penetrating personal boundaries, from unearthing people’s insecurities and secrets, and in the process uncovering their humanity. Our pleasure comes from watching him work, vicariously peering over his shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of what he’ll discover next. Watching Jason pry mirrors our own desire to stare, but if we look hard enough, we soon realize that the difference between what he’s doing and what we’re doing is a lot smaller than we’d like to admit...


The Opportunist depicts a night in the life of a social shape-shifter addicted to the visceral thrill of invading the lives of others. After charming his way into a party where he doesn't belong, Jason stalks through the unsuspecting crown, in search of his next target.

--Director David Lassiter