Christmas, Again tells the story of Noel, a young man who travels from upstate NY every year to sell Christmas trees in New York City.
Returning without the help of his long-time girlfriend, this year Noel finds it impossible to do the one thing he knows so well---sell Christmas trees. As Noel begins to spiral downwards, alienating co-workers and customers in the process, it turns out this same community of people may be the only ones capable of saving Noel from self-destruction.
Full of realistic moments inspired by my 3 years of running a tree stand, Christmas, Again explores the colorful life of tree vendors and the unique relationship communities have with them.
There's also a love story.
CHRISTMAS TREE STANDS IN NEW YORK CITY
Nearly 1 million Christmas trees are sold in New York City every December, where hundreds of people set up shop along the sidewalks working 12-hour shifts and sleeping in cars and campers. Neighborhoods welcome back the vendors from year to year, often embracing them with hospitality unexpected from a city known for its cold residents. This unique setting is where Christmas, Again takes place.
A lot! Christmas, Again is four years in the making. To prepare for the film I opened my own Christmas tree stand, McGolrick Trees, in 2010. Here's why:
1. Method writing. By opening, owning, and operating my own stand, I've amassed over 300 hours of first-hand experience to help me write the screenplay. I've experienced firsthand the endless hours, uncomfortable conditions, and extraordinary interactions that help make this story so special.
2. Location, location, location. Locations are a crucial part of any film. By already owning a tree stand and setting my film there, I have full reign over the production design and unlimited access to the location. Partnering with an existing stand could never give me that kind of control.
3. Profits. 3 years of profits from the stand are being used to help fund the film. But that's not enough! That's why I need you guys!
For more on McGolrick Trees, check out the video The Fader made at the bottom of the page.
Charles Poekel (Director / Writer)
Over the last six years Charles has shot and helped produce numerous theatrical documentaries including Hey Bartender (SxSW '13), Making the Boys (Berlinale '10), Fake It So Real (Sarasota ‘11) and the Gotham Award nominated Kati With an I (‘10), as well as several music videos and short films. He helped co-found the Pitchfork.TV series "Tunnelvision" in 2009.
Sean Price Williams (Director of Photography)
Sean Price Williams has established himself as one of the premier cinematographers in independent film today. He’s photographed over a dozen feature-length films including Frownland (Gotham Award '07), Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (Spirit Award nominee '10), The Color Wheel (Spirit Award nominee '13), and Somebody Up There Likes Me (SxSW '12). In 2013, Film.com called Sean “Micro-budget filmmaking’s most exciting cinematographer.”
We've already secured nearly two-thirds of the film's budget through past seasons at the tree stand and a few private investors. The money raised through Kickstarter will all go to pay crew, actors, and lab costs.
Remember, if the project doesn't reach it's goal we won't get ANY of the funding! So please share this with your friends and support it as much as you can. It means a lot to us.
Every contributor will get access to the private Instagram for the film. We'll make sure to share at least 1 photo from the set each day.
35mm PHOTO POSTCARD FROM THE SET
Taken from the set, each photo will be completely unique and personalized.
HAND-MADE ORNAMENT (or coaster)
Made by hand from recycled materials from the tree stand, the basic ornaments feature a unique design on the front, and a personalized message on the back. Don't celebrate Christmas? We can make it into a coaster instead.
SUPER16 ORNAMENT (or coaster)
The Super16 Ornaments are similar to the basic ornaments, but will have a hole in the center containing a small strip of actual Super16mm footage from the film! (Also available as a coaster.)
Hand-decorated with things like juniper, white pine, cedar, holly, and pine cones.
MCGOLRICK TREES SWEATSHIRT
Be a part of the McGolrick Trees team; get a limited edition hunter green sweatshirt to keep you warm in the Christmas season.
In 2011, The Fader did a video piece on McGolrick Trees. Check it out:
As you can imagine, making this film is very personal to me. I've dedicated a great deal of my life to prepare for it and couldn't be more excited to finally make it happen. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I'm confident that Christmas, Again will be a genuine and engrossing film.
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is a long and arduous process. The film won't be finished until next summer, and will most likely be released in 2015. But you can guarantee that it will be completed, and that I'll continue to dedicate my efforts until the film reaches its highest potential.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter