KIDNAPPED AT BIRTH, Catherine and Daniel are reunited with their LONG LOST daughter AFTER 16 YEARS.
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Our goal is to raise $5,000 for this innovative mixed media motion picture
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Elegy tells the story of two parents, Catherine and Daniel, who are reunited with their long lost daughter, kidnapped at birth, sixteen years later. They prepare a welcome home party the day she comes to her real home, as a way to celebrate her return. Cait is introduced to a wave of family she never knew existed, but manages to get intimate moments with who would have been closest to her. Between her grandmother, father and mother, she slowly learns of the life she could have had if she was never taken - and the life she’s going to have now. But it may not be the life any of them were expecting.
a new way to exhibit short cinema
Along with a team of world class artists, we are going to create the first mixed media exhibition in history for a motion picture. Much like how modern art is increasingly becoming more immersive for exhibitors, we aim to immerse our audience in a once in a life time experience that will change the way we experience short formed cinema forever. Audiences will be guided through an exhibit before the film, titled when the world turned gray, that follows the journey of Catherine and David; from the joy of bringing new life into this world to the pain of losing them and continuing life with out their child.
There’s that happens before the events of this movie; a lot of joy of bringing life into this earth and eventual pain of losing that new life. This EP will cover those emotions felt by Catherine and Daniel, as they venture through their lives. The music will be composed with the accompanying exhibition in mind; each song will be be performed in major and minor key to represent Catherine and Daniel’s feelings (minor key) and the joy they could have felt if their daughter was never taken (major key)
The EP will also be accompanied by a series of cinemagraphs - still photos that have specific movements in them. Each song will have its own designated piece, giving a visual cue of the moment in history. - with the major key song playing from one speaker and the minor key playing from the other speaker at the same time.
This is colossally important for the film as a companion piece as well as important for my overall vision. In this short film, there is not enough time to fully explore the complex emotions Catherine and Daniel are feeling, since their pain has been with them for sixteen years. But through music, we can feel the emotions of the writers in such a short amount of time because of the emotions behind every note. With this accompaniment, audiences can come into a screening of the film having already felt the pain and understanding the story through their eyes.
why this film?
When my sister passed away unexpectedly in 2017, it had a profound effect on me personally and creatively. I found myself in this weird crossroad of where I should be going with my life. Between having no creative spark left and working on a string of incredibly bad productions, I was considering leaving filmmaking altogether.
A dear friend of mine told me about this crazy thing that happened in Brazil. Someone kidnapped a couple's baby when he was born and 16 years later they found him. When he returned home to his biological parents, he rejected them and wanted to be back with his captor, who raised him as if it was her own. This influenced me to write Elegy, the script before you. I wrote it with "what if a parent had a second chance to be with their child?" in mind, thinking of my mother, who has been devastated since my sister passed. But, as the ending of the film shows you, some things are just meant to happen, no matter how horrible.
But, for me personally, it’s a way to vent the pain I am feeling about my sister’s passing. My entire career I’ve been searching to tell interesting stories that has happened to other people, but I’ve recently been doing more personal things (like my short film How Long The Night, a meditation piece about missing someone I deeply cared about and how it has been affecting my work). Even still, I can’t resist telling a story about how someone else feels, in this case exploring the pain my mother feels.
John Flynn (Director/Writer/Producer) is an award winning filmmaker from Long Island, NY. John has directed many short films, including Rain, which made its world premiere at the prestigious Palm Springs International ShortFest and has been picked up for television distribution around the world. He has produced films like the award winning short Tom In America, starring two Academy Award nominated actors and directed by award winning filmmaker Flavio Alves, which has been in film festivals around the world, and The Garden Left Behind, a feature film starring Michael Madsen and Ed Asner, which has been accepted into the IFP Narrative Film Lab that Best Picture winning film Moonlight was part of. Other notable works include the award winning films Anemone (CUNY Asian American Film Festival Best Film, Honorable Mention), Ggu:m (SVA Film Festival, Best Film), Until The Night Is Over, and Atramentous. John Flynn is the founder of Skye Films, a New York based production company.
Greg Starr (Producer) studied Neuroscience and Theatre as an undergraduate. He is an ambitious producer and director with a wide array of experience in all aspects of production and post-production. Greg is known for his extensive production and technical expertise. He got his start as a freshman at Tulane University as a theatre major when the department elected to shoot a movie instead of one of the spring plays. He was instantly infected with a passion for production that fed on a lifelong love of cinema Upon Graduating from Tulane in 2006 he had intended to go to medical school until he realized that he had a different calling – producing, which he has thrown himself into with a passion and vigor that is unparalleled. Greg has an MFA in producing from The City College of New York. Greg also has experience as a director and cinematographer on projects from commercials, web videos, music videos and short films.
