What is Filmelodic?
Filmelodic is a small film studio with one goal - to dramatically expand the reach of classical music. We believe that the classical greats can still touch people's souls in a very personal way, expressing that which cannot be put into words. We create deeply human stories to make classical music relatable to the 21st century.
Since 2011, we’ve been making short films, bringing to life the stories that we believe are already hidden in the greatest works of classical music.
Is it working?
Short answer - yes. Whether viewed with a live orchestra, at film festivals or even online, our projects have given new listeners opportunities to be moved to laughter and tears by the classical greats.
We've sold out a live orchestral screening at the Brooklyn Museum. We've premiered at the international Wagner festival in Bayreuth. We've partnered with orchestras and created fun videos that have been shared by tens of thousands of people all over the world. We've had our films picked up by one of the largest music publishers in the world.
But what matters most is that we're reaching people who wouldn't normally have even heard this type of music, let alone form an emotional connection with it.
But what if I don't have time to listen to a long piece of music?
We feel you! There’s no shame in admitting that as millennials, we and our audience have a pretty short attention span, so instead of fighting that, we’re embracing it.
Our new project, La Folía, is composed of short stories imagined by you, our community.
Our new project is a visual anthology of twenty-four short stories (20-40 seconds each), all inspired by the same 500-year-old melody - La Folía. Variations on this well-known melody, and the stories that flow from a diverse group of writers, musicians and filmmakers inspired by its chords, create an irresistible invitation to an untapped young audience.
The universal language of La Folía’s ancient melody allows characters to tell their stories wordlessly. The film invites the audience members to surrender to music as they would surrender to love – with vulnerability to intense pain and exquisite joy. La Folía erases the stereotypes of classical music and embeds the music in universal and emotional stories created for younger, diverse audiences.
But we figured, why should we have all the fun? That's why we are giving you the chance to reinterpret this ancient music for a brand-new audience.
Our community told us how the music spoke to them. Here are a few examples of what they heard:
- A story of a young dancer who refuses to relinquish her passion for dance just because she's told her body is the wrong shape.
- A story about a man escaping the drudgery of everyday life by letting his imagination run wild.
- A moment of unexpected courage, when a student sees someone getting beaten up and has to make a split-second decision.
- A woman, while preparing for yet another first date, watches her mirror reflection piece her broken heart back together.
Clearly, these stories are coming from a very personal place as well as a profound connection to this music. So now it's on us to make sure that connection doesn't get lost, which is why we're making these stories a reality.
Since each story is about 30 seconds long, we want to be able to have these short vignettes available for free online, to share and get stuck in your head when you're on the go.
We want them to be brought into public spaces with live musicians - parks, bars, living rooms, concert halls - anywhere you can imagine.
Classical music hasn't lost any of its power. We've just forgotten how to let it kindle our passions. It belongs to all of us, so let's reclaim it, together.
Perks of becoming a backer include:
See the Perks section for a complete breakdown.
Here are some people we've collaborated with:
Here are some things people have said about us:“A breathtaking series of original films…” – G. Schirmer & Associated Music Publishers
“Dispensing with dialogue, the filmmakers have created stories using known masterpieces of classical music visualized so as to capture to spirit of a modern audience…” – Richard Wagner Museum, Bayreuth
“The movie’s plot ought to resonate with anyone who’s experienced a night of flirtation, inebriation, and inter-borough transportation, but Berlioz’s symphony is meant to be the night’s main focus of attention.” – Gothamist
And just for the heck of it, here are 50 classical music puns in 120 seconds:
The LA FOLÍA team: Adam Grannick (director) Mickey Lewitter (director of photography) Olivia Kimmel (director of photography) Steven Latta (director of photography) Adriana Spencer (casting director) Stephanie Iscovitz (assistant director) Staci Myer-Klein (assistant director) Jody Formica (makeup artist) Sydney Schiff (choreographer) Cheryl Krugel-Lee (contributing writer) Elana Estrin (contributing writer) Sanaz Ghajar (contributing writer) David Schaum (contributing writer) Erin E. McGuff (contributing writer) Renana Fox (contributing writer) Rich Johnson (contributing writer) Elliott Forrest (contributing writer) Tina Motoki (cast) Kiyoko Kashiwagi (cast) Omayra Amaya (cast) Ryann Weir (cast) Diane Chen (cast) Tessa Stokes (cast) Andrew Reynolds Cooksey (cast) Yeman Brown (cast) Anna Schon (cast) Milan Williams (cast) Solange Greene (cast) Gregg DaCosta (cast) Naomi Lewin (cast) Matthew Bovee (cast) Maria Romano (cast) Josiah Peter Jacoby (cast) Kellan McCann (cast) Jordan Cody Brandon (cast) Lynn Berg (cast) Adriel Choo Tung (cast) Claudia Sersanti (cast) Trip Rockafellow (cast) Frank Kavaler (cast) Rob Duncan (cast) Michael Simon Hall (cast) Joe Sullivan (cast) Mekhi Lee (cast) Silvana Jakich (cast) Kurt Grube (cast) Jayna Katz (cast) Andrew Dunn (cast) Mona Depena (cast) Sharone Waldman (cast) Genesis Be (cast) Matt Stewart (cast) Rosanne Rubino (cast)
Risks and challenges
Since this is an anthology of 24 separate vignettes, there are a lot of moving pieces, from casting to locations to transportation. However, having made three films such as this in the past, we know that with a good crew, almost anything is possible.
Too often, good projects get bogged down by the director's tunnel vision. And so, we've made it a point to work with people who are not only hard-working and reliable, but are also passionate about the project and offer their own creative suggestions.
And these are not empty words - we have 5 years of work to prove our success. Our previous three films were just picked up for licensing by one of the largest classical music publishers in the world, we've screened at festivals around the world, and we've done collaborations with some of the best community orchestras in New York City.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)