A feature length philosophical hip hop musical love story by DGA Student Film Award Winner Ryan Carmichael.
But Not For Me is a unique feature film project. Hip hop, classical music, existentialist philosophy, and social commentary are blended together through an interesting narrative structure to tell the story of disillusioned advertising copywriter, Will Stewart. Will is an idealist whose everyday struggle of an existence in New York City complicates his search for stability and balance in his professional and personal lives. His outlook on life changes when he meets and falls in love with his next door neighbor, Hope, a jaded concert violinist just as disillusioned as he is.
When they come together to make music together in an effort to create meaning in their world But Not For Me becomes more more than just a love story--It aims to tell a story about love itself and its significance at a time when the dreams and ambitions of the millenial generation are being ostensibly leveraged and mortgaged.
It's not all doom, gloom, and dour punditry, however. It's a hip hop musical. At the film's heart is an optimistic core and the desire to inspire. The music is the life blood of the film and the message is the skeleton. Both speak not just to millenials, but also more broadly to a society alienated by the voiceless roles they've been relegated to by the corporate and power elite.
Also at the film's heart is a dynamic team with the desire to inspire...
Ryan Carmichael (Writer/Director), hails from Southfield, MI and is an alumnus of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (GO BLUE!), and current MFA candidate in Film and TV production at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His Honors Thesis film at Michigan, Everything's New in Lost, garnered him a Director's Guild of America Student filmmaker award. A cinephile and true believer in the communicative power film, he aims to use the medium to examine and explore themes of democracy and the existentialist plight of modern humanity. And, he makes musicals and has an unhealthy love for Detroit Tigers baseball and Michigan Wolverines Football.
Jason Stefaniak (Producer), is an Emmy-award winning writer and director who uses the art of story telling to help others make sense of the complicated world in which we live. Also pursuing his MFA in Film and TV production at NYU, Jason uses a multidisciplinary approach and sees his subjects through the eyes of an anthropologist, immersing himself in the culture of the people whose story he hopes to one day tell. Shaped by his strong female upbringing, Jason is a social entrepreneur and believes in the ability to foster social and political change through the juxtaposition of social activism and filmmaking. He's also a cracker jack producer and the oldest young man known by Ryan.
Cedric Hill (Associate Producer), has a well rounded background as an technical director, actor, stage hand,writer and producer. The art of telling stories well has been a driving force for Mr. Hill throughout his career. With more than a decade of professional expertise, he seamlessly traverses between theater and film using his innate curiosity to produce works replete with depth and meaning. To gratify his need to produce works of substance, Mr. Hill founded To and Fro Productions, LLC, in 2005. As executive producer he wears many hats from developing scripts, creating budgets and casting to writing, engineering production strategy and directing. Under his leadership, the company has produced staged readings, plays, documentaries, shorts and feature length films. These endeavors have been showcased at festivals domestically and abroad, while garnering nationwide media attention.
Elena Urioste (Actor, "Hope"), was recently selected as a BBC New Generation Artist and featured on the cover of Symphony magazine, has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for her lush tone, the nuanced lyricism of her playing, and her commanding stage presence. Elena’s debut performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra were praised by three separate critics for their “hypnotic delicacy,” “expressive poise,” and “lyrical sensitivity.” Since first appearing with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age thirteen, she has made acclaimed debuts with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and San Antonio symphony orchestras. In Europe, Elena has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wurzburg Philharmonic, and Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok. Previously working with Ryan on his short documentary, Practice, she makes her acting debut in But Not For Me.
Maria Vermeulen (Actor, "Grace"), is a writer, actor, and filmmaker from Clarkston, MI whose literary work explores the dark ironies of human nature in relation to an exceedingly image-conscious world. She graduated with honors from The University of Michigan with a dual-degree in Film and Video Studies and Psychology. Trained in Meisner Technique with venerated teacher, Maggie Flannigan, her range extends from the depths of emotional suffering to the hilarious heights of a child's love for living. A dynamic performer and writer, she makes her hip-hop debut in But Not for Me.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Whether studio-based or independent, filmmaking is one of the only art forms that cannot be practiced solitarily. It takes a team to bring a project to life. Added to that, there are also dozens of shifting pieces and elements to each independent film production, every one of which is vital in its own way.
While our team is highly effective and efficient, the fact of the matter is that stuff always happens during the course of a production that full financial backing and thorough planning can do nothing to prevent. From days lost to inclement weather or 11th hour decisions by a location owners to deny shooting permission, to delays caused by broken equipment or an ill actor, there are always speed bumps on the path to completion.
These are challenges not problems, however, and are always imminently solvable by the cool and level headed nature of the team and its leaders.
Director Ryan Carmichael and Producer Jason Stefaniak have been through all kinds of production mishaps together and are fully equipped with the improvisational and pragmatic decision making skills to make sublime lemonade out of the unexpected lemons of indie film production.
Lem Smith concocted the beat for the rap number in the pitch video. Lem and Ryan have known each other since high school where they formed the rap duo, Epidemic. This is their first collaboration since then.