Deukyun Hwang (Producer) is a Korean director and producer based in New York City. Her most recent film (Anemone, 2015) won Honorable Mention Fiction Film by Asian American Research Institute @ City University of New York. G:Gum, 2015, which she produced, won the best film at SVA Short Film Festival. She has directed and produced other films like Dust (2014), Wheel of Fortune (2014) and Rain (2015).
Jordan T. Parrott
Jordan T. Parrott (Director of Photography) was inspired to get his BA from the prestigious film program at Emerson College after watching Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West. He has since become a prolific narrative and commercial Director of Photography, whose work has played at film festivals worldwide. Some notable achievements include Tom in America which earned him recognition for the Indie Soul Best Cinematography Award at the Boston International Film Festival (starring Academy Award-nominees Burt Young of Rocky and Sally Kirkland of JFK), Vimeo Staff Pick for the documentary A Taco Told in Texas, two “Ad of the Day” with Adweek, Shortlisted for the Cannes Lions Travel & Branded Content for Tinder Plus, and “Short of the Week” for his film Stryka which stars Rupert Friend and Aimee Mullins. Further, Jordan has worked with Matthew McConaughey and Eric Stonestreet on Stand Up to Cancer commercials as well as John Leguizamo on a national TV spot for Vroom. Most recent projects include a short film entitled Swim which won the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and a nationally aired M&Ms commercial.
Frances Rusell (Production Designer) is a Southern and Bahamian Black American. After attending Brooklyn College for film production, Frances Russell became a production designer and set dresser for feature films, music videos, and short films. The young filmmaker got her debut on the set of Above the Shadows, directed by Claudia Myers. Hired to assist in art department, Frances quickly worked her way up the ranks to on-set dressing for Emmy Award winning production designer, Timothy Whidbee. Russell resides in the New York Metropolitan area.
Fenton Li (Casting Director) is agraduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and alumnus of T. Schreiber. He has worked on close to 100 industry acting projects in the last six years: a dozen Off-Broadway/regional productions including LaMama, and PanAsian Repertory Theatre, over 70+ film productions with at least 14 awarded in major film festivals; one for ‘Best Actor’ from the 2017 FirstRun Film Festival. His TV credits includes Blacklist, Bull, Carrie Diaries, and others.
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Why this film? Why make another short?
Elegy maybe the most personal film I have ever made and it’s one that, as an artist, needs to be created. Most short films are made as a proof of concept for a feature film or to prove that a director can make certain kinds of films. Elegy is it’s own standalone piece made for this format. The film with the exhibit when the world turned gray is one complete artistic vision. Not enough short films are made this way and I will be the first filmmaker in history to make a short film exhibit such as this. It’s a new and innovative way to screen short films and breathe life into a dull and lifeless format.
How come you’re not doing a Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
Crowdsource funding platforms take a sizable percentage of the funds you raise and offer no other benefits. Working through a fiscal sponsor like IFP, the project becomes a 501(c)3 non-profit production. Not only do you get a tax write off for your donation, the production can also benefit from discounts and other services that other platforms simply can not offer.
Do we get perks/rewards like on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
Not in the conventional sense; as mentioned before, your donation is 100% tax deductible! And, for those who donate $50 or more will be invited to a private showcase of the entire exhibition Elegy + when the world turned gray. This private exhibition will occur sometime in 2020 and email invitations will be sent out in advance.
What about that $1,000 we gave you for Bug Eyes?
It went to its proper use! We formed an LLC for the film, put an entertainment lawyer on retainer for the production, and started development. It takes a long time to get a great script ready for full financing and I haven’t stopped working on it. You will hear more updates about that film soon! For more information on that campaign, click here
How are you funding the entire film? Is $5,000 enough?
Production already has half of our $20,000 budget secured and we are expected to get a few grants by the end of the year that will fully finance us. This campaign is to get the last remaining money needed to full finance this production and to begin building an audience for this film.
What are the risks and challenges?
We have chosen an amount that is incredibly reasonable to reach and is enough to get the film greenlit. Putting any amount reliant on crowd source funding is a risk, but we are more than confident that you all will believe in this project and my vision to put us over the top!
My question wasn’t answered here!
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have and I will be more than happy to answer!